Release Date: February 10th, 2015
Mare Barrow is a Red; that is, her blood is red, and that makes her a commoner. All Reds are considered inferior to the Silvers, the nobility who are close to gods with their different powers. They are cruel, ruling over the Reds with unquestionable authority. After a chance meeting with a man from the palace, Mare is summoned there the next day to work as a servant, miraculously escaping her inevitable conscription in the war. Her palace duties throw her into a crowd gathered for the competition of the crown prince’s hand in marriage. Mare cannot believe her eyes when she sees that the man she met the night before, is none other than the crown prince himself.
Mare accidentally produces a surge of lightening in an attempt to protect herself. Mare, just as surprised as the Silvers, flees for her life, but is captured. The King and Queen cannot let people know what she truly is, so they form a lie that she is really a Silver, not a Red. In addition, Mare is betrothed to Cal’s younger brother, Maven, as a way to secure her secret. Meanwhile, Cal is betrothed to another. Mare and Cal, both are betrothed to other people, have an obvious attraction to one another.
The theme of this story is betrayal: the secret romance of Mare and Cal; Mare’s involvement in the Scarlet Guard, a resistance group trying to overthrow the royal family; Maven’s own participation in the Scarlet Guard; and the betrayal of family against family that unravels at the end.
I loved this first book of the series. Well done, Victoria Aveyard, for writing such a captivating debut!
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