Synopsis: The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.
Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Page Count: 383 (Hardcover)
Amazon // B&N // Goodreads
The blurb, on the other hand, sounds like it's setting itself up for a love triangle. Oh no.
This book should be renamed "Stupid Decisions", because that's all it was. Victoria Aveyard and everyone in this book needs a lesson about basic politics.
I have a limit for stupidity, and almost every single character in this book has passed it. I could not handle it.
This story is told by Mare Barrow in first POV. She is 17 years old, has red blood, and is incredibly stupid. So stupid. There were times where I had to walk away from the book to calm myself down, because I couldn't take her stupidity.
Mare Barrow is the perfect example of a weak character pretending to be strong. She was an awful person. She was selfish, incredibly bitter, and destructive. There is no justification for killing innocent people. I don't care how good their cause is. I have zero sympathy for her, and she deserved so much worse than what she got. Because that's what you get for joining a fucking terrorist cult.
"Don't apologize, because you don't mean it."
"You're the same as all the rest. Heartless, selfish, cold - just like us. They taught you well."
...Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Moving on to Mave and Cal...I liked them both. I thought their characters were interesting and complex. I especially loved Cal. Don't get me wrong. There were still stupid decisions made by him, but I understood his rationale.
Mare kept describing him as someone who enjoyed to kill, but I didn't see that at all. What I saw was someone who wanted to take action and play an active role in his kingdom. He didn't want to just sit back on the throne and let everyone else do the work for him. He was a true king with good intentions even if his choices weren't always the best. As for the decisions he made that I didn't agree with, he felt conflicted about them too. I think if the right solution was presented to him, his mind could have easily been changed.
A general’s place is with his men.
The love triangle strikes again, but I didn't mind it as much as I thought I would. Maybe it's because I liked both Cal and Mave. What I did mind was how Mare used Cal and tried the use Mave.
"I'll protect you as long as I can," he whispers. I almost don't hear him over the tramp of feet and the pathetic beat of my heart.
"I don't deserve it," I mutter back, but I squeeze his hand in thanks all the same. I betrayed him, I ruined his life, and this is how he repays me.
When I first read the blurb, I thought it sounded stupid and overdone - a typical dystopian book. But I actually found myself intrigued. I want to know how this story is going to shape up and what will happen next.
There were a lot of clichés though. This entire book just seemed like a combination of different books. I've often seen this compared to Red Rising. While I haven't read that book, just by reading the blurb, it sounds almost the exact same - hopefully with a less irritating protagonist.
From reading other reviews, I knew there was supposed to be a plot twist coming. And since I knew it was coming, I was able to guess what it was. That being said, I still liked it. I thought it made sense and was exciting and dramatic. It wasn't over-the-top. If I had not known there was supposed to be one, I would have been surprised. The fight scene was awesome, but I'm confused at how the lightning came back at the end. I had some other questions too, but maybe they'll be answered in the sequel? Regardless, Victoria Aveyard knows how to end a book with a bang.
As I mentioned multiple times, there were many stupid decisions, and a lot of the problems that could have easily been avoided in this book. Here's what I would have done:
1. When Mare's power was first discovered, the king and queen demand her to do certain things. I would have tried to negotiate for more influence in the kingdom. This way, it's easier for her fight for her cause and maybe change the kingdom for the better. Mare's power was seen by all the Silvers, and it would have been very difficult for them to have gotten rid of her. In order for their story to work, they have to buy her silence too. Negotiating may not have worked, but it would be worth a try.
2. Cal is going to be the next king. He doesn't believe he can create equality with there being dire consequences, and he's right to an extent.
Even if Norta changed, the rest of the continent would not let it last. We would be invaded, divided, torn apart. More war, more death.
Mare had the power to influence Cal's decisions, and I think Cal would have been open to trying a less aggressive approach to the Red vs. Silver situation. It's just too bad she misused her power.
3. As for the the Scarlet Guard. I get that Kilorn was her friend. And I don't think I'd been able to let the prisoners die either. Here, I would have tried to plead that killing them would make them martyrs. Not sure if this one would work, but maybe with Cal and the right kind of persuasion...
4. What about this war that's been going on for almost 100 years? This is generally about the time when countries start trying to negotiate for peace. One side needs food, and the other side needs better technology. Well, there's this revolutionary thing nowadays called trade. Surely, they've heard of it?
Joined a terrorist organization.
As much as I want to know what will happen next, I don't think I can handle another page of Mare Barrow, let alone another book.
I should be a princess. I would do a much better job of ruling a kingdom.