"Rise, as red as the dawn"
--The Scarlet Guard
THIS IS LITERALLY THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ. Well, The Young Elites is tied with this book. Well anyways, this book is amazing and everyone NEEDS to read this book.
Mare Barrows is a poor girl living in a poor community. She lives with her torn-apart family. She has 3 brothers that are on the war front, a dad missing a lung and a leg, a normal but tired mother, and a younger sister who is very talented at sewing. Mare has no special abilities that could make money for her family, so she resorts to stealing. Her younger sister Gemma, who is apprenticed to a shopkeeper in the rich district, asks Mare to accompany her on a trip there. While they are there, they are caught up in an revolt. During the revolt, Gemma's sewing hand is crushed, thus ending her apprenticeship and the money. Mare became really ashamed. Soon, her best friend Kilorn, who was apprenticed to a fisher, gives her more bad news. His master had died, leaving him with no choice to go to the war front unless they got a lot of money in one evening. Mare goes to a trader, who then introduces her to the leader of the Red Guard, a secret society who is determined to overthrow the Silver crown. Silver people have special magic that Red people don't, which is how they control them. A twist of fate leads Mare right to the palace when she meets the king's son under the disguise of a commoner. At the castle, she lets out an ability out that she never knew she had. In order to hide that impossibility, the king betroths her to one of his own sons, Maven. At first, they weren't friends, but after a while, they start becoming friends and maybe even start liking each other. Mare, along with Maven, decide to join the Scarlet Guard and become spies. I don't want to say the biggest plot twist ever, it will change your whole point of view on the character, but I still love that character.
My summary isn't the best, but it basically explains what led Mare to show royalty her hidden power to control lightning. What I love about this book is the love triangle. This isn't a normal love triangle either. She is betrothed to Maven, but she likes both Maven and Cal (Maven's older half-brother the crown prince). Cal is engaged to another person, who just so happens to control metal, which is very very dangerous and powerful. At the end of the book, Mare is betrayed by one of the brothers and ends up hating him. This book is fantasy, but if it was in the real world, I think this would take place in old Rome. In the beginning of the book, Mare and Kilorn are at an arena watching people fight, just like people in Rome did.
This book is amazing. It keeps you in suspense, it adds dashes of mystery, and sprinkles of romance. Victoria Aveyard sure knows how to write a good book. I reccommend this book to anyone who is old enough to take bloodshed. EVERYONE READ IT! :) Thank you