This rags to riches dystopian novel is Young Adult fiction at its very finest. It centers on Mare, a red street thief who becomes a pawn in a shifting politic game. The world is divided between red and silver blood. The Silvers possess powerful abilities, bending water, fire and the minds of others. The reds are seemingly powerless and are condemned to either labor or be conscription into a seemingly endless war.
Mare ends up trapped between The Scarlet Guard, a red revolutionary group who want to overthrow the government and the royal family who become her unlikely captors. Once confined to the palace she is trained on everything from etiquette to combat in order to become a more convincing puppet. All the while feeding information gained from questionable sources to The Scarlet Guard.
Romance features quite heavily alongside the integral plot. Mare is told she has to marry Maven who is one of the two princes. She still quite fancies the other one Cal and has her best friend Kilorn at home holding a candle for her too. It may be a teen girl fantasy to have two princes pining over one princess. However I felt it was a bit much. I want a fierce heroine who knows her own mind and has the courage of her convictions. Not one that goes to pieces over boys and cries in the rain.
Having said that I enjoyed the fact that Mare was flawed. She isn’t a typical heroine, she isn’t bright, talented or tactful which enables the reader to see her growth. I was heartbroken when Victoria Aveyard made me watch as her innocence became her undoing. The hurricane of betrayals towards the end of the novel are completely devastating. In part because as a reader you can see it’s not going to end well from a mile away.
All in all I quite like this book but I can see why it’s had some hit and miss reviews. I’m really rooting for Mare to become an absolute bad ass throughout the rest of the series. Mostly I’m hoping that Maven will release his true potential.
Have you read this?
What do you think?
Let me know in the comments!