I wanted this book from the minute I read the blurb. It was suppose to be a sort of The Selection meets The Hunger Games. I’m shallow. It sounded perfect. I usually hate it when new books are held up in comparison to other YA best sellers, but in this case, the hype wasn’t far from the truth.
I loved it. It was just what I wanted, and when I hit the last ten percent, I screamed,”I knew it!” I might have woken a slumbering child, but she went back to sleep eventually, and I felt so vindicated! I have gotten spoiled by publisher ARCs, so it was hard to spend almost $10 on this ebook, but I feel like it was worth it. Will you? It’s hard to say. The book wasn’t perfect, and my five star rating is probably biased by the high I’m feeling from the ending, but it was a good, solid read, and I will line up for the sequel. So, here’s the deets — Mare is a red blood, a member of the lower class who is essentially enslaved by the silver bloods. Silver bloods have a variety of powers that give them a distinct advantage over the powerless reds. When a chance encounter and a fateful accident publicly reveal Mare has powers no red should have, the King decides to play her off as a long-lost silver blood heiress. There are things that will make you go ooh: violent magical duels, an underdog girl who can’t follow the rules, a queen who can burrow into your thoughts, and a pretty ingenious rebel faction. There are things that might make you boo: conflicted teen love (though it is mocked by other characters in the book, so points for that), the feeling that this book is likeable but only average for a good portion of the first half, some lingering feelings that there are some scenes that might be a tiny bit derivative of something you’ve read before — like, say, a certain trilogy with arenas where the oppressed are forced to view violence. This was a book with a hype monster behind it, and I wasn’t convinced it was going to live up to my expectations, but by the end, it did.
This book is available in the MHS library.