The Red Queen series is a young adult fantasy book series written by Victoria Aveyard, which comprises multiple novels and novellas. The series is highly acclaimed, and if you are a fan of the fantasy genre, you might be curious to know how to read the Red Queen series in order, which is what we will talk about in this article!
Victoria Aveyard is the author of this series, and she finished writing her first novel, titled Red Queen, after she graduated college. It was officially published in 2015, with the last book in the series published in 2019. Victoria Aveyard was born in 1990 on July 27th in Massachusetts. She graduated from the University of Southern California’s screenwriting program in 2012 and currently lives in California with her husband and dog.
Her first series was the Red Queen series, comprising multiple titles that were all highly rated by readers across the globe. After finishing the Red Queen series, Victoria Aveyard is currently working on another series, called the Realm Breaker series, whose first book was published in 2021. She has published two books at the time of writing this, with the third book, Fate Breaker, all set to come out in 2024.
However, this article is not intended to discuss other book series, but only Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen series. So, let’s see how many books there are in the series, what are the titles of these books, and what’s the best order to read the series!
How Many Books Are in the Red Queen Series?
The Red Queen series contains 4 full-length novels and two novella collections. The novella Cruel Crown has the novellas – Queen Song and Steel Scars – while the Broken Throne is a complete collection of novellas, bonus scenes, and exclusive content.
Here’s what the best order to read the Red Queen series looks like:
- Red Queen (2015)
- Cruel Crown (2016) – A Collection of Novellas
- Glass Sword (2016)
- King’s Cage (2017)
- War Storm (2018)
- Broken Throne (2019) – A Collection of Novellas, bonus scenes & other exclusive content
This series has been quite successful since its inception, hitting number 1 on the New York Times Bestselling Series list and the USA Today Bestselling Series list multiple times. In addition, it’s sold millions of copies and has been translated into over 40 languages.
Due to the success of the Red Queen Series, it’s safe to say that it has garnered some awards. This includes the “2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Debut Novel” for Red Queen and the “2015 Buxtehude Bull Award,” which is an award given to the best children’s or young adult books.
The Red Queen series has even been in talks to have a movie adaptation directed by the one and only Elizabeth Banks. The movie was eventually scrapped, and it was decided that a television series would be created. It’s set to be streamed on the streaming series called Peacock. However, as of yet, no release date has been announced for the series.
What is the Red Queen Series About?
The Red Queen series is set in a dystopian world, which is a popular type of trope for young adult novels. It’s also quite successful. I mean, look at the Hunger Games Series. This dystopian series was very successful and is still beloved today.
In the Red Queen series, the main character goes by the name of Mare Barrow. The world she lives in is harsh, where the hierarchy is decided based on the color of a person’s blood. If you have red blood, you are considered a commoner; if you have silver blood, you’re one of the royals who possess unique abilities.
Eventually, our main character discovers a secret about herself, a secret capable of upsetting the balance of the entire world. And so, Mare must deal with the sudden awakening of her powers, fall in love, and face several traumatic situations.
One significant trope in the Red Queen series goes by the name of ambiguous antagonist or ambiguously evil. With these types of antagonists, you have someone who toes the line between good and evil. You can’t tell where their loyalties lie or whether they are good or evil. Sometimes you won’t find out until the end of the series, while other times, the author will never reveal the true motives of the antagonist.
Obviously, this isn’t the only trope in the Red Queen series, but it is one of the big ones you’ll encounter if you start reading these books.
Red Queen Series in Order of Release Date:
The main character of Red Queen, Mare Barrow, lives in a cruel world where she has spent most of her life in abject poverty. She lives in a world where people with red blood are considered to be commoners, and those with silver blood are royals. The silver-blooded people live in a palace with great powers while her people suffer every single day.
One day she starts working in the Silver Palace herself, and it wouldn’t be such a problem if she didn’t have this deadly power, despite her red blood. The elites want to get ahead of this, so they call Mare a long-lost silver princess and force her to become engaged to one of the silver princes.
To say Mare is scared is an understatement. However, she refuses to bow down and ends up working with the Red Guard, a group that wants to bring down the Silvers and end their rule.
1.5. Cruel Crown (2016) – A Collection of two novellas
Cruel Crown is a collection of two novellas, Queen Song and Steel Scars.
In Queen Song, we learn about Queen Coriane, the first wife of King Tiberias. This book is essentially a diary where Queen Coriane writes down her innermost thoughts. She has a complicated relationship with her husband and has just dealt with the recent birth of Cal. What awaits her in the future is unknown and nothing good.
In Steel Scars, we step into the shoes of a woman named Captain Farley. She is trying to lead a rebellion against the Silvers, and it’s proving to be more challenging than she thought. When she learns of Mare Barrow, a young woman with quite a dangerous but useful power, she realizes that this could be the answer to their prayers.
Glass Sword is the long-awaited sequel to Red Queen, and the second book to read in the Red Queen series in order. Mare Barrow was discovered to have the ability to control lightning even though she is a commoner with red blood. However, it comes to a head after she is forced to flee from the palace or risk dying at the hands of the king.
She is fleeing not only to save her life but also because she needs to find people and recruit them in her fight against the Silvers. They have been forced to suffer for too long thanks to the Silvers and their cruel ways. The Silvers need to be stopped, but the only way to stop them is to create an army that is willing to fight.
Mare knows one thing for sure. Building an army is not easy, and the process of trying to build one might just be the thing that ends her.
King’s Cage is the next book in the Red Queen series, where Mare finds herself in a bit of a pickle. She is the prisoner of Maven Calore and is unable to use her powers.
Without the aid of her powers, it leaves her at the mercy of this man who was once very important to her. She suffers day after day, unable to do anything but take it. She hopes someone will come to save her, but someone can only stay hopeful for so long in the face of such torture.
Meanwhile, her army is preparing for a war they know is coming and can no longer avoid. The one helping them is no other than Cal, an exiled prince. He pines for Mare and wants to rescue her.
It’s safe to say that the group has quite the tasks ahead of them. Will they truly be able to win this war and save Mare as well?
Things come to a head in War Storm, the final book in the Red Queen series in order. Mare wants to take down the Kingdom of Norta and put a stop to Maven’s terrible reign. She knows it’s going to be a difficult battle. However, she has to do it not only for herself but also for the people who are fighting beside her.
In addition to this, Mare must seek out help from Cal and his Silver allies. It’s the last thing she wants to do because he betrayed her.
Betrayal hurts, and Mare knows this all too well. She loved Cal, but his betrayal nearly ended her. Working with him is going to hurt more than she could ever imagine, but the Scarlet Guard needs the help. Without it, they are sure to fail.
This book is the conclusion to the fantasy series that has captivated readers everywhere. Only by reading will you be able to learn if Mare is finally able to end the Silver Kingdom’s rule once and for all.
4.5. Broken Throne (2019)
Broken Throne is another collection of novellas, which also consists of exclusive bonus content. You can find the two novellas, Queen Song and Steel Scars, in this collection, but there’s also more.
Also in this book are maps, bonus scenes, flags, journal entries, and all other types of exclusive content that fans of this series will love. Finally, you’ll also get to learn the fates of all the characters after the last main book in the series. In a way, it’s an epilogue for fans to know what happened to the characters they cherished so much.
The Red Queen series is yet another example of an author dipping their toes into the young adult genre that mixes fantasy, dystopia, romance, and magic. Combine all these things, and you end up with quite a winning formula for your book.
For those who have read the series, they do have the future streaming series to look forward to too. As we mentioned earlier, there is no set date, but the author herself, Victoria Aveyard, had written the script for the pilot episode of the Red Queen series.
So, before the series is finally announced, it’s a good idea to read the Red Queen series in order to get familiar with the plot and the characters. As we all know, the movie and TV adaptations of books are rarely great, and reading books is always the best way to get lost in the story the author created.
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