I really wanted to like this book. I really did.
I just didn't like it. There was nothing particularly original about it. I've seen all the elements in this fantasy many times before. A rich class and a poor class. The rich class have superpowers and everything they could ever want, while the poor class have almost nothing and are basically slaves and worker bees to make life easier for the rich people. And the girl who discovers she has the potential to change things.
The writing wasn't terrible. The scene setting was pretty good, the action scenes were pretty good. The romance angle was laughable, and the main character, Mare, was boring. The names were silly. Daft names in fantasy are not unusual. (I saw this pointed out in another review I read and completely agree with the point) Then there are normal names thrown in. It was weird.
There's an underground rebellion who want to overthrow the government. Our heroine, Mare, finds herself involved in both sides. I didn't like or dislike Mare, she just did nothing for me. I didn't see her as a bad ass symbol of rebellion, really, or the girl who could change the world. In this fantasy if you're a Silver you have superpowers, if you're a Red you're the working class.
Red blooded Mare discovers she has Silver superpowers after getting a job at the palace thanks to a mysterious benefactor. She lands right in the middle of a Selection-esque competition to find the next Queen when her powers are discovered for the first time. And the mysterious benefactor who got her the new jobs is one of the two crown princes. A major cover up is ensued and Mare is now a long lost Silver who was raised by Reds without knowing where she came to and is told she has to marry the other second prince.
At the same time she gets involved in the rebellion and finds herself trying to play the two princes off each other to accomplish things. It...doesn't work. Now there were certain parts that were very good, quite twisty and well written. And there were parts of Mare's training - court ettiquite and superpower training - that were equally boring. There's hints of a forbidden romance with one of the princes, but I just found dull with no chemistry between the two characters. Especially when I was trying to keep track of who's working within who's agenda.
Some of the politic aspects were quite good. About half way through the plot really picked up pace and got quite exciting. However, the ending was very very predictable. From one sentence about half way through I had correctly guessed exactly what was going to happen.
While it wasn't completely terrible, it wasn't brilliant either. Though I am certainly interested in where the series is going. Even though I didn't really like this first book, I am actually looking forward to the next book.
Freebie Square crossed of for Spring 2015 Bookish Bingo.