This book took me a few weeks to complete. I always have issues with pacing in the Red Queen series, because althought he beginnings may have action it takes me until the last 100-200 out of 300-400 pages to get truly drawn into the story. But then when the climax of the story hits and everything comes crashing down, I won’t stop reading until I reach the end of the book.
Mare and Cal have escaped death from Maven’s executioners, but now they are on the run with the Scarlet Guard. They begin to see how intricate the Guard is and how it expands through even the warring territories, no one is as safe as they thought that they were. Mare has a list of all the Reds that live with Silver powers, but she gave Maven the list when she thought that he was on her side. Now Mare, Farley, Cal, Kilorn, and Shade must race Maven to find the “newbloods” because as soon as Maven find he kills or imprisons them.
Mare’s character grows exponentially in this story. She goes from being a weaker girl who cannot fully control her powers to a balanced machine. She has some romantic scenes with Cal spattered throughout the story, but it does not define her character and does not weaken her at all. Cal’s character becomes weaker in this story as he is taken down from the king-to-be to lesser than even the lowest Red. The Scarlet Guard is afraid of trusting him because of his silver blood and the former brotherhood with Maven.
Kilorn struggles with being the “useless” character without powers. He does not act on his feelings with Mare however, instead choosing to politely step back, making me give him great respect. Shade struggles with being able to help the younger sister whom due to his time in the army he has missed years of the life of. More of Farley’s backstory is revealed in this book as her father comes into the picture.
Although the beginning was a bit slow, I did get swept into Mare Barrow’s world again throughout the middle and the end. Just a warning for anyone who reads it, the book ends on a giant cliffhanger, so if you are wise order the second and third books at the same time.
Overall rating: 4/5