This YA novel takes place in a dystopian society where people are divided into two groups based on their blood: red or silver. Silvers make up the ruling class whereas Reds are confined to a life of servitude.
But, one Red stands out from the rest: Mare Barrow.
In terms of storytelling, this novel hits all of the right points. Great prose, imaginative, and excellent character development. What elevates this novel, for me, from a good read to a great read are two themes driving this story.
Number One: This story highlights the injustice of shackling a person to an arbitrary system based on physical attributes. One does not choose to be born with red or silver blood; however, that trait determines one’s fate and placement in society. By creating this negation of justice through fiction, the author reveals the essential nature of a fair society, one in which people are free to develop their talents and choose their professions.
Number Two: In a similar vein as The Hunger Games and Divergent, Red Queen offers YA readers (and some of us adults who delve into these books) a female hero who exudes courage and thereby demonstrates virtue as something that can transcend its usual gender delegation. In the novel, Mare Barrow refuses to cow to the ruling class. Upon reflection, Mare Barrow as a character also shows the reader about what is possible for young women, that they can fight, be strong, and be the hero.