Mare's blood is red - the colour of common folk - but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by the Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red and Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat. Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?
I, along with most everyone else, fell completely in love with Red Queen, so I was both excited and nervous about reading the sequel. I really wanted to know what happened next but after the incredible and jaw-dropping ending of the first book, how would it hold up? And I'm happy to report, for me at least, that while it had a very different feel to the first one, I still loved it. It still had the "who can you trust?" thing but we had a definite bad guy to focus on, plus the fear and tension was right up as Mare, Cal and the rest of the Guard literally run for their lives.
While we learned about the well-to-do in book one, in this installment we see more from the outskirts, the slums, the Reds who are desperately just trying to survive or fighting for a better life. We also learn loads more about the spread and influence of the Scarlet Guard, as Farley takes the rag-tag group to save others like Mare. This led to an X-men sort of feel with the recruiting but it was really cool to see other superpowers - well, "blood mutations", whatever!
In other news, the ship has sailed for Mare and Cal! In book one, my heart was torn between Cal and Maven but... well, you know, the thing happened and ruined it all, so yeah, go team Cal! The tension and the frisson between Cal and Mare was thick and heart-felt and just so good! Things did not want to go their way but that didn't stop them from being pulled together. Both of them were also suffering from some serious betrayal and this costs them. Mare especially no longer trusts, in practically anyone, and while she may be right to be cautious, it makes planning things difficult, not to mention building a proper relationship with Cal.
Although it started slightly hesitant, I ended up loving the sequel just as much as the first book. It still had the tension, the action and the betrayal but they all had to keep pushing forward to try and beat Maven and the Silver hierarchy.
Published 11th February 2016 by Orion. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.