Red Queen


Victoria Aveyard

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Themes and Colors
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Red Queen, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Biological Determinism and Social Inequality

In the Kingdom of Norta, where Mare Barrow lives, everyone’s destiny is determined by the color of their blood. Those with silver blood, called “Silvers,” live a life of luxury that is made possible by the hard work of the “Reds,” who are conditioned to believe that their red blood makes them suited to poverty and grueling labor in the service of the Silvers. The Silvers are able to keep the Reds in their…

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Trust and Betrayal

Throughout Red Queen, Mare Barrow often feels backed into a corner, forced to lie to her family and others. Others also lie to Mare throughout the novel, and she becomes increasingly distrustful of everyone, including herself. While Mare hardly trusts anyone at the end of the novel, the experience of mutual betrayal nevertheless creates another kind of powerful bond between Mare and other characters. The novel ultimately takes a complex view of the concept…

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Power and Degradation

The premise of the novel is that in the Kingdom of Norta, those with silver blood live in luxury while those with red blood live in poverty. Mare Barrow, a Red, accepts that poverty is her lot in life until she is forced to masquerade as a Silver—and realizes that the Silvers want her to believe this lie so that she will not question their relative affluence. Although the Silvers have supernatural powers to…

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Revolution vs. Stability

Not all of the Silvers in Red Queen want to oppress the Reds. Cal, for example, sees that the Reds live in terrible conditions, but he does not find these conditions so unacceptable that he wants to upset political order in order to effect change. Maven, on the other hand, tells Mare that the change he wants to see is worth disorder and even violence. Mare, faced with the opportunity to involve herself…

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