Release date: February 9th, 2016 (out now!)
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: if you have not yet read Red Queen, this may contain some spoilers (no spoilers for Glass Sword though!).
Where to start with this review? I finished this last night and I’m still not sure what to say.
The first third or so of this was alright, but I found it hard to get into at least compared to how quickly I had become hooked on Red Queen. But once the action picks up a bit, it’s really interesting and I found the last third of the book to be difficult to put down.
First of all, I really liked seeing the character development in Mare. You can really see how much everything that she’s gone through has changed her. The most noticeable thing is that the betrayal from Maven in Red Queen has made it very difficult for her to trust anyone. She fears that anyone and everyone will betray her, even people she has known for years (like Kilorn). It honestly gets frustrating at points, but it makes so much more sense than it would to have had her still be just as trusting as she was before someone she thought she knew really well completely betrayed her.
I liked seeing how conflicted Mare was with the decisions she had to make. She’s sort of been forced into an important role in the rebellion and she has to figure out how to make the best decisions both for the people involved and for the overall goal of the cause. Seeing her grappling with the decisions she’s made and trying to figure out if she really is doing the best thing was interesting and added a lot to her character. What I really liked was that I found myself questioning her decisions too. There’s definitely some ambiguity as to whether the choices she makes are the right ones and I really, really enjoyed that. So often I don’t really question the protagonist’s decisions because they are so confident in their choices, but this was different.
Similar to this, I enjoyed the conflict Mare faces between really caring for Cal and wanting to let her guard down around him and get close to him, but also fearing that he’ll betray her just as Maven did. It added a lot of tension and angst.
I loved getting to see all the newbloods (the term given to those who are like Mare with red blood but with abilities like the Silvers) and their abilities. I kind of wish we had gotten to see more of them and their abilities, but at the same time I think focusing a lot on their training and things like that would have gotten boring, so I’m pretty happy with how Aveyard showed them off. I will definitely be looking forward to seeing more of them in the next book.
As I mentioned, it was a lot harder to get into this book than it had been for me to get into RQ. And although I did eventually get into it and found it hard to put down towards the end, I wish there had been more of that addictive plot and action that the first book had. I think a big reason why it seemed a lot slower was because until around halfway through, the main focus is on recruiting newbloods and while it could sometimes be interesting and Mare certainly faced some problems while recruiting, I found it wasn’t nearly as suspenseful nor did it have as much action as RQ. But like I said, it did get really good later on and for that reason I feel conflicted rating GS.
Anyway, if you liked Red Queen, definitely pick up Glass Sword but be aware that you may not find it as filled with action and suspense. There are definitely plenty of great moments that will have you feeling SO MANY emotions but it may take longer for you to really connect with the story.