Book Reviews,  Liv's Bookshelf

The Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard Review

This post contains affiliate links.

The Red Queen series is definitely in my top 5 best book series list (a great potential post, maybe?). It’s thought-provoking, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, and extremely entertaining. The amount of powerful quotes from this series is overwhelming, but I wanted to add a highlight from each book. I picked these quotes carefully, making sure that I included one that introduced the book’s title.

Before you read any further though…SPOILER ALERT!!!!! Seriously, if you’re considering reading the Red Queen series for the first time; please, please don’t read this review yet. Believe me, you don’t want to ruin these books for yourself. So, if you’re still reading this, I assume you’ve read the series already. Last chance!! Okay…here we go!

Red Queen

“I am the king and you could’ve been my Red Queen.
Now you are nothing.”

Right away, I was intrigued by the dystopian world that Aveyard created. I have to admit, I spent most of the book trying to figure out what genre it was! I am also amazed at how vague the time period was. There are hints of medieval and post-apocalypse in the world of Norta, and it’s a blend of times that I have never read about before.

One of my favorite “themes” from this book, and really the whole series, is how Aveyard creates a fairy-tale like scenario but then turns in completely around into a nightmare. The main character, Mare Barrow, is taken from her poor home and put in a place of royalty, yet she is quick to realize how terrible her situation really is. Then, she is engaged to a prince, but that turns out to be a mask of deceit and betrayal.

Probably the most memorable “scene” from this book is towards the end, when Maven’s betrayal is revealed and Elara forces Cal to kill his father. Aveyard’s vivid writing allows her readers to visually capture what is happening. I have never read a chapter like that before and it was quite breathtaking.

Glass Sword

“If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.”

I felt this book moved a little slower than the rest, but I understand that it’s because of how the plot was developing. It was really cool to watch Mare’s character “grow up” in this book and it helped solidify who she would become in the future. I like that Aveyard turned a “coming of age” theme into something more substantial and deep. The decisions that these teenagers had to make were complex and she wasn’t afraid to make the suffer the consequences of their actions.

I love Shade and Farley’s story, but I hate that it’s tragically cut short by his death. (Actually, I think he dies in the next book…honestly I can’t remember what happens in each book sometimes.) But anyway, I loved this relationship but just wish they could have had more time together.

The cliffhanger ending to Glass Sword is probably the best “suspenseful ending in the series. I’m so glad I had the next book on my shelf to read right away. I can’t image waiting months to know what happened! Let me know, are you a binge reader/ TV show watcher, or would you rather read/watch as a series comes out? I’m a binge reader/watcher all the way!!

King’s Cage

“Now I’m in a king’s cage. But so is he. My chains are Silent Stone. His is the crown.”

This section of this book dealing with Mare’s captivity was so incredibly hard to read. Maven’s character was so unpredictable, so I had no way of knowing what would happen. That’s another thing I love about Aveyard’s writing: I had a very hard time predicting anything in this series! With some books, it’s easy to guess who will end up with who, or how it’s all going to work out, but that’s definitely not the case with this series. It will leave you guessing right up to the end!

Cameron was an interesting character that I would have loved to know more about. I think her character and the setting of the techie towns would be another great short story idea!

Iris was another character that was extremely fascinating. I wondered what her role would be moving forward, and I hoped she would help bring about Maven’s downfall.

War Storm

“This world is a storm I helped create. We all did, in ways big and small. With steps we could not fathom, paths we never thought to walk.”

This book took me a while to read just because of how long it is. All of the battles and war councils really kept me alert, though. Aveyard did such a good job of building the suspense and intrigue for the final “battle”. I think the final standoff between Cal and Mare during the battle of Archeon was the best climax and also the perfect mirror scenario to the first book when Cal chose Maven over Mare. We all know that didn’t end well; thankfully, he chose right this time!

I didn’t like Evangeline very much at the beginning of the series, but her character grew on me. I think she’s now one of my favorite characters and had one of the biggest personal developments in this story. It’s funny how you can hate a character for so long, but then end up happy for them later.

Maven’s life and death is such a traumatic story in the Red Queen series, and I think the way Aveyard ended it was amazing. I had a feeling that Mare would end up being the one to kill Maven, but I didn’t expect the way it happened at all. He could have died so many times in this book and by the hands of many different people, but I think it was right that Mare did it, even if she didn’t want or choose to. I’m so glad Cal wasn’t the one to do it; that would have been a little too cruel, I think. Maven is one of those villain characters that is so easy to hate, but also so easy to love. Like Cal, I truly hoped that they could get to him and save him from the clutches of his shattered mind.

Broken Throne

“Who can say where the paths lead, or how the scales may balance in another decade? I suppose I can, but that is my curse. To watch, to see, until the ending of all things. We destroy, we rebuild, we destroy again. It is the constant of our kind. We are all a god’s chosen,
and we are all a god’s cursed.”

I am so glad the series didn’t end with War Storm! As much as I loved the ending, I did hope for more information about Norta and its history. The format of this book was different from the others; letters, notes, and short stories made up this final book in the Red Queen Series.

I am so fascinated by the crumbs of information about Norta and how that world came to be. If Aveyard wrote nothing but Nortan history, I would soak it up like a sponge!

As I read this book, I was secretly hoping that Aveyard would give at least a hint about Mare and Cal’s relationship. I almost cried when I read how they ended up together. I don’t think I’ve shipped a couple so hard before!

This quote from Jon is the perfect quote highlight for this book because of how incredibly powerful it was; It summed up the entire series perfectly!


Wow, that was a lengthy post!! I could have written so much more, as I didn’t talk about so many characters and storylines, but then this post would never end! Thanks so much for taking the time to read all of that. If you read this entire post, then you’re amazing!! If you’re interested in more book reviews, click here.

What other YA fantasy series should I read? I’ve read the Hunger Games trilogy, Divergent and Mazerunner series. Give me your recommendations, please!!

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: