The Red Queen Series is a fantasy book series written by Victoria Aveyard. The series spans 4 novels and multiple novellas and short stories, meaning there is plenty of Red Queen content for avid readers and fantasy genre fans to enjoy.
And boy, do we enjoy them! Since the first Red Queen book was published, the series has quickly garnered well-deserved recognition and popularity, with Victoria Aveyard herself becoming a New York Times bestselling author.
However, there has been some confusion as to how the Red Queen books are supposed to be read.
This is because Aveyard has written novels that follow the main series, but also novellas that add more context to the world and deepen the stories of many of the characters. You do not have to read the latter to enjoy the Red Queen series as a whole.
However, they do add another layer to the series that you just cannot get by reading the main series. So, it’s definitely worth it!
To clear up any confusion, I will detail two different ways you can read the Red Queen series in order: the first is in order of publication, and the second is chronological. If you’re interested, read on for more!
About The Red Queen Series
The Red Queen series is an epic fantasy that tells a story of intrigue, power, and betrayal. The story follows a young woman called Mare Barrow as she tries to survive in a world where people are split into two groups: Red bloods and Silver bloods.
Mare is a Red blood, but she quickly discovers that she has Silber blood qualities, and from there, chaos and conflict erupt with Mare right at the center. The different books in the series detail different levels of conflict.
Meanwhile, the inter-spliced novellas tell the stories of other characters and other time periods within the series to provide more context to the world, as well as provide more excitement for the readers who are passionate about this world.
These books primarily deal with themes of conflict, identity, love, and betrayal. Now, let’s check out these books, and what order to read them, in more detail! Warning: This article may contain spoilers for the Red Queen series!
Red Queen Series Order: Order Of Publication
If you have never read any of the Red Queen series before, then I recommend reading them in order of publication first! Here are the books in the order that they were published.
The first book to be published in the Red Queen series was Red Queen. This story is centered around Mare Barrow, a young woman who struggles under the weight of a totalitarian government.
The government sees that the world is split into two parts: Red bloods and Silver bloods. Silver bloods have magic, Red bloods do not. The Silver bloods are seen as superior to the Red bloods because of their magical powers.
However, this foundation is thrown into chaos when Mare, a Red blood, begins to show magical powers of her own. The Silvers are fighting to keep it hidden, the Reds are fighting to rise up against them, and Mare is fighting at the center of it all.
- An amazingly written introduction to the story
- Interesting characters with depth
- The story gets off to a slow start
Themes: Discrimination, trust, betrayal, and embracing who you are.
Queen Song is the first novella in the Red Queen series. This novella is not strictly a part of the main series, and you do not need to read it to enjoy the series as a whole.
However, Queen Song, as well as the other novellas, add more depth and layers to the world and characters Aveyard has created, so they are worth a read! If you do want to read them, you should read Queen Song right after Red Queen.
Queen Song tells the story of Queen Coriane, the first wife of King Tiberias.
Queen Coriane records all of her thoughts in her secret diary, and readers will get a unique insight into her life as a teenage girl, to her courtship with the finance, to the birth of her first son, Cal, and more!
- Excellent insight into characters
- Explores a range of thought-provoking themes
- The pacing can get a little all over the place from time to time
Themes: Empowerment, identity, mental health, ambition, power, and love.
Steel Scars is a novella told from the perspective of Captain Farley, leader of the Scarlet Guard. Farley is responsible for sharing coded messages with the resistance as she tries to recruit more people to fight for her cause.
However, rousing a rebellion can get tough, and Falrey begins to feel the weight of her efforts. However, when she meets Mare Barrow, everything seems to change.
- A wonderful character-driven story
- Can be read in a single sitting
- This story can be a little slow which may make it difficult for some people to read
Themes: Leadership and war.
Glass Sword is the second novel in the series and it directly follows on from the events of Red Queen. However, it was the fourth book in the series to be published thanks to the two novellas that were published before it.
Picking up where Red Queen left off, Glass Sword centers around Mare Barrow, still reeling from a betrayal by a friend, has managed to escape the clutches of her betrayer.
However, she has also discovered a secret that threatens to change her world forever: she is not the only Red blood with magic.
Pursued by a king out for revenge, Mare takes on a mission to discover other fighters of both Red and Silver blood who want to join in the fight against the government.
However, the path to victory is never easy, and Mare soon finds herself struggling to remember who she was and the type of person she wants to be. How will Mare fare against her personal battles and the wider battles at hand? Read on to find out!
- The story is packed full of emotion
- Explores interesting themes
- The character development of the protagonist is not as strong in this book compared to the first
Themes: Good vs evil, identity, and betrayal.
Mare Barrow has lost her powers. Even worse, she is now a prisoner to her enemy, her former lover King Maven.
Tormented by her former lover and herself for her mistakes, all Mare can do is lie in wait as her band of rebels continue expanding, training, and organizing their way to battle and to victory.
During this process, exiled Prince Cal fights to rescue Mare from the clutches of his brother, and he will stop at nothing to ensure she is safe. However, ability is turning on ability, and blood is turning on blood.
With the conflict escalating and war looming over the horizon, our heroes worry that there will be nobody to quell the fire.
- The protagonist has excellent character development
- Different perspectives in the story allow us to get to know more characters
- The pacing of this book is a little off which can make it a little difficult to read
Themes: Love, exploitation, autonomy, and war.
War Storm is the final novel in the Red Queen series, but there are some short stories that come after it that tie the series together. Warm Storm follows on from the events of King’s Cage.
Mare Barrow is still reeling from yet another betrayal, but she is more determined than ever to win the war and secure the freedom of the Red bloods. However, Mare quickly learns there is no “I” in “team”, especially when it comes to winning a war.
So, she must team up with one of her betrayers to defeat the ruling class. With war brewing right on her doorstep, will Mare be able to step up, fight, and embrace her fate, or will she stumble and be silenced forever? You’ll have to read to find out!
- Wonderful character development
- Great pacing
- Clunky writing at times
Themes: Female empowerment, war, family, betrayal, love, and revenge.
The last book in the Red Queen series that you need to read is Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection. This book contains a compilation of short stories, including Queen Song and Steel Scars.
However, if you want to read the Red Queen series in order of publication, then you should have already read these two, and the last three you need to read are World Behind, Iron Heart, and Fire Light.
Broken Throne: World Behind takes place in the Disputed Lands, where there are no rules and everyone is out for themselves. This story is about characters outside of the main series.
Broken Throne: Iron Heart centers around Evangeline as she tries to work out what she wants out of life now that she has renounced the throne. Broken Throne: Fire Light focuses on the love story between Mare and Cal, and gives them a final conclusion.
- Multiple stories that add a rich layer to the world
- A wonderful closure to the series
- Some of the characters are not as developed as they could be
Themes: Ongoing storylines, love, war, deciet, good vs bad, and betrayl.
Red Queen Series Order: Chronological
Here is the Red Queen series in chronological order. I recommend reading these books in order of story events after you have read the series all the way through in order of publication.
This will eliminate any confusion and risk of spoilers on your first read. Here are the Red Queen books in chronological order!
- Queen Song
- Steel Scars
- Red Queen
- Glass Sword
- Broken Throne: World Behind
- King’s Cage
- War Storm
- Broken Throne: Iron Heart
- Broken Throne: Fire Light
The Red Queen series is a fantasy series by Victoria Aveyard that contains 4 core novels, Red Queen, Glass Sword, King’s Cage, and War Storm.
It also contains additional novellas, Queen Song, Steel Scars, Broken Throne: World Behind, Broken Throne: Iron Heart, and Broken Throne: Fire Light, that do not follow the main series.
These short stories work to add more world-building and character development to the story. The series primarily focuses on Mare Barrow, a Red blood girl who has discovered she has Silver blood magic.
This shocks the foundation that Mare’s world is built on, and what follows is a war that Mare must lead, if she wants to secure the freedom of her people.
Generally, these stories deal with themes of war, betrayal, identity, love, relationships, good vs evil, ambition, and revenge. They are widely beloved in the reading community on Booktok and other places, and many of them have made it to the New York Times bestseller list.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Need To Read The Red Queen Books In Order?
There are two ways you can read the Red Queen series. The first I would recommend is in order of publication, and if you want to re-read the series then you can go ahead and read it in chronological order. This way, you avoid major book spoilers!
Which Red Queen Book Is Best?
This is very subjective and depends on what themes you look for in your stories. It also depends on what characters you like, as some books in this series have multiple perspectives, while others only have one.
Generally, Red Queen and War Storm were extremely well-received amongst fans of the series.