The Bookish Verdict #1: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Review

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Greetings everyone! I am now opening my second blog segment which is entitled as "The Bookish Verdict". I am completely aware that by just reading the title, you do already know what is it all about. But I'm still going to provide the details anyway since it IS a must (at least for me) to clear any confusion for all of you who's currently reading this.

So, this blog series actually consists of books and any other piece of literature reviews (but mostly books). I would provide a detailed description for each book that I'll feature in here, including my analytical and critical judgment, and some personal and kind-of biased opinions that usually based on my personal preferences. Of course I can't promise that all the reviews would be spoiler-free, but I'll try my best to avoid mentioning the major ones. 

I think that's all the introductions you need about this segment. Now, without (more) further ado, let's now get into it!


Image source: Goodreads


About the Book

Red Queen is a young adult fantasy book written by Victoria Aveyard, a screenwriter and YA (young adult) author of mostly creative fiction. The novel is the first part in the Red Queen quartet also made by the same author, which means there are following 3 books in the series after this one; namely (in order), Glass Sword, King's Cage, and War Storm. There are also 4 novellas included in the sequence, but it was only optional to read them not like the primary works.

It was published on the 10th of February, year 2015, under HarperTeen publication. It contains 383 pages with an ISBN 9780062310637. 


Brief Summary


Video source: EpicReads in Youtube


The story was set in a world where the blood is the basis of the division between the commoners and the elites, the Reds and the Silvers. The former group is in the lower part of the society, the workers who mostly live in poverty. While the latter one holds the more favored side, the powerful upper-classes and royalties in possession of god-like powers and abilities.


Image source: юлия in Pinterest


The novel revolved around the main protagonist, Mare Barrow, who is a 17-year-old Red girl who treats stealing stuffs from people as a source of income and contribution to her parents and younger sister. Series of unexpected circumstances unfolded, she found herself in a job at a Silver Palace, serving those people she hates the most, the one on the upper part of the society. 

Then, Mare discovered that even though her blood is leaning on the darker color, she does have something that says otherwise: she's in possession of a dangerous power. It is indeed very deadly to the point that it threatened the Silver royalties, urging them to hide and disguised her as a long-lost Silver princess who's bound to get married to a Silver prince. 


Image source: prediictable in WeHeartIt


Mare knows that she's walking at the edge of a cliff, one wrong step and she would fall at the bottomless pit where she'd suffer a merciless death. Despite that fact, she still cooperated with the Red guard, a militant rebel group against the Silver royalties, to bring down the dictator regime. 


This is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

-an excerpt from the Goodreads summary


Writing Style

 One of the most important aspects I always observe with preciseness when reading a book is the author's writing style. It doesn't matter how unique the storyline is, or how unpredictable the twists and turns are, if the writing's manner won't be enough to bring the life out of the story.

I'm not that critical when judging the technique since I'm no professional writer, and I also don't want it to get in the way of my enjoyment of the book. But I make sure to noticed the major details that greatly affect the mood of the story. Those are the things I'm going to discuss in here.


Point of View

Red Queen was written in a first person point of view all throughout the story. It narrates the innermost thoughts and feelings of the main protagonist, Mare Barrow. I personally like that kind of style of narrating so that's a plus point from me for the book, and it's actually the best type (in my opinion) with that kind of story Aveyard's established: a world full of magic and betrayal, the emotions in a great emphasis. 


Image source: EpicReads


The author wants to keep the readers on guessing what are the other characters' actual motives, their thoughts, their feelings, and ideas. And I think she greatly succeeded with her goal. I'm surprised with the twists in the book because I didn't suspect such thing, I was caged inside Mare's thoughts and only hers. But the good thing about that was even though the story's narration was only limited to first person, it didn't came to the point where I'd felt blind with all the things that was happening around me.


The narration was on point; it deeply connects you to the protagonist but not limit you to the existing world. 


I think the point of view is one of the factors that made me experienced the same that I was really there. I felt like I've known Mare ever since that I relate to her so much, that's why in every single moment where there's uncertainty hanging in the air and everything might just turned upside down, my heart just go crazy.






Image source: Mad Hatter's Bookshelf


 The writing style is meticulous at its finest, it provides a lot of details that is good in setting the atmosphere of the story. The author had managed to make the readers experienced the world in the book as if it's firsthand. 

I also love how fluid the approach was, it made imagining the events for the readers with ease. I haven't found any difficulty in reading it even just for once, it was graceful. The paragraphs weaved into each other perfectly, intricate and three-dimensional.


Here's a sample of the first paragraph in the first chapter of the book:

I hate First Friday. It makes the village crowded, and now, in the heat of high summer, that's the last thing anyone wants. From my place in the shade it isn't so bad, but the stink of bodies, all sweating with the morning work, is enough to make milk curdle. The air shimmers with heat and humidity, and even the puddles from yesterday's storm are hot, swirling with rainbow streaks of oil and grease.


However, there are times that even me isn't a fan of her writing. Like when I felt like some paragraphs were made in a rush and all of the informations just explode here and there, the elegance I adored gone. As if the author hadn't even bother to add entertainment when explaining such boring facts. She's just simply narrating, the characters whom the dialogue belong has lost its personality. 


MANNER: 15/20



I admit, I wasn't easily hooked at the first few chapters of the book. I even thought of dumping it for the reason that it moves so slow. It focused mostly just on establishing the world and the ambiance that I think the author forgot the main plot, even giving the attention in the backstory of each of the characters that I don't find that enticing since I haven't had that much of a connection to them at that time. 

Well, I'm grateful that I continued to read it. As the story moves, I find the world-building and atmosphere-constructing worth it since I'm starting to feel familiarize about those and it's a good thing if the author wants to rise some suspense. After the first part of the book, I haven't had any problems about the pace, except for some minor scenes, which is I consider understandable. 


PACE: 16/20




Image source: Freiheit in DeviantArt


One of the things that I'm fond of in this novel is its characters. I don't know if it's because I'm in a better mood than most days when I read the book or Aveyard's skill in creating characters was just truly fascinating. I hope it's the latter, but I have a strong feeling that it's the former. Because I read a bunch of reviews and most of the critics have always had a problem with the personas. 

I am deeply and madly in love with each of the characters. I felt every one of them rose up from those crisp pages of the book, and being a real-life person that you can touch and talk to. They were truly honed by the author! I experienced every single emotions necessary, all of them washing over me because of the great character development.


Here is the list of some of the main characters:

Mare Barrow: The main protagonist. The 17-year-old Red whom the story revolved to.

Tiberias "Cal" Calore VII: The eldest Silver son of King Tiberias Calore VI and Coriane Jacos. He is the rightful heir to of the King to the throne.

Maven Calore: The second Silver son of King Tiberias Calore VI through his other wife, Elara Merandus, making him Cal's half-brother.

Evangeline Samos: An arrogant Silver girl who became Cal's betrothed after winning the competition in determining the best of the aspiring princesses.

Kilorn Warren: The Red boy who's Mare's best friend and also living in the Stilts as an apprentice in fishing.

Diana Farley: The captain of the Scarlet Guard, a rebel group of Red fighting against Silvers, who leads the campaigns against the dictators.


Although I have some minor problems about the personas. It seems that there are certain scenes where their supposed-to-be personalities were temporarily fading. It mostly occured in their dialogues, which is connected with the writing's manner the author is using (the information overload). Also, there are lines where it sounds particular flat, like it isn't in them to say those.





The merging of royalties, superhuman abilities, dystopia, and a little bit of futuristic; all in one concept for the world-building, had made a great impact in the readers' mind. Sure, you can see a lot of it in many YA Fantasy books out there, but the difference with this one was that it was executed almost perfectly.


Image source: EpicReads


The intricate writing had been a great help in enacting the world Aveyard personally build. While the setting was carefully being described, it was also slowly completing a picture in my mind as if it were puzzle pieces, enchanting me every time a chunk was placed in its rightful place.

As I finished the book and the puzzle was accomplished, I was utterly amazed with the world that I am temporarily trapped in. The author isn't just a writer, but also a painter. The readers' mind as the canvas, her words as the brush, and her imagination as the palettes of color.


Image source: Tumblr


SETTING: 19/20


 Over-all Rating of Bookish Verdict: 85/100 points


Is it recommended?

Yes. No. This book selects its readers. Not everyone adores this kind of concept, and others do. I am extremely lucky that I belong in the latter group. If you like royalties and super powers, then you'll absolutely like this one. Anyways, you can read a few pages sample provided by Goodreads, then you can decide if you think it's according to your bookish buds or not.


Thank you for reading my blog. Happy reading and writing!


Best regards, 


About the author


Know your worth, and then ask for it.

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