Book Rambling: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen(Book #1)

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publication: February 10th, 2015

Rating: ★★★★1/4


“Rise, red as the dawn.”

I heard a lot of mixed reviews about Red Queen before going into it, so I had very low expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

The main criticism I have heard about this novel is the similarities between it and The Hunger Games and Red Rising. I definitely saw a lot of the similarities.  But, I loved both Hunger Games and Red Rising, and I found that I didn’t really mind the tropes. It was more funny to identify all the references I noticed.

“I told you to hide your heart once. You should have listened.”

My one of my favorite parts of the book was how Victoria Aveyard wrote the romance.  Ladies and Gentleman, this is a romance done correctly. A lot of people hate love triangles, but I actually think this is one of the more successfully executed love polygons. We had a strong, independent woman who stood for her beliefs and didn’t compromise them for any guy.  However, she could fall in love.  Just because there is other stuff going on in you life, doesn’t mean you can’t fall in love. Additionally, there was the perfect balance between our female protagonist’s “greater cause” and her romantic life. She wasn’t obsessing over guys during crucial life-and-death situations, but she wasn’t completely devoid of feelings.

“I see a world on the edge of a blade. Without balance, it will fall.”

I really enjoyed the characters that Aveyard created.  At first, I didn’t really like Mare’s family, but when we met the rest of her characters, I loved the complexity behind each character and was actually able to connect with some of them.

The world building was okay.  It wasn’t very fleshed out, but I liked the magic system (powers) that Aveyard included.  They were really interesting and creative!


“In the fairy tales, the poor girl smiles when she becomes a princess. Right now, I don’t know if I’ll ever smile again.”


The plot was semi-predictable, but I didn’t predict some of the really big twists that occurred.  The second half of the book hurt my heart, tore it out and ripped it to shreds.  I actually threw my phone across the room (my e-book reader). The novel ended with a perfect set-up for book 2 and conclusion to book 1. I want Glass Sword to come out as soon as possible!


The lovely Giselle from A Book and A Cup of Coffee  created an amazing music playlist for this novel.  I think everyone should check it out! The 8tracks link is here.

What did you all think about Red Queen? I know there are a lot of differing opinions, so I want to hear them all!

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  1. Oh, I loved Red Queen! I’m actually re-reading it before my Glass Sword copy arrives. The only trouble I had when reading this book was pronouncing Mare’s name out loud. Couldn’t stop imagining a horse’s head instead of hers thanks to a few fellow bloggers LOL. (It still cracks me up!)


  2. I was so scared to go into this book, but I ended up loving it. I keep thinking thinking about it. So many people are team Maven but I am so fascinated my Cal, with his deep devotion and sincerity. But I was even more pleased when Mare said she chooses no one. Strong, I like it.


  3. I personally didn’t really like Red Queen because of the love square going on in it. I just have a lot of issues with a lot of things in the book. Your review though is really good! It’s almost convincing me to give it a re-read 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Haha, I get what you mean – I think the love square is a big reason why a lot of people didn’t like it. I think because I was going in with low expectations (and was expecting all the similarities and the love octagon thing) it wasn’t as bad as I expected!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I understand the mixed feelings people have about Red Queen. The Hunger Games similarities are particularly glaring in the 1st book; I do find this with a lot of YA at the moment though (Shadow and Bone, for example, has a lot of the same tropes but I don’t see anyone complaining about that). I find a lot of Red Queen problematic – for example, the sudden change in how we’re supposed to respond to the Scarlet Guard – but there’s plenty in it I liked too. I have read Glass Sword and I don’t suppose it will win over the haters but it adds to a lot of the things you mention as positives here – the love polygon and Mare’s family, in particular. I’m really pleased to see someone blogging about this series in a non-moany way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely agree with a lot of what you said. I actually rated this pretty high, but I am no literary critic, and I rate based off of my enjoyment of the book. I thought it was engaging and an enjoyable read. Plus, my expectations were REALLY low. The similarities in tropes were actually more funny to me than annoying since I was expecting it! I’m glad Glass Sword will add to what I already like about Red Queen; I’m looking forward to it! Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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