Review: Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

Release Date: February 11th 2016
Published By: Orion  (UK/Aus) / HarperTeen (US)
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Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Mare’s blood is red – the colour 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 the prince and friend who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by the Silver 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?

Review:  This review contains spoilers for the previous book in this series: Red Queen. You can read my review of Red Queen here.

I loved Red Queen – it was dark and edgy, with sass and action, so naturally Glass Sword was one my most anticipated sequels of 2016!

Sequels are always exciting! They can make the whole series a success, be the start of its demise, or anything in-between – and sadly, I think that Glass Sword is somewhere in-between.

I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. It was a good “middle” book, giving us some much needed story development, however there were certainly things in it that fell short of my expectations.

Mainly Mare.

Wow did she annoy me! I found her to be a walking contraction most of the time, ridiculously selfish at others and she really needs to let go of her growing god-complex. She didn’t stop to ask herself some very important questions, including why she is a red with silver abilities. She is determined to find others like herself and change the world, but she never once did she question why there are people like her, and what that actually means. She becomes so focused that she starts to lose grasp on some very important things; her family, her friends, herself.

Mare is spiralling into a big dark whirlwind, and she is starting to become exactly like the oppressors that she is fights so hard against.

Then there is the ridiculously swooning over a lie. She cannot let go of something that doesn’t actually exist, a complete falsehood, but yet cannot (and will not try) to understand when someone actually has a reason to not want to let go of their truth. It drove me mental the way she can completely dismiss people she actually knows but yet cannot let go of a fantasy.

Glass Sword picks up where we left Mare and Cal at the end of Red Queen. They are on the run (well Mare is, Cal is kind of a captive) with the Scarlet Guard. Along with those they trust, and some they don’t, they have to make their next move, and quick!

Now that the vindictive and traitorous Maven is King, lies and deceit are the least of the things to be afraid of. He will do everything he can to stop those who oppose him, he will be murderous and merciless in his effort to keep his secrets. And the people who threaten him the most are not the Scarlet Guard – his biggest enemies are now Mare and Cal.  He knows Mare’s power, and will stop at nothing to protect his lies and his crown. And with everything at Maven’s disposal – propaganda, guards and blind followers, the rebels will have to remain 2 steps ahead of this intelligent and certifiable King at all times.

Mare, Cal and members of the Scarlet Guard set out to find the other “new bloods”, before Maven finds and destroys them all. Mare needs to build her own army to defeat the biggest threat to her kind, to destroy the oppression wielded by the Silvers – but will this journey liberate or segregate?

Will Mare see the face of a saviour, revolutionary or monster when she looks in the mirror?

The story was filled with action-packed adventure that is layered with complexities. I particularly enjoyed the complexities for Cal – the Prince who has been betrayed and is heartbroken on many levels.

The action was fantastic – I cannot deny that. But I must admit that I really missed the presence of the “villain”. Well, in this case, the two villains. There was a major lack of the evil and twisted puppet-master Queen (well, Queen Regent I guess) and the equally as crazy and demented new King. While there are short appearances, and you can see a lot of what they up to from the public perception side of things, I missed having them there. They are sinister and twisted, evil and unscrupulous – and I missed seeing them on the pages throughout the story.

I did however really enjoy the introduction of some amazing new characters, some pretty interesting plot development of old ones, and a few twists thrown in there as well.

This second book in the Red Queen trilogy definitely had some amazing character building and a great story arc, so therefore I cannot say it had “second book syndrome”, I think for me the problem was the protagonist. She was hypocritical, emotionally jumpy (and at times unstable) and basically down right eye-roll worthy. The storyline did jump a little too much at times: in one particular part I was actually confused as to what had happened due to a “jump forward” moment (which saddened me because apparently we missed out on what could have been an amazing scene!), but overall it was a good instalment and has certainly moved the story in an interesting direction.

The power struggle is real, with a very fine line between right and wrong, and an even finer one between liberator and oppressor.

Glass Sword is filled with treachery, power, determination, contradictions, betrayal, conspiracy, lies, cruelty, politics, intrigue, faith and lots of blood. Both Red and Silver.

Red and Silver: stronger than both?

 

 

 

What do you think?

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