Red Queen (series review)
This review does not include Broken Throne (Red Queen #4.5) because I am yet to read that (I absolutely can’t wait to do so), it includes the 4 main books in the series, which are, in order,
book #1 – Red Queen (my favourite!)
book #2 – Glass Sword
book #3 – King’s Cage
book #4 – War Storm (also my favourite)
book #4.5 – Broken Throne (tbr)
This review also contains some spoilers, so be warned!
Blood is what marks people as different in this world – while some people, the nobles, have silver blood, the ordinary people have blood of the color red.
The Silvers. And the Reds.
The Silvers are the kings and queens, the nobles and more valued members of the society in general, while Red kneel in front of them, scared of the deadly powers those with silver blood hold. The Silvers can drown you with just an intent and some water, can explode you with just a touch and thought, can burn you with some fire and rage, and much, much more. The Reds live under centuries of oppression, being told they are inferior and forced to do the actual, menial work of cleaning the nobles’ houses, keeping the kingdom running and fighting its battles. The battlefields of the war between the kingdom of Norta and the neighbouring one of the Lakelands is drenched, in most, in Red blood.
No one thinks anything will change. Not the Reds, and certainly not the Silvers. But when a Red with Silver powers, Mare Barrow, reveals herself to the world, when the power struggles between the noble Silvers reach their highest, when the war rages between the two kingdoms, paid now, with young blood, and the sparks of a rebellion flare in Norta, everything may just change – forever. But will it? And will it change for good or just create an even worse world?
I absolutely LOVED the way the author wrote the battle scenes – everything was written in great detail, and it honestly felt like you were actually there in the moment, fighting alongside the characters through the battle, and whenever something happened, like oooooh the bridge collapsed! What are we going to do now?! And now?! AND NOWW?!! There were a lot of battle scenes/fight scenes in War Storm, and I adored all of them. I WANT MOREEEE!!!!! King’s Cage did not have so many battle scenes, mainly because Mare was stuck in Whitefire Palace after being taken prisoner by Maven, so most of her pov chapters were her trying to survive the machinations and assassination attempts in the Silver Court, but there weren’t as many lengthy battles. Glass Sword was action-packed, but nothing like War Storm was. Glass Sword mostly has small, calculated skirmishes, with a few large-scale battles in between. Red Queen, however, was set almost entirely in Whitefire Palace, and it was more politics and planning than anything else. While the climax was quite eventful, and there was a lot of action, it was mostly aiding the rebellion in small steps. But I swear, War Storm and Red Queen were my favourites in the series. They were just EPIC. This is the Best. Series. Ever!!!!! (Well, till I like another series more than this one. I’m not exactly loyal, per se. But at the moment, it’s my favourite because it is AMAZING) I can’t wait to read Broken Throne, because even though it’s a novella collection it sounds really very interesting. Another thing I loved was the multiple povs. I was literally just so excited to be FINALLY getting multiple povs in King’s Cage. Sometimes multiple povs can be rather irritating, but in this case, I loved them. It was really very fascinating to see things from the other characters’ perspectives, and how they viewed Mare. A lot of people say that povs like Iris’ don’t really add much to the story, but I didn’t actually mind them. It was actually quite interesting to read everyone’s povs. Also, the covers. Have you seen the covers?!!! THEY’RE SO PRETTYYY!!! I just can’t choose my favourite (though I think I know which one is my least favourite. I’m really sorry, King’s Cage! I love you otherwise!)
Now, for the characters. Mare Barrow, was, to be honest, not my favourite. I didn’t love her, but I didn’t hate her either. I was just never sure what I felt about her. Well, at some points I did like her quite a lot, while at others I hated her with a passion, but both of these moments were few. Mostly I just felt indifferent towards her. Which is strange, I know, because she is the main character and everything depends on her choices, but I never quite cared for her. I loved or hated the others, and I always felt MUCH more invested in them than in Mare. If I had to rank all the characters, she’d probably be somewhere in the middle. And that is more than I can say for our next contender – Tiberias Calore. Yes! Note my refusal to call him Cal! I mean what an idiot. Like, ugh. Just ugh.
I really, really, really hate him. He just did not endear himself to me. Like, at all. Firstly, he does not have much more depth than a toddler’s inflatable swimming pool. Like, I get it. I really do. He’s strong! He’s bold! He has a good heart! And I do appreciate that. I appreciate the fact that he’s not willing to give up on his family, which was the one touching thing about Tiberias Calore, but otherwise, what?! How or you supposedly so great but can’t make a decision to save your life?! Did we really have to wait till the end of the third book to finally hear you make a decision about your country, and, oh, make the wrong one?!! Really, Tiberias?! Oh, and even after he becomes Norta’s king he’s not sure what to do with his kingdom. Well, congratulations! This is what he wanted, wasn’t it?!! He would have made a useless king anyways. And this isn’t it! Oh no, it isn’t! What is his damn problem about picking sides?! Just do it! All that hand wringing was really annoying. I just did. not. like. him. (As you may have got). He was an insufferable, kind of insensitive, indecisive prat. If I did the ranking thing, he’d be one of the ones at the very bottom. (if you like him then I totally respect your choice, this is all my opinion.) Yes, so, anyways! Moving on to Maven Calore! (this is going to be lengthy) I literally LOVED him in Red Queen and was therefore heartbroken at the ending, Maven HOW COULD YOUUUU!!! *sobs hysterically* I mean I did not see that coming AT ALL (or I wouldn’t have seen it coming had I not already been spoiled from the net) but he made a really great villain for this series, like, really. One thing I absolutely love about this series is how the author has made the antagonist so sympathizable and justifiable, while at the same time showing how the protagonists are equally, if not more, justified in trying to stop him. I honestly think Maven Calore is a much, much better character than Tiberias Calore, and literally that ending of War Storm destroyed me. How could you, Mare?!! But again, Mare was perfectly justified in doing so, so….. eh. Oh well. I think the bottom line is, EVERYONE WAS JUSTIFIEDDDDD (well, most of the time. And now this is getting confusing. So moving on to the other characters! Kilorn was really adorable, though we didn’t see quite a lot of him. Evangeline was amazing. Her pov chapters were an insight into her life and how she, too, was struggling with her family and how she isn’t as ice cold inside as she is mostly portrayed outside. We didn’t really see much of Ptolemus, but he was nice enough. He was much nicer through Evangeline’s eyes than he was portrayed through Mare’s as in the first couple of books. He and Evangeline were a wholesome, dangerous sibling duo. Elane’s character wasn’t really explored, but she seemed sweet. Iris and her family were ruthless, power minded and cunning. Go, strong female leads! Talking about those, Cameron Cole and Diana Farley – different, but really bold and ready to do what she believed in and bring equality for all. Two great characters! Anabel Lerolan (Tiberias’ granny) was a biased, narrow minded old silver who I didn’t really like much. Elara Merandus- ELARA MERANDUS WAS HORRIBLE. I literally hate her so much right now. She was indirectly responsible for the death of two characters and directly responsible for the death of many others. Horrible is not a strong enough word. Julian Jacos and Sara Skonos were quite supportive of Mare. I’m almost sure I’ve missed someone out, but I apologize for that, whomsoever it is! All in all, Red Queen was a really, really, REALLY great series, and I thank the stars for the day I started reading it. It’s got a really interesting web of a storyline and great characters (well, most of them). It’s very nicely written and I loved it!!! If you love fantasy and struggles for the throne, please try this series! And now, onto Broken Throne for me! 😀