If I had to pick an all time favorite book, it would be Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. The book is set in a futuristic fantasy/dystopian world which is divided between red blood and silver blood. The Silvers are born with powers or abilities, ranging from control over certain elements, to mind-control. Whereas, the Reds are born with no abilities.
Mare Barrow is nobody, a Red pickpocket who tries her best to provide for her family. However, since she is unemployed she will be forced into conscription for the army at the age of 18. Desperate, she flees into the largest Silver city in hopes of finding work. Meanwhile, the Silver royalty is hosting a competition to find the next future Queen for their oldest prince – Cal Calore. Said competition consists of the most powerful Silver women showing off their powers in order to impress the prince. Suddenly, as Mare is watching the competition she is pushed into the arena by accident, changing her entire life in seconds. What should have killed her, instead left her with the ability to control lightning. Reds did not have powers, only Silvers, or so it had been up until then.
In an effort to keep Mare hidden, the Queen forces her into an arranged marriage with the second born prince, Maven. Mare then spends months as both a prisoner and an anomaly, training and learning her own powers. Meanwhile, tensions between the Reds and Silvers are rising, a group named the Scarlet Guard is planning a revolution.
In secret, Mare joins the Scarlet Guard, only to be shocked when she notices that the second born prince, her fiancé, is already a part of the Guard. Maven Calore is the shadow of his brother and would rather see the Silver empire fall before his brother takes the throne. Together, they plan a revolution drenched in blood, heartbreak and betrayal.
Red Queen is an amazing novel and a real show of creative world building. The way in which Aveyard describes the Silver’s abilities is a very detailed magic system unique specifically to the series. Furthermore, the series is a perfect mix of fantasy and dystopian to keep the reader craving to read more. This book also has what I would describe as the best, most painful, plot twist I had ever read. Not wanting to spoil anymore, this is definitely a book I would recommend everyone read.