June 20, 2016
If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.
Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?
The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.
I’ve been obsessed with Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen since long before I had the opportunity to pick up the first novel in the series. Everything about it sounded amazing. And, after cracking open Red Queen and devouring its contents, it was made evident that Aveyard’s debut series was clearly something great. I had a budding suspicion that Glass Sword would be filled with action and drama that would kill me and (I’m not even surprised anymore) my suspicions were proven to be right.
Set immediately after the events of Red Queen, Mare Barrow and Cal have narrowly managed to evade Maven after his wicked betrayal. The boy that they thought him to be isn’t real and has instead been replaced with a vindictive king who will do anything and everything to silence the Scarlet Guard, Cal and Mare, and the Newbloods. The pursuit of the Newbloods (Reds with Silver abilities) isn’t an easy one and, like danger, the new King of Norta is never too far away. Caught up in her efforts to find and locate the Newbloods, Mare’s loyalties are tested as she begins to realize that betrayals lie around every corner and that her decisions might impact more than just her own life.
Right off the hop, the first thing that really stands out for me when it comes to Glass Sword is the major world-building that takes place. If you’re anything like me, Red Queen left you hungry to know more about the post-post-apocalyptic setting that is the Kingdom of Norta. Luckily for us, our hunger is satiated consistently throughout Glass Sword. We are shown more of Norta, more of the world of the Reds, and offered further insight into just what the setting for the series is supposed to look like. I absolutely love beautiful world-building and Glass Sword offers just that.
Aside from this, there’s a ton of character development that occurs in Glass Sword. Characters like Mare, Farley, Shade, and Cal all grow throughout the novel. The characters who we met at the beginning of Red Queen are nothing at all like the ones we know come Glass Sword’s conclusion. Mare’s development is an interesting subject in particular as Mare is not only making plenty of difficult decisions but they’re ones that definitely left me with some major Adelina vibes a la Marie Lu’s Young Elites series.
The writing in Glass Sword is consistent with what readers were presented with in Red Queen. I’m personally a fan of Aveyard’s narrative and enjoy getting some insight into Mare’s thoughts on a situation as it occurs (as there are plenty of one-liners that pack a serious punch). However, I did find myself irked by one thing and one thing only and that was the reiteration of ‘Anyone can betray anyone’. The first couple of times that I read that statement, I was nodding my head as it’s clear that yes in the RQ-verse anyone can be a snake. But being bombarded with the statement at least a dozen times (what felt like) every twenty-or-so pages started to make the sentiment lose its effectiveness. I get It. I believe it. And I hope I don’t have to read those same words nearly as many times in RQ #3.
And lastly I want to just remind everyone about Maven. Don’t forget about him my sweet, trash boy. With him being my problematic fave, Maven’s actions in Glass Sword are beyond abhorrent and chilled me to the bone. If you loved or hated Maven— read Glass Sword. I have a feeling our favorite antagonist is bound for bigger and better badder things in the future.
I would recommend Glass Sword to readers who have picked up Red Queen because, freals, the story gets so good. I would recommend Red Queen to readers who want a novel that is similar to Marie Lu’s The Young Elites. Readers who want a novel that is filled with romance, action, flawed protagonists, and conflict should also give it a read. Any readers who also want a novel that will leave you addicted, dying and crying for more should also join the pain train that is Red Queen.