Set immediately from the final events that finished off in Red Queen, Mare Barrow and Cal have just barely managed to escape the wicked betrayal Maven laid upon them. They’ve found out that Maven isn’t who he pretended to be, but instead, a vindictive king who will do anything possible to silence the Scarlet Guard, Cal and Mare, and Newbloods… pretty much anyone working against him. To start, Mare, Kilorn, Shade, Farley, and Cal are on the underground train heading to Naercy, the ruined city that The Scarlet Guard has been hiding out in. Cal begins trying to get the message across to Farley that Maven will send fighter planes and armies there to capture them, and that it is no longer safe for them. Of, course, Farley is bad at following any orders and convinces them she has a plan and they needn’t worry. After they arrive in the deserted city, they are confronted by Mavens army. Everyone splits and scatters in different directions as Mare uses her electricity to bring down one of the planes. Mare realizes Maven has created a line of defense out of lowly Red bloods to protect his inside forces, the Silvers. She is momentarily thrown off guard and becomes cornered by Maven and his army. Cal comes to the rescue and they jump off a cliff into rigid cold water, as instructed by Farley. They realize the city was a distraction to keep Maven unaware of where they were truly heading, as they escape into a submarine. A few hours pass and they end up on an island that is well hidden from Silvers, but has a huge Scarlet Guard base on it. As soon as they step foot on land they are greeted by Colonel and Cal is taken into custody for questioning. Nobody trusts him as he is Silver and was in line for King. Mare discovers her family is already waiting for her and she immediately goes to see them. Farley is stripped of her rank by the Colonel, because she had falsely trusted Maven with valuable information. Mare tries convincing the Colonel they must go after other Newbloods, like herself, because they could start and army with the potential of being able to defeat the Silvers. But, also, they need to find them for their safety. If they don’t find them first, Maven will and he won’t allow any of them to live because they are powerful and if the rest of the world finds out what they truly are- Red bloods with Silver abilities- he may lose the little control he has over the Kingdom right now. The Colonel refuses Mares request saying that the information from Julian about other newbloods could be a lie and he didn’t have the time to waste on training them. Mare seeks out Farley and receives the keys to Cals cell in the Colonels quarters so she can make sure he is alright. Kilorn agrees to assist Mare and take her to Cal’s prison cell and on the way, they find a family portrait of the Colonels and find out Farley is his daughter. They begin to hear footsteps approaching and they rush to open Cal’s cell, but when they do Kilorn pushes Mare inside and locks her in. Cal and Mare try to fight their way out but are incapable because their powers are useless due to the cell being made out of Silent Stone. Kilorn tells Mare he is sorry and Mare is heartbroken to see her childhood friend betray her plans to the Colonel and help him lock her up as he wanted to do in the first place. A few days later, the Colonel appears outside their cell again with guards who are holding Farley against her will. He then puts a syringe to her neck to incapacitate her and throws her in another cell. He then tells Cal to say his goodbyes to Mare because he will be sent off the island later that day. He has agreed to turn Cal into Maven and Maven has agreed to move the conscription age back up to 18 so young kids aren’t being sent into battle anymore. Mare tries telling him Maven won’t keep his word but the Colonel insists it’s a chance he has to take. At this time, Kilorn “accidentally” drops a box of syringes and as the Colonel goes to check if they broke or not, Kilorn uses one on him. Shade appears around the corner and takes out a couple of the guards while Cal takes out the two in the cell with him. They use Shade’s teleportation ability to escape to the aircraft and they get in one of the two airships that are inside. Cal is the pilot and asks where they plan on going and Farley given him instructions to land outside a small city that they’ll all be familiar with. He tells her it will be impossible to land but she informs him there are old roads from a long time ago he can use. Mare looks up the closest Newblood to them, Nix, who comes along without much convincing as long as Cal stays away from him. The next city is heavily guarded and Farley makes plans with an inside gang, The Mariners. Turns out, Crance is leading them into a trap because a bounty has been placed on Mare’s capture. They manage to escape the collapsing tunnels that were set as a trap and Crance apologizes, saying he wished to help them but he couldn’t go against his orders. Finally, they get into one of the main buildings and find a computer where Mare can print off the rest of the list of Newbloods they need to search for. They begin their travel to find newbloods in the surrounding cities. When they reach the next one, they find that Maven had reached the person before they had. They find the young man they had been searching for hanging inn the middle of the town square and killed the newbloods family as well. Mare insists on retrieving the body and giving him a proper burial, but Maven shows up suddenly and corners Mare. He then disables Mare with a device he created, turning her electricity against herself. Instead of being able to use her ability, it hurts her instead. Maven tells her that he wants her to return back to the palace with him and that he would keep his word he made previously about letting nobody else be able to hurt her. She passes out from the pain his device creates and she wakes up back on the ship and Shade tells her she’s been passed out for four days. In the four days she has been unconscious, though, the Scarlet Guard has already recruited other newbloods that were on their list. One of the new recruits, Ada, she can memorize anything she sees, hears, or reads. Knowing they are short on time, they begin searching in other locations and round up all the newbloods they can manage. We become acquainted with a few on the newbloods, even though some remain unnamed. Luther, with the ability to kill with one single touch. Nanny, who can change her appearance to whomever she wants. Farrah, who is capable of manipulating sound and helps prevent anyone in the woods hearing the Scarlet Guard training. Ketha, who causes explosions just by looking at it. Harrick, capable of causing illusions and helps to keep the Scarlet Guard invisible for certain amounts of time. Gareth, a man able to control gravity and uses that control to make himself, or others, fly. During all of this, Kilorn admits he has been in love with Mare and that he knows she loves Cal and he settles for being just her friend. Although, he accepts being her friend, he still gradually becomes distant. But, Mare doesn’t have time to worry about Kilorn and has to focus on getting the newbloods ready for action. When they go to one of the next towns, they find a murdered baby in a basket and guards rush in, but Harrick’s ability prevents them from being seen. The guards leave and Mare finds a note tucked beside the baby. She hides it, not allowing anyone else to know she has possession of it. Later she reads the note from Maven, and it says that if she surrenders all the murders will stop and that he is a man of his word. Mare knows she can’t surrender, having come this far, and she definitely doesn’t want to ask Cal what to do, so she keeps the letter hidden. When she gets back to the hideout, she goes to Cal’s room and lies down with him for comfort, and from that point on, his room becomes hers too. Kilorn thinks they are doing more than just sleeping in the same room together and he starts avoiding Mare entirely. She continues receiving little notes left for her by Maven, but never confides in anyone about them. A few weeks later, Ada shows Mare a Silver soldiers orders that Shade had taken off of a dead body and Mare learns that 10,000 Red soldiers are being sent to the front lines in a place called Corvium. The “little legion” is made up of all young reds only 15-17, (the same legion that the Scarlet Guard’s Colonel was going to exchange Cal to Maven for). They begin another rescue mission in one of the cities and Nanny and Gareth are sent in, with Gareth flying Nanny in and dropping her off inside the military compound, and then she is to shift so that she looks like one of the sergeants and release the newbloods there. While Farley, Mare, and Cal wait on the outskirts in an abandoned town, a man shows up named Jon who is also a newblood. He tells them his vision led him to them, and he wants them to know that their mission today will fail and that they must not go into the city or they will be killed because it’s a trap. He tells them Gareth and Nanny will be injured when they get back and they need to meet them at the airship and leave immediately. They realize he can see the future, but farther into the future than any Silver has ever been able to see. Although he creeps them out, Mare wants him to come with them but he tells her that he can’t but that he already knows it won’t be the last time they see each other. He tells her they need to go to a prison close to them; that Maven hasn’t killed a lot of the newbloods he found but rather imprisoned them and is trying to force Julian to experiment on them, but Julian refuses and is tortured. Jon tells them it’s not just newbloods at this prison either, but also Silver’s who have questioned Maven’s authority. He tells them that although he can’t go with them, there will be something they find along the way to help them. The final thing he tells them is that they must make it there within three days, and if it’s any moment longer, it will be too late for them. Mare has a gut feeling she has to do as he says, even though everyone else thinks it’s just another trap. While out in the woods, a young girl appears and pulls a gun on them. She is a newblood and refuses to join the Scarlet Guard and tell Mare it is her fault that thousands of young kids are being sent to the front lines to die. Mare always gave newbloods the choice to come with them or not, because has never had the choice herself, but she feels this young girl is one she cannot risk losing. On the airship Mare and the new girl, Cameron, continue to fight and Mare realizes she cannot use her electricity power, and realize that Cameron has the ability to snuff out people’s abilities. Cameron agrees to stay and help them so she can save her brother and learn to control her power so she can avoid hurting anybody on accident. Later, Mare reveals to everyone her plan to break into Corros prison and rescue the newbloods. Cameron describes the layout to them and Harrick creates an image for them to work out how to get into the prison. Nanny poses as Maven and gets them into the prison. All of the guards are awaiting Mavens arrival in a few days, so they believe he just showed up earlier than planned. One of the guards ask ‘Maven’ if he would like to see his mother, Elara, and they are caught off guard by the question, since they didn’t know she was there. They must now attack because the guards become suspicious. They manage to free the prisoners, including Julian, but they are being attacked by the magnetron guards. With so many newbloods fighting, the guards have no choice but to try to run and a few of them become trapped inside a room. Cal begs Mare to let them live, and when she sees that they are pleading to Cal she becomes angry, seeing that even now they still look to another Silver to save them and still don’t consider Reds worthy of asking for forgiveness. She electrocutes them all and Cal doesn’t look at her the same anymore from that point on. While working their way out of the prison, fighting the guards the entire way, Elara shows up and Mare jumps into one of the Silent Stone cells to escape Elara controlling her mind. Shade comes and rescues Mare by jumping away and they head toward the plane which now holds 300 prison escapees, both newbloods and the Silvers who didn’t accept Maven as king. Those Silvers are now helping them fight against the other Silver guard captors as well. Shade quickly jumps Cal, Julian, and Sara to the ship. Right as he comes back to help Mare, as he is reaching for her, Ptolemus sends metal flying straight at Mare, and a piece pierces Shade’s heart immediately. The strike kills him, but saves Mare. When they are all back on the airship and heading back to base, we find out that in Mare’s rage over her brother’s death, she killed Elara in the battle and her body has been brought with them on the ship. Farley is extremely distraught since she and Shade had formed a romantic relationship with each other, and she blames Mare for his death. Mare has a plan and wants to go back to the Colonel instead of their own base. Upon arrival, Mare shows him the Queens body and they join forces form this point on and make a video to release to the public explaining that Mare is Red with Silver abilities and that Maven has been lying to all the people and inform Newbloods to find the Scarlet Guard so they can help rise up and fight. They also point out how Maven even locked up many Silvers just to keep them quiet. The Colonel tells Mare that someone is waiting to meet her, and it turns out to be more newbloods, two twins from another area far away called the Free Republic of Montfort. They wish to take Mare and the other newbloods there and tell her that they and their leader will keep them all safe, that they don’t have to fight anymore. They tell Mare there are many more in many other nations that they are trying to get to safety, but Mare is uneasy and hasn’t forgotten what Cal said to her once about a king who would sit upon a throne built for him. Mare realizes these newbloods are wanting to start a war too, but not a war for equality like she hopes for, but to obliterate all Silvers. When she thinks of Cal, Julian, and Sara, she knows that this isn’t what she wants and tells them she won’t go with them. Mare and the Colonel tell the newbloods they can now go rescue all the Reds being sent to the front lines and save them. The Colonel will wait in the North past the land called the Choke, where the Silvers have been sending the Reds to fight for years when they are conscripted, and Mare and any other volunteers who can pass as 15-year olds will be going with her to kill the Silver warriors in charge and then will lead the young Reds through the Choke to the Colonel. From there they will retreat to Lake Eris and freighters will be waiting there to ferry them across into the disputed lands. Cal stands against Mare and says that there is no hope for this plan to work, since in a hundred years no army has ever crossed the Choke and lived. The Colonel tells him that at one point, that was true, but now instead of 9 legions at the front line the Lakelanders only have 2. The rest of their resources have been sent to another part of the lands to fight while these soldiers create a diversion so that the other lands can be taken which aren’t defended as well, so they will have no problems crossing the Choke. They prepare to leave and Mare says goodbye to her family once again. 18 members are joining Mare on this mission including Cal, her two brothers Bree and Tramy, Cameron, Nanny, and Kilorn. Ada and Harrick have gone with the Colonel to protect the north side since they couldn’t have passed for young soldiers. They board the airship, but on their way, they are shot down from the sky by a plane and Maven is there, along with a bunch of Silver soldiers, so there is no way for them to escape. Mare agrees to go with Maven if he will let the others go and he agrees. Mare wakes back at the palace and Maven parades her through the city in chains. When she reaches the palace steps she sees that Jon is there and she realizes that he saw this coming too. It’s still a bit unclear as to whose side he is on since he did help them save the newbloods, but seeing him with Maven it’s easy to guess how Maven was able to find Mare and the rest when they were on their way to the Choke. Maven pulls out a collar and places it around Mare’s neck and attaches a leash to it and makes her kneel next to him to show that he has defeated her. Maven tells Mare he will put her body on display the same way she put his mother on display when she was killed.