This book, released in June last year is just all over our Instagram feed! It is so beloved so when I got offered a free copy to review I almost bit that hand that was feeding me I was so keen to see what all the fuss was about!
The Reds are serfs, ground down by extreme poverty and all desperately picking out the best lives they can from the scraps thrown them by the elite Silvers. But in this world it isn’t just wealth that makes the Silvers powerful, they each possess some kind of superhuman power, the ability to control water, or metal or maybe to read minds or even control them.
Mare Barrow is a Red, she can’t find work so she picks pockets to help support her family but soon she will be conscripted into the army as all u employed Reds are and forced to fight for the further enrichment of her Silver overloads. Then, in the nick of time, she gets a job in the Silver Palace and discovers very publicly that she possesses a deadly power of her own. The Silver King can’t just kill her so she is declared a long-lost Silver princess and engaged to the younger Silver prince so they can keep her close and under control. But Mare won’t be pacified by riches and starts helping the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, hoping to bring down the Silver regime.
This book has elements of many popular YA books, there’s a little X-Men, a little Hunger Games, a little divergent, there’s also a bit of a love quadrangle going on so this book would have to be really badly written to have failed!
It isn’t the very best writing I’ve ever read if I’m completely honest, but it isn’t badly written at all. The mashing together of so many bits of popular YA books could have ended up being hard to stomach, but in fact have created a satisfying meal. Quite a more-ish morsel at that, which is just as well as the author is clearly savvy anough to know that most YA books work best if they have a sequel or more to follow. Hollywood loves a franchise after all. Book two – The Glass Sword – just came out a couple of weeks ago. I’ve had the pleasure of reading it already (thanks for the free copy of this too Orion!) and although I don’t want to say too much about it so that I don’t spoil it for you I will say that it does not disappoint. It takes the main characters through some savage challenges and I’m looking forward to the next in the series!