This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But 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.
My Rating: 2 Stars
I actually finished this book over a week ago and have been struggling with this review. When this book was first recommended to me by a friend, I was excited to read it – the blurb was interesting and it had overwhelmingly good reviews. While I still think that the premise is well thought out, and the plot twists were clever, I haven’t decided if I want to continue with the series.
The main problem I had while reading this book was my lack of connection to Mare’s character. While she started out interesting and just a little bit mouthy (one of the many traits I love in a good heroine), I felt that the relationships she formed with everyone but Maven were shallow. Her relationship with Cal honestly kind of confused me. They had very few moments alone together, certainly not enough to fall in love.Their entire attraction seemed pretty shallow – which is fine! In a series with 3 books, the author has plenty of time to develop a romantic relationship. Instead of Cal being “in love” with Mare, I wish the author would have established them as friends with an attraction in the first book, and maybe used the second book to change the nature of their friendship. Hinging Maven’s entire plan on Cal’s “love” for Mare seemed crazy to me! I just kept thinking that it was too soon.
Although the twist at the end of the book surprised the hell out of me, it was surprisingly well foreshadowed. Mare was warned about the villain around mid-book and told that “Anyone can betray anyone”, a mantra that Mare repeats I knew something would happen, and I suspected that it would have something to do with my favorite Prince, but I was shocked by how in depth the deception was.
If you want to avoid spoilers, skip over this next paragraph!
I generally avoid spoilers in my reviews, but I had to talk about Maven a little bit. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I want him to redeem himself. He clearly has feelings for Mare (ones that I feel are much more genuine than Cal’s as Maven actually SPENT TIME with Mare in this book). For me, he was the only secondary character with any real depth. His struggle between his emotions and his mom’s wishes at the end of the book was fun to read and just a little heartbreaking at the same time. What makes him a really great villain is that he is relatable. I understand why he feels the way he does about his brother and father and would LOVE to read a book solely from his perspective.
My Takeaway: While the premise of the book was well crafted, and it was fast-paced and action packed, I had a difficult time connecting with the main character, Mare. I haven’t decided if I will read more of this series, but if I do, it will be for Maven, not Mare.