Mare Barrow is thrown into a world that she has been shunned from her entire life. The Universe that Aveyard creates is very unique and spectacular! All the elements for a fantasy novel series are in this book.
Let’s dive in!
“Mare Barrow’s world is dividing by blood – those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers an ability she didn’t know she had. Except … her blood is Red.
To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince and Mare against her own heart.
Like the synopsis said, this society is based on blood. People with red blood are inferior to those with silver. My hat goes off to Aveyard because this universe has so many elements and they all fit seamlessly together. From an authors view, dividing a society based on blood is genius!
The Kingdom is run by Silvers, forcing the Reds to battle in a war that has been going on for centuries. There are different allies and enemies that Mare has to keep track of and in the end she makes a choice that she believes to be right for her.
Silvers have abilities. They are feared and worshipped because of those abilities. Aveyard does a great job of explaining each power since there are so many types of abilities. Both Cal and Maven have the ability of wielding fire.
As a character she goes through a whirlwind of events very quickly from being a lowly Red, pick pocket to a glamorous Princess in matter of days. As a reader everything transitioned smoothly because the novel is in first person, we are experiencing the events with Mare.
She is navigating territory that is dangerous. Lying about her blood could get her killed but not doing what the Silver’s say also results in death. It is lose lose situation. Mare makes the most of it!
Cal is the heir to the throne. He has the responsibility of an entire Kingdom resting on his shoulders and he does not want to let his father down. He is strong, temperamental and stubborn which is infuriating to Mare because she can see a good side to him.
I won’t spoil anything for but I thoroughly enjoy Cal’s arc throughout this book and wonder where he will end up.
Maven is Cal’s half brother and second in line to thrown. He seems calm and understanding of his role as the younger prince and Mare relates to his situation. He is living in Cal’s shadow and Mare is living in her sister’s shadow which is why they connect so quickly.
The overall plot of this first novel is good. This is a fairly easy read (I read this book in one day) and there were obstacles that Mare had to overcome consistently throughout the book. The pacing was great!
The entire time there is a strategic plan for the main characters when BAM, plot twist! I did have a tiny inkling of ‘this is too good to be true’ the farther into the plot I went but in the end it all comes together.
The climax is well worth the wait because there is death, betrayal and an epic battle. I am very excited for the next books in this series!