Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Topics of Interest: loyalty, betrayal, superpowers, social justice, family, power, rebellion, royalty
Curriculum Connections: English, Equity Studies
Blurb: I’m a Red, through and through. Oh, I may not look it because I’m pale of skin, but Red is the colour I blush and the colour I bleed.
There’s no changing this fact. I’m a Red and I’ll always be one. It is my destiny in life; it cannot be altered or bartered away.
I will never rule a kingdom and I will never have power. And I’m okay with that. Power is a dangerous game, after all. Once you have it you’ll do anything, anything to keep it. You’ll have no boundaries, no morals. You’ll be as soulless as the silver blood running through your veins.
That’s why the Reds need Mare Barrow so badly. Mare, in Red Queen, is betrothed to the prince. Rulers of Norta, his family, and its royal court, control the Reds with the supernatural abilities only Silvers are born having. The Reds are enslaved to the Silvers, forced by fear and threat into their factory work, hard labour, and ongoing wars. The Reds have everything to lose, and the Silvers stand by and observe with amusement.
By fluke, the Silvers discover that Mare, a lowly Red, has a superpower all of her own. To explain away this impossibility, they move quickly to hide her in broad daylight: Mare becomes a long-lost orphaned “Silver” girl who will marry the King’s youngest son. Fear of death keeps Mare in line, and she knows it’s only a matter of time before she faces an “accidental” tragedy that will remove her from the court, and the earth, forever.
But Mare recognizes that she holds the key to changing life as they know it. Her red blood has a superpower of its own, and that fact means that now it’s the Silvers who have everything to lose.
Red and Silver. Epic battle; epic rebellion; epic betrayal. Pick your side.
Flavour: “In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don’t believe that. The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.” (11)
“’Thinking all Silvers are evil is just as wrong as thinking all Reds are inferior,’ he says, his voice grave. ‘What my people are doing to you and yours is wrong to the deepest levels of humanity. Oppressing you, trapping you in an endless cycle of poverty and death, just because we think you are different from us? That is not right. And as any student of history can tell you, it will end poorly.’” (131)
“The world is Silver, but it is also gray. There is no black-and-white.” (215)
“’Their methods are your own fault. You make us work, you make us bleed, you make us die for your wars and factories and the little comforts you don’t even notice, all because we are different. How can you expect us to let that stand?’” (298)