Published by Harper Collins on February 10th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Royalty
Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?
Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.
To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play 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, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.
Before this book was even released the buzz surrounding it was HUGE.
I couldn’t resist.
This book was everywhere with nothing but praise about it. And why shouldn’t there be? The promise of x-men (!!!) like powers and rebellion all the while being a fish in a shark’s den. Sounds all kinds of epic, RIGHT?!?
Except it wasn’t.
I tried SO hard. Honestly, the first time I read it, I actually DNF’d. I got a little more than halfway in (pg. 217) and just. couldn’t. do it.
But, but, BUT! Everyone kept on ranting and raving and I just had a burning desire to read this thing even if it killed me
ADMIRE MY WILLPOWER!. CUE COFFEE! And, I’m kind of glad I did because the last 50 pages definitely redeemed this book in my opinion.
But let’s start from the beginning – Here’s what I didn’t like (CUE LIST!):
*I read this a while ago and I don’t remember everything
I’m not good at taking notes but I’ll try my best!
- THE NAME MARE: I’m sorry. I just can’t deal with it. Every time I read her name I would RAGE because all I could think of was a female horse. And it was weird. It felt like My Little Pony: X-men addition (that’d be pretty epic though….someone needs to get on this!)
- Mare: Besides the name, I just didn’t really care for her. She wasn’t horrible or anything per se, I just didn’t like her either. Honestly, I didn’t really take as many notes on her personality as I should have
for shamebut she was just kind of prickly and mean and…doesn’t always make good decisions. Oh, and she’s kind of a downer. Which I get with her situation and all but dang girl….have a little hope. OH! And she was so mean to her friend Kilorn. She could protect him but whenever he tries to protect her she feels “betrayed” and I get that she feels like her sacrifice was all for naught or whatever but COME ON! He was just trying to show you he caaarrees (and I don’t ship that ship).HOWEVER, she is VERY dedicated and pragmatic. So I liked that!
See, I can be nice.
- What in the world are you?! (hahaha…): I’ve come to realize I don’t like in-between world that much, or, at least in this case I didn’t. Either be a medieval-like fantasy or make it modern/futuristic. I’ve read books before where I’ve enjoyed this type of setting, but UGHHHH it just grated on my nerves in this book. And I get it: the whole feudal system/separation between classes. But no. Just no.
- Too glossed over: This book is definitely lacking depth in both scene description and emotions. Ex: one time she and Cal are dancing and like a sentence later they’re done and in a different room. *looks around confused* what? Did I miss something? And I feel like there could have been SO. MUCH. DEPTH. So many issues/themes that could’ve been brought up and dealt with and really delved into. But I feel like it was very glossed over.
- Been there, done that: Cliches. Cliches EVERYWHERE. Okay, sort of. I DEFINITELY got vibes from other YA books. And I get it: there are a ton out there so you’re bound to find similar themes/plots. This book seems to be influenced by it’s predecessors a little too much.
- Love interests? No thanks: I think this says enough about my feelings about the boys in this book. Maven was sweet, but other than that I don’t remember anything. I appreciated Cal’s kindness and loyalty (very admired), but I feel like a definite lack of depth there. Neither one seemed…substantial. Until the end. THEN they came into their own a bit. But it took long enough.
- HUGE PLOT HOLE: The following is a plot hole that I’m not sure if spoiler or not so I’ll hide it – ye be warned (it’s just about hiding/how they hid her true blood) : View Spoiler »HOW DO THEY NOT KNOW SHE’S SILVER?! It’s sort of explained, but not well. 1. She’s in the blood base – none of those conniving people thought to look her up? EVERYONE WAS SUSPICIOUS! 2. The whole point is that she didn’t know she was silver and people believed that. You can’t tell me that she didn’t BLEED one time in her life and realize “OH, huh, my blood isn’t red but SILVER!”. She climbed trees and got all dirty and YOU KNOW SHE GOT CUT UP AT ONE POINT! Also….her period – DUH! « Hide Spoiler
Okay, so I know that’s a lot of bad (hence why I DNF’d), but it got better. Sort of. The problem is, I can’t say much without spoilers, so it’s very general.
- It just got better: I feel like the book came more into its own as it went on. More depth, more action, and just more. Crap just goes down and I was all GUNG HO AND YEAHHHHH!
- Welp…didn’t see that one coming. Something happened that I didn’t expect and LOVED IT!
- The ending. A lot of other people said the ending was what really made the book good and I can attest to that. It’s the main reason I picked the book up again. It helped make more sense of things and was just entertaining. I can’t actually say anything about it (no spoilers here!), but it definitely changed my mind about the book and actually make me somewhat excited for book 2.
Okay, that was LONG AND RAMBLING and not really helpful regarding why I liked it. I regret nothing.
Basically this: I didn’t love it. I didn’t really love the characters (they weren’t horrible, just nothing exceptional either), it was overdone (cliche), lacked depth, and just eh. But the end…I can’t really say anything because *spoilers*, but it definitely changed my mind. Still nothing exceptional, but definitely better.