In a world divided by blood–those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities–seventeen-year-old Mare, a Red, discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. But Mare risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard –a growing Red rebellion–even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction.
This book sounded right up my alley. Fantasy? Check. Royalty? Double Check. Girl with secret powers? Triple check. I kept wanting to love the book, but I couldn’t do it. The world building is good, but the characters fit too easily into tropes: the best friend who could be more, the sainted sister, the evil Queen, the two Princes. Mare should have been an amazing character, a girl who kicked ass and took names, but she wasn’t. She was way too passive. She let the action happen around her, let the resistance recruit her. She never took charge, never took ownership of her powers and used them. She only really gets some spine at the end of the story, but it wasn’t enough for me.
I don’t mind romance in my fantasy novels, but the love triangle made me cringe. Mare liked one brother and wanted another, neither of which I felt fully attached to. Both boys were not well developed and rather cringe-worthy. Even the female rival really isn’t one. She’s nasty, borderline evil, basically a stock character of the female rival. Even the evil queen seems a shade too evil. The characters are all ones we’ve seen before. Reading about the same type of character doesn’t bother me if there is some depth to them or some twist to their story that makes the book worth reading. Most of the characters in this book had neither.
I had to skim big chunks of the book to see if it got interesting. It didn’t, at least not for me. I know there is a huge fan base around this whole series and I had really high hopes of falling in love with a new series.