As I write this, I’m sure you are wondering why I’m creating an open letter about why you should read Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, and not post a review in its place. The answer for that is simple. Red Queen was an amazing read, leaving me consumed by my own emotions, conflicted as they were. I have so much to rave and rant about, but alas, a rant about a book is not a review, and I would be a fool to sell it as one.
Just to catch you up (in case you haven’t already read Red Queen and is the only reason you are reading this letter right now), this novel is about Mare Barrow, and her country which is divided by blood. There are those like her, the common red-blooded folk, who for as long as they remember have served the elite Silvers, who have supernatural abilities, and are nearly gods compared to the Reds. When Mare discovers that she has a special ability of her own- she can control lightning- and in front of the royal court at that, the King quickly has her act the role of a lost Silver princess, in order to hide this seemingly impossible occurrence. From there Mare is transformed into Lady Mareena Titanos, but she refuses to forget the true colour of her blood, and the way these people have treated her own. Thriving to make a change, she serves as a double agent to the Scarlet Guard, a Red rebellion that is rapidly growing.
Reason #1 on why this novel should be read by you is this: it leaves you befuddled, and you don’t know who in the book to trust anymore, not even who in the book to root for.
It sounds crazy, believe me, but it has been a while since a story has made me feel this way- torn, astounded, stupefied. As an avid reader, it’s honestly an amazing feeling. You know you have been invested in the novel if it makes you feel such emotions, and I believe that if it has managed to do that to you- melt you into a puddle of confusion and uncertainty- then it most definitely is a story worth reading.
It was just ALL THE FEELS, evoking emotions out of me I didn’t expect would be evoked. As I read Red Queen, it wasn’t rare to find me ranting on about my troubles, especially when twists that were uncalled for were thrown at me, causing me to drown in my own hopes and doubts. There was a line in the novel that was used throughout, and I can say that it was very appropriate to use in this case- Anyone can betray anyone.
Reason #2: The Characters
Oh, the characters! So many of them with unique attributes, each masterfully crafted. Victoria Aveyard managed to create a variety of them within this novel, every single one bringing front a new heroine, hero… or villain. But there was never a character that was truly evil, or even completely good. I liked that each one seemed real, whether they were Silver or Red. I loved being introduced to new ones as the plot progressed, and as the lies and truths of them unraveled, I felt like I was getting to know their true personalities, no matter what I first believed.
Reason #3: The Dystopian, Fantastical, and Science Fictional Elements
Okay, so just based on that reason, you know it’s extremely impressive that author Victoria Aveyard even managed to combine all the aforementioned elements into one novel, and managed to pull it off.
Reason #4: The Writing
This book read like it was extremely well planned out. Of course with dystopian novels (and fantasy and sci-fi), there has to be some amount of outlining in order for the author to know what direction they want their story to go, especially one as complex as this one, with many plot twists that managed to twist my heart as well. I thought to myself a number of times as I was immersing myself in Mare’s world that this stuff just couldn’t be on–the-spot-thinking. There was no way that Aveyard would be able to enter such lengthy paragraphs of description and back story all in the spur of the moment. This was all carefully constructed, and the most beautiful part was, it still managed to flow smoothly, despite it being obvious that the author must have spent countless hours thinking about the setting and plot beforehand. The writing itself was enticing and addictive to read. I loved it, because it seemed like the author knew was she was talking- ahem, writing- about.
Reason #5: The Plotline
I’ve already sort of touched up on this in the reason above, but it deserves to be a reason on its own. I mean, a world divided by blood? Genius! It’s something that hasn’t really been touched upon before, if only because (as far as I know) red is the common colour of blood that pulses through our veins. Books have covered barriers among people with different genders, races, and wealth (or factions, districts, castes), but never blood. And the fact that one of the Reds contains powers and abilities only Silvers should possess is extremely appealing. I needed to see how she would turn out- what would happen to her– as she is betrothed to a prince, while secretly plotting behind the King and his nobles in a Red rebellion.
So that’s all my reasons, even though there are several sub-reasons I could come up with if I wanted. Of course, that would make for an endless letter, so hopefully you have read enough about why I believe Red Queen should be a must read on your list and read it to see for yourself. You see, my secret plan does not differ much from Mare Barrow’s. I am hoping to have a Red rebellion of my own- to convert all you red-blooded beings out there into hard-core Red Queen fans!
I’d like to finish off this exceedingly long letter by apologizing to anyone I talked an ear off to expressing the love I had for Red Queen, and all the troubles I experienced while reading it (Even now, I don’t know who to ship! It’s quite perplexing). I figured that it’d be more fair to the people I did this to if I shared my thoughts in an open letter for all of you to read! So, in a way, it worked out for us all 😉
Zoie, a reader who is itching to get her hands on the second book, Glass Sword.
P.S. Victoria Aveyard, if you haven’t realized this by now, you’re a mastermind.