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.
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?
Warning: This review may contain spoilers for the first book, so if you haven’t read that book yet, you should probably not read this review!
Last year, I read Red Queen, the first book in a series about a girl who finds out she’s special. She has a power that she’s not supossed to have, because she has Red blood and only Silver bloods have powers. But here she is, Mare Barrow, red blood flowing through her veins, and the power to summon/feel electricity at her will. I was very intrigued in this book, especially because of the whole special powers theme, and because this book was a fantasy novel (with a fantasy world) but still so modern with cameras, trains and (obviously) electricity!
Glass Sword is the second book in the series, and I wasn’t so sure if I wanted to read it, because I’d seen very mixed reviews on Goodreads. I decided to just pick it up after I saw it discounted and read it almost immediately after it arrived. I was – and still am – in a reading slump, so it took me a while to get into this book, but stars it was good.
The story takes off almost immediately where the first book left us – in the underground train on their way to the Red Guards secret hide-out. Mare has just found out her brother Shade is still alive and a newblood like her. We arrive at the hide-out, only to be swept away almost as quickly, because Maven knows where they are and is leveling the city just to find her. From then on, this book is a damn rollercoaster.
Honestly, I kept comparing this book to X-Men. Which is not a bad thing really, but my mind just kept going back to X-Men while I was reading this book, and I don’t think that’s what the author wanted. The newbloods are basically mutants, because their blood has mutated so they get their powers. I do really love X-Men, and I’ve always been a fan of stories where people get powers, but yeah, I don’t know. View Spoiler »There is Mare, who can summon lightning and that reminded me a bit of Storm. There’s the stoneskins (or whatever they were called) one of which made his entrance by running through a wall, which reminded me of Juggernaut (or Colossus or Luke Cage, though that one isn’t a mutant). Nanny was basically Mystique because she could change into anyone and even take over their voices. Shade reminded me a bit of a combination of Nightcrawler and Quicksilver. So yeah. « Hide Spoiler
I read a couple of spoiler-free reviews on Goodreads, and saw that people are still shipping Mare with Maven, after all he’s done in this book, and I don’t get it? After all the shit he’s put her through, after all the people he’s killed just to get her to come back to him. In this book, Mare often feels disgusted by Maven whenever she thinks of him or sees what he’s done. View Spoiler »When Nanny morphs into him to get into the prison, Mare nearly punches her even though she knows it’s not really Maven. I think that shows how much she hates what Maven has become. « Hide Spoiler Maven’s behavious in this book was childish and Joffrey-like. Honestly. He kills people just to get Mare back to him? What the hell, no. I will never go down with this ship, never never never. View Spoiler »I don’t really ship Mare with Cal either, nor with Kilorn. And that last bit annoyed me too, because it’s so old already. The best friend, the one she grew up with, turns out to be in love with her as well. Ugh, please stop. « Hide Spoiler
Like the previous book, Glass Sword had a couple of twists, but I have to admit that, like the previous book, I saw (some of) them coming. View Spoiler »I knew that Kilorn was going to confess his love for Mare, I knew that she would get locked up with Cal in that silent stone room and that Kilorn was going to do that. I knew Farley was pregnant before it was announced. Or well – Mare still doesn’t even know it yet, so it’s not official yet, but I already know she’s going to find out in the next book. « Hide Spoiler There was only one that I didn’t see coming, and that was the ending. THAT ENDING HOLY SHIT WHAT. Anyway, I am a bit sad that I found the book so predictable, because the twists are good, but I just didn’t experience the way other people did.
I don’t have any comments on the characters, other than that I really enjoyed reading about all of them. I loved the newbloods, and I loved their powers. Mare went through a couple of changes in this book, which I understood. I mean you can’t be chased by the king of your country, almost get killed multiple times, and then end up being the same person. What I did like was that this book wasn’t centered around romance that much, which happens a lot in YA books. There was romance, but very subtle and not too in-your-face, which is exactly how I want my romance. View Spoiler »There is just one thing I am a bit crossed about. Shade’s death. I mean sure it was in the middle of battle and they lost a couple of others, but why Shade? Why?! Perhaps to make Mare’s escape/being rescued in the next book a bit more difficult, but still WHY SHADE. « Hide Spoiler
The one thing I would have loved having in this book, was a map. There is a map of the Red Queen world, but it just isn’t in my books, which is such a shame, because I was terribly confused by all the new cities and towns they visited in this book, to find newbloods. Maybe it’s just the editions that I have, and others do have a map, but I really wished that it’d been in every edition of the books.
In the end, I really enjoyed Glass Sword and I will certainly be reading the next book in the series. If you love X-Men and you love fantasy books that also have a hint of science fiction, you should definitely check out the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard!