In the world of young adult literature, Victoria Aveyard’s ‘Red Queen’ series is a phenomenon. Its blend of dystopian settings, heart-pounding action, and intricate character dynamics has captured the hearts of many readers.
If you’ve finished this series and are yearning for more books that tap into the same captivating themes, you’re in the right place. This blog post aims to guide you on a journey beyond the world of Mare Barrow, suggesting a variety of books that you might enjoy if you loved ‘Red Queen’.
We will explore books within the same genre, books featuring strong female protagonists, novels rich with political intrigue, and even a few lesser-known gems worth discovering.
Let’s embark on this literary journey together!
Thematic Similarities to Red Queen
In order to find our next perfect read, it’s important to understand the elements that made ‘Red Queen’ so compelling. Here are a few key themes:
Power and Betrayal
Power and betrayal are at the core of ‘Red Queen’. From Mare’s unexpected rise to her constant struggle against those who would use her, these themes are omnipresent. Books that tackle these issues often present morally complex characters and intricate plots that keep readers on their toes.
‘Red Queen’ is a story of rebellion, both on a personal and societal level. Mare’s journey is one of defiance against the norms of her world, which resonates strongly in the current landscape of YA literature. Books focusing on rebellion often feature protagonists who stand against oppressive systems, which may be particularly appealing to fans of ‘Red Queen’.
The divide between Silvers and Reds, both in power and in living conditions, is a central aspect of ‘Red Queen’. This social division adds a layer of complexity and tension to the series, and books exploring similar themes can offer fresh perspectives on societal structures and class conflict.
Having established these themes, let’s delve into some books that resonate with these ideas.
Books Within the Same Genre (Young Adult Dystopian Novels)
If you’re fond of the dystopian setting and high stakes scenarios of the ‘Red Queen’ series, there are several other young adult novels that you might enjoy.
‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins
In ‘The Hunger Games’, we find a similar dystopian world where teenagers are thrust into life or death situations due to the harsh rules of their society. Like Mare Barrow, Katniss Everdeen rises from humble origins to challenge the power structure, making this a thrilling read for ‘Red Queen’ fans.
‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth
‘Divergent’ presents a society divided into factions based on human virtues. When Tris Prior discovers she doesn’t fit into any of these categories, she must navigate a world of deceit and danger. Fans of ‘Red Queen’ will appreciate the compelling heroine, the high-stakes societal structure, and the themes of rebellion.
‘The Maze Runner’ by James Dashner
‘The Maze Runner’ drops its protagonist into an unfamiliar and dangerous environment, where he must decipher cryptic clues to survive. Like Mare, Thomas discovers hidden abilities and navigates complicated alliances. This novel’s blend of suspense and mystery will appeal to fans of ‘Red Queen’.
Books with Strong Female Protagonists
One of the defining features of ‘Red Queen’ is its resilient and complex female lead, Mare Barrow. If you enjoyed Mare’s journey, you may appreciate these other young adult novels featuring strong female protagonists.
‘The Selection’ by Kiera Cass
In ‘The Selection’, America Singer must compete in a reality TV-style contest to win the heart of a prince and secure a better life for her family. Despite the high stakes, America remains true to herself and her values. Fans of ‘Red Queen’ will appreciate the palace intrigue, the fight against societal expectations, and America’s fiery spirit.
‘Throne of Glass’ by Sarah J. Maas
‘Throne of Glass’ features a deadly assassin named Celaena Sardothien who, after being given a chance at freedom, must navigate a treacherous competition and court politics. Like Mare, Celaena is a strong and multifaceted character who battles both physical and political enemies. The blend of fantasy, action, and politics makes this an exciting read for ‘Red Queen’ enthusiasts.
‘Graceling’ by Kristin Cashore
In ‘Graceling’, we follow Katsa, a girl with the grace (or curse) of killing. As she navigates her way through political intrigue and personal discovery, readers will be reminded of Mare’s own struggles with her powers and identity. This book’s strong heroine and engaging world-building will resonate with fans of ‘Red Queen’.
Books with Intriguing Political Intrigue and Strategy
The political maneuverings and power plays in ‘Red Queen’ add an extra layer of suspense to the story. If you’re drawn to this aspect of the series, these books offer their own takes on political intrigue and strategy.
‘The Cruel Prince’ by Holly Black
‘The Cruel Prince’ follows Jude, a mortal girl living in the treacherous high court of Faerie. Despite being powerless in a world of magic, Jude desires to seize power through political cunning and strategy. Fans of ‘Red Queen’ will enjoy the plot’s intricate political maneuverings and the protagonist’s fight against a powerful hierarchy.
‘The Winner’s Curse’ by Marie Rutkoski
In ‘The Winner’s Curse’, Kestrel, a general’s daughter, lives in a world where strategy means everything. When she buys a slave in an impulsive act, the political repercussions are immense. ‘Red Queen’ fans may appreciate the blend of romance, strategy, and the moral complexities in Kestrel’s world.
‘Three Dark Crowns’ by Kendare Blake
‘Three Dark Crowns’ centers on three sisters, each a queen with her own special power, who must fight to the death for the crown. This dark and twisted tale offers political intrigue and power struggles similar to those in ‘Red Queen’, making it an engaging read for fans of Victoria Aveyard’s series.
Lesser-Known Titles Worth Discovering
There are countless gems in young adult literature that might not be on your radar yet. Here are a few underrated books that fans of ‘Red Queen’ might enjoy, each bringing a unique twist on familiar themes or tropes.
‘The Bone Season’ by Samantha Shannon
‘The Bone Season’ is set in a dystopian future where clairvoyants are hunted and imprisoned. The protagonist, Paige, is a powerful clairvoyant who must navigate a complex world of spirits and supernatural powers. The rich world-building, complex plot, and empowered heroine make it an intriguing choice for ‘Red Queen’ fans.
‘An Ember in the Ashes’ by Sabaa Tahir
‘An Ember in the Ashes’ intertwines the lives of a slave, Laia, and a soldier, Elias, in an oppressive, Roman-like society. With its themes of resistance, societal divisions, and power dynamics, this novel will resonate with readers who enjoyed the tension and drama of ‘Red Queen’.
‘Legend’ by Marie Lu
In ‘Legend’, a prodigy and a criminal from opposite ends of society cross paths in a dystopian future. Both protagonists, June and Day, are clever and resourceful in a world filled with deceit and corruption, and their stories may appeal to fans of Mare’s struggle against a powerful system in ‘Red Queen’.
Books by Victoria Aveyard
If you loved the ‘Red Queen’ series, why not explore more books by the same author? Victoria Aveyard has a number of other works that could capture your interest.
‘Realm Breaker’ is Victoria Aveyard’s newest series. It revolves around a motley crew of outcasts who must come together to save their world. With high stakes, a diverse cast of characters, and Aveyard’s signature storytelling style, ‘Realm Breaker’ might be your next favorite series.
‘Glass Sword’ is the sequel to ‘Red Queen’ and continues the story of Mare Barrow as she fights against the oppressive rule of the Silver elite. If you’re not ready to leave the world of ‘Red Queen’ just yet, diving into the rest of the series could be a good choice.
‘King’s Cage’ and ‘War Storm’
These are the third and fourth books in the ‘Red Queen’ series respectively. ‘King’s Cage’ sees Mare held captive by King Maven, while ‘War Storm’ wraps up the series with an epic conclusion. If you’ve enjoyed ‘Red Queen’ and ‘Glass Sword’, these are natural next steps.
If you’re still hungry for more after exploring our previous suggestions, here are ten additional books that fans of ‘Red Queen’ might enjoy. Each presents its own unique take on familiar themes, making them perfect for your reading list.
‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry
‘The Giver’ is a classic dystopian novel where society has eradicated pain and strife at the cost of emotional depth and individuality. Fans of ‘Red Queen’ will appreciate the protagonist’s journey to challenge societal norms.
‘The 5th Wave’ by Rick Yancey
‘The 5th Wave’ is a gripping tale of survival and resistance in the face of an alien invasion. Readers who enjoyed the action-packed scenes and high-stakes survival elements in ‘Red Queen’ may find this book appealing.
‘Delirium’ by Lauren Oliver
In ‘Delirium’, love is considered a disease that must be cured. Readers who were captivated by the romantic tensions in ‘Red Queen’ may enjoy exploring a world where love is the greatest rebellion.
‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo
‘Shadow and Bone’ introduces readers to a war-torn world where magic, politics, and darkness collide. If you enjoyed the blending of magic and political intrigue in ‘Red Queen’, this book is worth checking out.
‘Shatter Me’ by Tahereh Mafi
‘Shatter Me’ follows a young woman with a lethal touch. If Mare’s struggle with her powers resonated with you, you might connect with this story of self-discovery and acceptance.
‘The City of Ember’ by Jeanne DuPrau
‘The City of Ember’ explores a society living in constant darkness and the children who seek the light. The book’s exploration of an enclosed society and its limitations may appeal to fans of the societal divisions in ‘Red Queen’.
‘The Lunar Chronicles’ by Marissa Meyer
‘The Lunar Chronicles’ is a sci-fi series that reimagines classic fairy tales. If you enjoyed the powerful and relatable female characters in ‘Red Queen’, you might enjoy this series’ cast of determined heroines.
‘Ash Princess’ by Laura Sebastian
‘Ash Princess’ centers on a princess’s struggle to reclaim her kingdom from invaders. Fans of ‘Red Queen’ might appreciate the novel’s combination of royal intrigue, rebellion, and a heroine determined to reclaim her power.
‘The Testing’ by Joelle Charbonneau
‘The Testing’ is set in a post-apocalyptic world where graduation means competing for survival. If the survival and competition aspects of ‘Red Queen’ drew you in, you might find this book compelling.
‘Daughter of Smoke & Bone’ by Laini Taylor
‘Daughter of Smoke & Bone’ tells the story of a girl caught in a war between angels and demons. If the blend of reality and fantasy in ‘Red Queen’ intrigued you, this story’s unique world-building might captivate you.
If you’ve reached the end of Victoria Aveyard’s ‘Red Queen’ series and are looking for something to fill the void, the books highlighted in this post provide a plethora of options. Whether you’re drawn to strong female protagonists, dystopian worlds, intricate political intrigue, or just love a good YA novel, there’s something here for everyone.
These suggestions should provide a good starting point, but there’s an entire world of literature out there waiting to be discovered. So whether you choose to dive into one of these recommendations or venture out on your own literary journey, happy reading!