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If you’re a fan of the young adult fantasy genre, chances are you’ve heard of “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard. As a New York Times bestseller, this book has captivated readers with its imaginative world-building, compelling characters, and thrilling plot.

But does the audiobook version of “Red Queen” live up to the hype? In this review, we’ll explore the experience of listening to the audiobook, as well as dive into the book’s key themes and elements of fantasy.

Key Takeaways:

  • The audiobook version of “Red Queen” provides an engaging listening experience for fans of the young adult fantasy genre.
  • The book’s themes of rebellion and resistance, as well as its unique elements of fantasy, make it stand out in its genre.
  • The narration quality and voice actors in the audiobook version are noteworthy, enhancing the overall storytelling experience.
  • Victoria Aveyard’s writing style effectively conveys the characters’ motivations and emotions, as well as the book’s suspenseful plot twists.
  • Overall, “Red Queen” is a must-read (or listen) for anyone interested in the young adult fantasy genre.

Overview of “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard

If you’re looking for an epic fantasy adventure, “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard is a must-read. The story takes place in a society divided by blood – those with red blood are second-class citizens while those with silver blood possess extraordinary abilities and rule over the rest.

The book follows the journey of Mare Barrow, a young woman from a poverty-stricken red blood family who suddenly discovers she possesses powers that could change the course of history. Along the way, she becomes embroiled in a dangerous game of political intrigue and rebellion as she navigates a treacherous world where nothing is as it seems.

The plot of “Red Queen” is suspenseful and action-packed, with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers on the edge of their seats. The characters are complex and dynamic, with each playing an integral role in the story. Aveyard’s world-building is rich and immersive, with vivid descriptions that bring the world of the book to life.

If you’re a fan of YA fantasy with a hint of rebellion and an underdog hero, “Red Queen” is the book for you.

Victoria Aveyard: The Author Behind “Red Queen”

Victoria Aveyard is a young adult fiction author known for her fantasy and dystopian novels. Before writing “Red Queen,” Aveyard worked as a screenwriter and wrote a number of TV spec scripts.

Aveyard has published several books, including the “Red Queen” series, “Realm Breaker,” and the “Broken Throne” novella collection.

Her works have received critical acclaim from various publications, including The New York Times and Publisher’s Weekly.

Aveyard’s writing style often features strong female characters, intricate world-building, and a focus on themes of power, politics, and rebellion.

Notable Achievements

Book Publication Year Award
“Red Queen” 2015 Gemmell Award for Best Debut Novel
“Red Queen” 2016 Goodreads Choice Award for Debut Goodreads Author
“Glass Sword” 2017 New York Times Best Seller

From her remarkable debut novel “Red Queen” to her subsequent bestselling works, Victoria Aveyard has established herself as a major voice in the young adult fantasy genre.

The Fantasy Genre in “Red Queen”

“Red Queen” is a thrilling novel that falls under the fantasy genre. The story is set in the Kingdom of Norta, where society is divided into two classes: red-blooded commoners and silver-blooded elites with special abilities. The primary fantasy element here is the presence of superpowers, which the silver bloods possess.

The world-building aspect of the novel is masterful, as Victoria Aveyard creates a unique universe that distinguishes itself from other fantasy novels. The author focuses on vivid descriptions that transport readers into a different realm and provide immersive experiences. The symbolism in the story, including the crown and the colors red and silver, adds to the fantasy element of the novel, and highlights social and political dynamics.

Throughout the novel, Aveyard weaves elements of fantasy seamlessly into the plot. The superpowers and abilities of the silver-blooded people add an exciting element to the story that contributes to the overall suspense and engagement of the narrative. For instance, the way the different abilities of the silvers are portrayed – like Cal’s manipulation of fire and Mare’s lightning powers – are some of the unique aspects that make “Red Queen” stand out from other novels in the genre.

The fantasy elements in “Red Queen” elevate the book’s themes and messages by providing powerful allegories to real-world issues. One of the most notable elements is the use of superpowers as a metaphor for privilege and marginalization. This helps to highlight issues related to social inequality, discrimination, and the consequences of standing up against unjust social systems.

Fantasy Elements Highlighted in “Red Queen”

Element Description
Superpowers The silver-blooded elites possess unique abilities that distinguish them from other classes in society.
World-building Aveyard creates a unique and immersive universe that transports readers to a different realm.
Symbolism The use of symbols like the crown and the colors red and silver adds depth and meaning to the story.
Allegory Superpowers serve as a metaphor for privilege and marginalization, providing commentary on real-world issues.

Rebellion and Resistance in “Red Queen”

“Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard is a tale fueled by the themes of rebellion and resistance. These themes are present throughout the book, driving the plot and shaping the actions of the characters. They offer a rich commentary on the social and political dynamics at play in the world of the story and the society at large.

At its core, “Red Queen” is a story of opposing forces, with the downtrodden and oppressed Red bloods rebelling against the ruling class of Silver bloods who possess powerful supernatural abilities. The resistance to the oppressive regime is a central theme in the book that motivates many of the characters’ actions.

The rebellion and resistance themes in “Red Queen” offer a poignant reflection on the nature of power and its corrupting influence. The story presents a compelling case for the need to question authority and fight against injustice, even in the face of overwhelming odds.


The Significance of Rebellion and Resistance Themes in “Red Queen”

Themes Significance
Opposing Forces The conflict between the oppressed and the ruling class drives the story and shapes its characters.
Nature of Power The book offers a reflection on the corrupting influence of power and the need to question authority.
Questioning Injustice The story presents a compelling case for the need to fight against injustice, even in the face of overwhelming odds.

“Red Queen” provides a thought-provoking exploration of the themes of rebellion and resistance and their significance in society. The book offers an engaging and entertaining story that makes a powerful statement on the importance of standing up against oppressive forces.

Audiobook Experience of “Red Queen”

The audiobook version of “Red Queen” offers a unique way to experience Victoria Aveyard’s thrilling tale. The narration quality is excellent, with the voice actors bringing the characters to life in a captivating manner.

Listeners can enjoy the story from a different perspective, immersing themselves in the world of “Red Queen” without the need to focus on reading. The audiobook format also allows for added layering, such as music or sound effects, to enhance the overall experience.

Overall, the audiobook version of “Red Queen” is a highly recommended option for fans of audio narration and those looking for a new, immersive way to enjoy the story.

Characters in “Red Queen”

As with any great story, the characters in “Red Queen” play a crucial role in driving the narrative forward. At the center of the story is Mare Barrow, a young woman with a talent for thievery and a hatred for the ruling Silver elite. Throughout the story, Mare undergoes significant character development, transitioning from a scared and angry teenager to a powerful and determined leader. Her journey is complemented by a supporting cast of characters, each with their own motivations and agendas.

The main characters in “Red Queen” include:

  1. Mare Barrow: The protagonist of the story and a member of the Red lower class. Her abilities and connections draw her into the world of the Silvers, where she discovers she has powers of her own.
  2. Cal Calore: The firstborn son of the King and Queen of the Silvers. He becomes a love interest and ally to Mare, despite being born to the very people they are fighting against.
  3. Kilorn Warren: Mare’s childhood friend and fellow Red. He joins the Scarlet Guard rebellion alongside Mare.
  4. Evangeline Samos: The daughter of a Silver nobleman and a potential rival to Mare for Cal’s affections. She proves to be a complex character, with her own motivations and loyalties.

The characters in “Red Queen” are richly detailed, with their own unique backgrounds and personalities. Their relationships with one another are also complex, as alliances shift and loyalties are tested. The character development throughout the story is masterfully done, as the characters grow and change in response to the events of the narrative.

Strengths and Weaknesses of “Red Queen” Characters

Character Strengths Weaknesses
Mare Barrow She is a determined leader and resilient fighter Her anger and impulsiveness can sometimes cloud her judgment
Cal Calore He is a skilled fighter and cunning strategist His loyalty to his family can put him at odds with the rebellion
Kilorn Warren He is fiercely loyal to Mare and the rebellion His lack of powers and training can make him vulnerable in battle
Evangeline Samos She is a skilled fighter and strategist Her loyalty to the Silver cause can conflict with her feelings for Cal

The character development in “Red Queen” is a standout aspect of the book, with each character’s strengths and weaknesses provoking thoughtful analysis. The relationships and alliances between characters add depth to the story, making it a captivating tale of political intrigue and rebellion.

Plot Twists and Pacing in “Red Queen”

One of the standout features of “Red Queen” is its expert use of plot twists and pacing to keep readers engaged and on the edge of their seats. The book features several unexpected plot twists that turn the storyline on its head and leave readers reeling.

The pacing of events in “Red Queen” is also expertly managed, with moments of intense action balanced with periods of slower development to add depth to the story and its characters. The action sequences are well-crafted, with each fight and battle feeling distinct and memorable.

The result is a book that is nearly impossible to put down. The plot twists and pacing of events keep the reader’s attention firmly focused on the story, with each new revelation driving the narrative forward.

Examples of Plot Twists in “Red Queen”

Plot Twist Impact on Storyline
The revelation of Mare’s abilities Turns the world of the story upside down and sets Mare on a new path
The betrayal of a close ally Changes the dynamics of the rebellion and sets the stage for future conflict
The revelation of Maven’s true nature Shocks readers and alters their perception of key characters and events leading up to the twist

“Red Queen” is a masterclass in effective storytelling and pacing that keeps readers invested in the storyline from start to finish. The book’s numerous plot twists and well-managed events keep readers engaged and guessing at every turn, making for a truly thrilling reading experience.

Writing Style in “Red Queen”

Victoria Aveyard’s writing style in “Red Queen” is noteworthy. The prose in the novel is descriptive and engaging, allowing readers to envision the world and its characters vividly. Aveyard’s use of dialogue is also effective, showcasing her characters’ personalities and motivations while moving the plot forward.

The writing style is also appropriate for the genre, as Aveyard embraces fantasy elements while maintaining a grounded tone. Her descriptions are imaginative without being overbearing, and she seamlessly blends action and exposition. Overall, the writing style in “Red Queen” is a standout feature and enhances the overall storytelling experience.

Red Queen writing

Example Quotes:

“The world is silver. But its light blue in the daylight. And at the nosebleed heights where I spend substantial parts of my day, the colors shift and change, blending together like a watercolor left out in the rain.”
“There’s nothing wrong with being a lizard either. Or a mouse. Or a wolf. Or a boy.”

Reception and Critical Acclaim of “Red Queen”

“Red Queen” has garnered plenty of attention since its release, opening to much critical acclaim and mixed reviews. While some hailed Victoria Aveyard’s debut as a fresh and exciting addition to the YA fantasy genre, others found it to be predictable and formulaic.

Despite some criticisms, “Red Queen” has still managed to gather a significant following, with many readers drawn to the book’s engaging themes and complex characters. The novel has also spawned several sequels and even inspired a potential film adaptation.

Reviews of the audiobook version of “Red Queen” have been equally mixed. While some listeners praise the quality of the narration and voice acting, others have found it lacking in certain areas.

Positive Reviews

Publication Review
The Guardian “A thrilling fantasy that will hook you from the first chapter.”
BookPage “Aveyard’s debut is an imaginative and poignant tale that sets the foundation for a strong series.”

Negative Reviews

  • “The story is often predictable and lacks real surprises.”
  • “The world-building is flimsy and unconvincing.”
  • “The audiobook narration can be lackluster and fails to bring the story to life.”

Overall, “Red Queen” has left a lasting impact on many readers in the YA fantasy world. While some may find fault with aspects of the story, there is no denying the creativity and skill Victoria Aveyard brings to her writing. The book’s critical reception and subsequent success demonstrate the enduring appeal of well-written and thought-provoking fantasy tales.

Themes and Messages in “Red Queen”

While “Red Queen” is a thrilling and action-packed fantasy novel, it also contains deeper themes and messages that make it a thought-provoking read. Through allegorical and symbolic elements, the book offers societal commentary and explores the complexities of power and resistance.

One prominent theme in “Red Queen” is the idea of class and social inequality. The world-building aspects of the story feature a stark division between the ruling elite and the oppressed lower classes. This theme is further explored through the protagonist’s struggle to navigate this divide and challenge the status quo.

Another key message conveyed through “Red Queen” is the importance of resistance and rebellion against unjust systems of power. The storyline of rebellion against a tyrannical monarch serves as an allegory for societal resistance against oppressive institutions and political regimes.

Symbolism also plays a significant role in “Red Queen,” with elements such as the colors of red and silver representing power, blood, and the division between classes. This symbolism adds depth and layers to the story, inviting readers to delve beyond the surface-level action and adventure.

Overall, “Red Queen” offers more than just a thrilling ride through a fantastical world. Its themes and messages provoke thoughtful reflection on societal issues and the human struggle for power and justice.

Comparison to Other Works in the Genre

When compared to other works in the fantasy genre, “Red Queen” stands out with its unique blend of action, romance, and political intrigue. The book combines the dystopian setting of “The Hunger Games” with the royal court’s power struggles reminiscent of Game of Thrones, providing readers with a thrilling, layered storyline.

While “Red Queen” shares some similarities with popular series like Sarah J. Maas’s “Throne of Glass” and Leigh Bardugo’s “Shadow and Bone,” it sets itself apart with its focus on themes of classism and rebellion, making it a standout addition to any fantasy fan’s bookshelf.

Overall, “Red Queen” is a fantastic choice for readers looking for a fresh take on the fantasy genre, with plenty of action, romance, and powerful messages woven throughout.

Final Verdict: Should You Listen to “Red Queen”?

After a thorough analysis of “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard, we can confidently recommend the audiobook version to all fans of the fantasy genre. The audiobook offers a unique and immersive experience, enhancing the well-crafted story with exceptional voice acting and narration.

The characters are well-developed and relatable, with their motivations and relationships driving the plot forward. The theme of rebellion and resistance adds depth and significance to the narrative, making for an engaging and thought-provoking read.

Victoria Aveyard’s writing style is effective and fluid, with a good balance of descriptive language and dialogue. The pacing of events and plot twists keeps the reader on their toes, adding to the overall suspense of the story.

While the book has garnered some criticisms, its critical acclaim and positive reception speak for themselves. Its unique blend of fantasy elements and societal commentary make it a standout work within the genre.

In conclusion, we highly recommend “Red Queen” as an excellent choice for those looking for a captivating and immersive audiobook experience.


What is the main storyline of “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard?

“Red Queen” is a fantasy novel set in a divided society where people are divided into two classes based on the color of their blood. The protagonist, Mare Barrow, who has red blood, discovers that she possesses a supernatural ability that challenges the social order and leads her to join a rebellion against the oppressive ruling elite.

Who is Victoria Aveyard?

Victoria Aveyard is the author of “Red Queen” and several other bestselling novels. She is known for her captivating storytelling and imaginative world-building, garnering acclaim for her contributions to the fantasy genre.

What are the fantasy elements present in “Red Queen”?

“Red Queen” incorporates various fantasy elements such as supernatural abilities, magical artifacts, and a unique world with distinct factions and social hierarchies. These elements contribute to the overall enchanting and immersive reading experience.

What themes does “Red Queen” explore?

“Red Queen” delves into themes of rebellion, social inequality, power dynamics, and the consequences of one’s choices. The book also touches on identity, sacrifice, and the complexities of love and loyalty.

How does the audiobook version enhance the “Red Queen” experience?

The audiobook version of “Red Queen” features exceptional narration by skilled voice actors, immersing listeners into the world of the story. The addition of sound effects and music may also enhance the overall atmosphere and engagement.

Who are the main characters in “Red Queen”?

The main characters in “Red Queen” include Mare Barrow, the protagonist with a special power; Cal, the prince with whom Mare forms a complex relationship; and Maven, Cal’s brother, who becomes a significant character in the story.

Are there any notable plot twists in “Red Queen”?

Yes, “Red Queen” features several unexpected plot twists that add suspense and keep readers engaged. These twists often challenge readers’ expectations and drive the narrative forward in intriguing ways.

How would you describe Victoria Aveyard’s writing style in “Red Queen”?

Victoria Aveyard’s writing style in “Red Queen” is captivating and vivid. She skillfully weaves together descriptive language, impactful dialogue, and engaging prose, creating a rich and immersive reading experience.

How has “Red Queen” been received by readers and critics?

“Red Queen” has received mixed reviews from both readers and critics. While some praised its thrilling plot and complex characters, others found fault with certain aspects of the story, such as pacing or predictability.

What are some of the prominent themes and messages conveyed in “Red Queen”?

“Red Queen” explores themes of class inequality, the abuse of power, and the fight against oppression. It also highlights the importance of personal agency, resilience, and the capacity for change, conveying messages of hope and resilience.

How does “Red Queen” compare to other fantasy novels?

“Red Queen” stands out from other fantasy novels with its unique blend of political intrigue, rebellion, and supernatural elements. It offers a fresh take on the genre, making it a compelling read for fans of fantasy fiction.

Should I listen to the audiobook version of “Red Queen”?

Whether to listen to the audiobook version of “Red Queen” depends on personal preference. If you enjoy immersive storytelling, excellent narration, and the added dimension of sound effects, then the audiobook can be a fantastic choice.

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