Epic Book Society Homepage Banner

15 Dystopian Books Like Red Queen

Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by Louisa

Red Queen by Victoria Avewood is an exciting fantasy dystopian novel that I devoured in a few days – I was so hooked on the storyline and invested in the characters, I couldn’t put it down.

If you’re like me and you were sad when you got to the end of Red Queen, then allow me to ease the pain by introducing you to some other excellent books like Red Queen.

In Red Queen, the reader is taken on a journey through power, political/royal intrigue, fighting for justice and freedom, as well as a little slithering of love and betrayal.

So if you’re looking for other books with those themes, then I think you’ll enjoy these other books similar to Red Queen to add to your reading list.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through any of these links. 

Quick Answer: Top 3 Picks!

Need a book fast but don’t have much time? Here are my top three favorites…

Our Favourites!

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights Duet Book 1)

#1 Best Highly Acclaimed Novel

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

  • About two street gangs in Shanghai who find out they are not each other’s true enemy 
  • The youngest author to be on the New York Times Bestseller list
  • Winner of the 2021 Sir Julius Vogel Awards for Best Youth Novel 

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, 1)

#2 Best in Thriller

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

  • About a girl who is locked up for having a fatal touch, only to be used as a weapon of war
  • A bestselling series
  • National Book Award Nominee

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, 1)

#3 Best in Fantasy

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

  • About a teen orphan who has special powers and wants to save her best friend, only to become a target
  • #8 on The New York Times Best Seller list
  • Opted to become a motion picture by Dreamworks

Summary of Red Queen

Before I get into the top books like Red Queen, I’ll quickly recap the story so we can be reminded of what to look for in similar books.

Don’t worry, I won’t reveal the ending if you are still reading it.

Red Queen is a New York Times best-selling enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel by Victoria Aveyard that tells the story of society’s two classes: the silver, who rule, and the reds, who are forced to work for them. 

Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old girl, underestimated her destiny until fate intervened, and she was given a chance to enter the service of the Silvers. 

This young Red girl has realized her true potential for a dangerous power could upset the balance in the world.

The Silvers fear her power and keep her identity hidden from the public, fearing she might use it to their detriment.

To add more suspense to the story, a Silver princess who had been missing for many years was recently found and revealed to be engaged to a Silver prince.

What transpires is a complicated story, in a complicated world, where our complicated protagonist is caught between two kings fighting against two sides.

When a battle awaits her; which side will she choose?

Red Queen was so riveting, that it is due to be made into a TV Series.

Books Like Red Queen

Now you have been familiarized with the story, it’s time to show you my suggestions for books to read after Red Queen!

The following books will keep you hooked until the very last page…

1. These Violent Delights – Chloe Gong

One of the aspects of Red Queen that had me on the edge of my seat was the conflict between the reds and silvers.

This is similar to the book These Violent Delights, where 2 street gangs have left the city on the edge of chaos.

The Scarlet Gang has been at war with their rivals, the White Flowers, for years. Juliette is ready to return home and take on her role as the Scarlet gang’s leader. 

She soon discovers that her former love interest is leading the White Flowers.

As things become out of control on both sides, the former lovers must find a way to work together before their war destroys the city. 

These Violent Delights is a dark fantasy Romeo and Juliet retelling with hints of West Side Story vibes. I loved how this book never slows down the pace and has action pouring off of every page.

2. Ever Cursed – Corey Ann Haydu

In Red Queen, the heroine must align with the bad guys when her powers are discovered. If you enjoy stories with this type of conflict, you should pick up a copy of Ever Cursed.

The people in their kingdom cherish the Princesses of Ever. However, these 4 sisters have all been cursed by a witch. The curse takes effect on their 13th birthday. 

With Eden’s 13th birthday coming up, the sisters can break the curse by meeting with the witch. 

When Jane decides to meet the witch, she learns more about her family and the curse than she could have imagined.

This is an intense, action-packed fantasy novel that’s intended for middle-grade audiences but I think adults would love it more as the language and sentence structure is quite complex for a children’s book.

3. The Princess Trials – Cordelia K Castel

If you’re looking for more exciting books like Red Queen that have royal intrigue, then I recommend you look at The Princess Trials.

Like Red Queen, this book is set in a dystopian world, except this one is set in a future after a nuclear war when royal elites have taken over.

The Princess Trials is a televised contest where young women compete to become the bride of Prince Kevon.

Zea is desperate to join a revolution and help the starving people in her community.

She joins the contest to get insight into the castle and find a weak spot. However, this competition soon becomes more dangerous than Zea could have imagined.

I really enjoyed this book – it gave off The Selection meets The Hunger Games vibes, which are two books I absolutely loved. Fair warning, it’s a huge book at 506 pages, so be prepared to get sucked in!

View it on:

4. The Hazel Wood – Melissa Abert

The Hazel Wood is another riveting dystopian novel that fans of Red Queen will enjoy because it also has incredible world-building.

This book will take you on an exciting journey of an Alice in Wonderland retelling that you’ll never forget.

Alice and her mother have been on the road her entire life. Every decision they’ve made has led them to bad luck. Her late grandmother was the author of cult-classic fairytales and had her fanbase that Alice tries to avoid. 

However, when her mother goes missing, the only message Alice gets from her is, “stay away from the hazelwood.” 

She must team up with one of her grandmother’s superfans to make sense of what’s happening and find her mother.

Although this book is intended for teens, it would also suit a young adult audience too. The characters are what make this book unique – they are so diverse and different, not what I was expecting at all.

5. Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi

What I enjoyed about Red Queen was the teenage heroine using her power to bring hope to her people. This is a familiar storyline with Children of Blood and Bone.

The story is set in Orisha which was a land that was once filled with magic. When the king declares magic must end, he sentences all maji to be killed. 

The only chance the people of Orisha have left is a maji’s daughter, Zelie. As Zelie learns about her powers, she vows to use them against the monarchy. 

However, feelings for an enemy could get in the way of Zelie’s plans.  

I loved the character development and intriguing plot. It was a little predictable but that’s because I read it as an adult, whereas a teen might not think the same. Overall, it’s very compelling.

6. The Belles – Dhonielle Clayton

Another fun dystopian book like Red Queen is The Belles. This book is set in a world where people are born gray and beauty is the world’s #1 commodity.

And The Belles are the ones responsible for controlling beauty.

Camellia was determined to be the favorite belle. The favorite was honored as the most talented belle and got to tend to the royal family.

While Camellia becomes the favorite, she realizes this isn’t anything she expected. 

This dark world is full of secrets she wishes she had never encountered, including her secret powers.

When asked to put her own life in danger to protect the royals, Camellia must ask herself if being a belle is worth it. 

I thought the premise of this book was interesting and I thought it was going to be more like Scott Westerfield’s book, Uglies, but it was actually quite different.

Disclaimer: One thing that readers should be aware of is there is a scene of attempted sexual assault which is not listed as a disclaimer in the actual book. I personally didn’t find it too disturbing but I appreciate that other people might be put off by this.

7. Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

Red Queen focuses on the power dynamic between silvers and reds. If you enjoyed this dynamic, then you’ll find Girls of Paper and Fire to be another compelling story about royals’ power over impoverished people.

Every year, the king of Paper Castle chooses 8 girls to become his Paper Girls. This year, they have decided to add a 9th, the paper girl. While this job is an honor for a girl who has nothing, it is also very demeaning and oppressive. 

Lei’s mother was once a Paper Girl, and now the king is interested in her beauty. Things get complicated for Lei during her Paper Girl training when she begins having feelings for another Papergirl.

This forbidden romance could put everything at risk for Lei.

The world-building in this forbidden romance book is phenomenal and I love the magical elements. It’s powerful and expertly written. It would suit more young adult audiences.

8. Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi

If you loved Red Queen and are ready for something even more exciting, then I suggest you take a look at Shatter Me.

This dystopian thriller will have you on the edge of your seat as you uncover every secret in the book.

The story follows Juliette, a teenage girl with a fatal touch. She has been locked away in the asylum for 264 days since her touch killed a young boy. 

The people who locked her up want to use her as a weapon in their war. Now, Juliette must choose between doing what she’s told and doing what’s right. 

There is so much action in this book I was not surprised they turned it into a TV series. Although it’s intended for ages 13+, I would say that it would suit a more young adult audience.

9. Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

Do you want to read an exciting book like Red Queen but with more magical realism? Then one of my top recommendations is Shadow and Bone. 

Monsters have invaded the nation of Ravka. When Alina’s best friend is injured, she unleashes a power she never knew. 

Everything changes for Alina as she’s taken to the royal court to train with the magical elite, Grisha.

As Alina learns about her new power, she discovers hidden secrets within the Grisha.

I love everything that Leigh Bardugo writes so I was hooked on this series after reading Six of Crows by him. It was fast-paced, gritty, and full of suspense. It’s one book you won’t want to put down.

Related Post: Books like Six of Crows

10. Matched – Ally Condie

Fans of Red Queen who enjoyed the world-building and societal order will enjoy reading Matched. This unique dystopian novel is set in a tightly-knit society where everything is controlled.

Officials in Society make all the important decisions for people in the community. This includes who they’re married to, where they work, and when they die. 

Nobody questions things because it means they can live a long and successful life.

When a flash opportunity allows Cassia to explore a different path, she questions if the perfect lifestyle is worth it.

I’m not going to lie, when I first started reading this I thought I was reading The Giver by Lois Lowry. But after I got sucked into the plot, I realized it still had some uniqueness to it.

I’m a real sucker for young adult dystopian books, so if you’re also really into this genre then you will love this book. Otherwise, it’s not a concept that’s new.

11. Sorcery of Thorns – Margaret Rogerson

If you’re looking for a fun read like Red Queen but with more magic, then you might like Sorcery of Thorns. This book takes readers on an exciting adventure with a slow-burning romance plot.

The story follows Elisabeth who is determined to guard the Austermeer’s Great Libraries.

The books on these shelves withhold a magical power greater than anything the world has ever known. These books can be used for good. 

However, they can transform into terrifying monsters if provoked the wrong way.

A sabotage of the library puts Elisabeth at the scene of the crime. She’s accused with no way of proving her innocence. But, without her protection, the library and city will become destroyed.

This leads Elisabeth to seek help from a family of sorcerors she once considered her enemies.

This book took me on a whirlwind of adventure and introduced me to characters that I loved. The world-building was incredible and I could really picture it. A great read!

12. The Shadow Queen – C.J. Redwine

Looking for more fantasy books like Red Queen with royal intrigue and fairytale elements? You won’t be able to put The Shadow Queen down.

This book is a cross between Red Queen meets Snow White.

We meet Loralei who is a princess and a fugitive.

Unlike other princesses, she’s not thinking about the ball or her prince charming. She has one mission on her mind.

That’s to avenge her father and kill her evil stepmother, Irina. 

Prince Kol needs magic to save his kingdom. Queen Irina will trade him magic for Loralei’s heart. Will unexpected feelings get in the way of their missions?

This is a gripping fairytale retelling that brings new life to a story we all know and love. It’s dark and defiant, but also full of passion and complex characters.

13. Caraval – Stephanie Garber 

Caraval is a fun book for those looking for another fantasy novel to read after Red Queen that has some similarities but is different enough to keep you hooked.

This book has characters questioning the lines between reality and fantasy.

Every year, Scarlett has dreamt of attending Caraval. She finally gets the chance to escape her cruel father and go to the Caraval show with her sister, Tella. She didn’t know that this year’s Caraval revolves around Tella. 

With Tella now missing, Scarlett and the other audience members must piece find her. Scarlett only has 5 nights to find her sister.

I loved the tension in this book. I could feel my fingers gripping the page as I waited to find out what happened next. It’s a suspenseful story that will have your heart racing until the end.

14. Glass Sword – Victoria Aveyard

If you loved Red Queen, then I have some excellent news for you. The story isn’t over yet.

Red Queen was just the beginning of this five book series, and Glass Sword is the second book in the collection.

In this book, Mare finally escaped Maven. This was when she discovered she wasn’t the only one of her kind.

There is other red-and-silver blood out there. Together, they can form an alliance and take down their oppressors. 

One of the most interesting aspects of this book is how it shows readers the struggle between the rebel army and the only world they’ve ever known.

However, things turn upside down as Mare becomes like the people she’s sworn to take down. 

15. Queen Song – Victoria Aveyard

If you have finished the series and want to read more books like Red Queen, then I suggest reading the prequel, Queen Song.

This Victoria Aveyard novella is set in the same world as Red Queen and gives readers more insight into the royal side.

This novel tells us the story of Coraline before and after she became queen. Readers are taken on her adventure as she falls for prince Cal and marries the royal family.

It also details the challenges she faced during her time in the castle. 

Readers that enjoyed Red Queen will be enthralled by the world of Queen Coraline and her secret diary.

It’s really a book for hardcore Red Queen fans though, if you liked the book but are happy to move on, then you can skip this book and not miss out.

View it on:

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest!

books like red queen

Final Words On Books Like Red Queen

If you thought finding another book as exciting as Red Queen would be easy, I hope that I’ve made it so!

Red Queen was one of the most riveting reads I’ve read and there is no comparison really, but I think these other books are as good contenders as any.

Did I miss one of your favorite books similar to Red Queen? Let me know about it in the comments below.

Related reading: Books with a color in the title and what they represent

Headshot of Louisa

About Louisa Smith

Editor/Founder - Epic Book Society

Louisa is the Founder, Editor, and Head Honcho of Epic Book Society. She was born and raised in the United Kingdom and graduated from the University for the Creative Arts with a degree in Journalism. Louisa began her writing career at the age of 7 when her poetry was published in an anthology of poems to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. Upon graduating university, she spent several years working as a journalist writing about books before transitioning to become a Primary School Teacher. Louisa loves all genres of books, but her favorites are Sci-Fi, Romance, Fantasy, and Young Adult Fiction. Read more Louisa's story here.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.