Book Reviews – Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (Spoiler Free and With Spoilers)

Title – Glass Sword (#2 Red Queen)

Author – Victoria Aveyard

Publisher – HarperTeen

Genre – Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance

My Rating – 3/5

GOODREADS BLURB

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.

SPOILER FREE

Glass Sword is a sequel to the Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, a book that I recently reviewed. For those of you who haven’t read the first book yet, this review might be a little confusing so do check it out.

I enjoyed Red Queen thoroughly and hence read it twice and couldn’t wait to start Glass Sword. As it always is with sequels and me, I was slightly worried that it would disappoint. I’m glad to say it didn’t!

While I don’t feel Glass Sword is as good as the first book, it is an interesting read. Mare as a character didn’t appeal to me personally but the storyline was worth following. Maven’s plans to conquer his kingdom and to get Mare back were actually intriguing, albeit terrifying. The elucidation of the Scarlet Guard and their quest for equality was also an interesting read.

Towards the end, the book got a little dark for me. While I’ll explain why this happened in the spoiler section, Mare’s choices towards the end were quite horrifying and the character development was quite shocking for me.

All in all, this book is a good read for those who have read Red Queen because who doesn’t need a sense of closure when it comes to books?

SUMMARY (WITH SPOILERS)

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Glass Sword opens where Red Queen left off. Mare, Cal, Shade, Kilorn and Farley are travelling to Naercey with the rest of the Scarlet Guard by the Underground train to escape Maven. Upon their arrival, they are attacked by Maven’s army with Silver fighters and Red Slaves. However, the Scarlet Guard manages to escape via a submarine that leads them to another base of the Scarlet Guard names Tuck, Tuck is a small island, presumed to be abandoned.

As soon as they reach Tuck, Cal is arrested by the commander, known as the Colonel, against Mare’s wishes. Mare reunites with her family and discovers more about the Scarlet Guard, including the fact that the Colonel and many other soldiers are from Lakeland, a neighboring country to Norta. She also later realizes that the Colonel is Farley’s father.

Farley is demoted by the Colonel for her failure at Norta. She then reveals that Cal has been locked in an underground bunker, and gives her the key to unlock it. Mare and Kilorn then secretly go there to talk to Cal but she is betrayed by Kilorn and pushed into the prison with Cal leading her to lose her faith in Kilorn. Later however, Kilorn, Shade and Farley rescue them and together they steal an airplane and leave the island. They decided to find all the newbloods in the list that Julian gave Mare. The newbloods are all the Reds who possess powers like Silvers. The first newblood on the list is Nix Marsten, a Stoneskin who agrees to join them.

They leave for Harbor Bay to locate two newbloods and sneak into the records room of the castle to  get more information about the newbloods. Narrowly escaping the palace guards, they leave to find the first newblood on the list. However, Maven has reached him first and murdered him, leaving his body as a trap for Mare. Mare uses a machine to torture Mare and she passes out but is rescued by the others. She wakes up on the stolen plane with Kilorn and Cal who inform her that they were able to get out with the second newblood and were waiting to pursue more newbloods till she had fully recovered.

As they set out in pursuit of more newbloods, Maven leaves her notes at the addresses of every newblood that he gets to before Mare. Through the notes Mare finds out that Maven has planned a battalion of 5000 Red children to be sent to the front lines, where they are sure to be killed. Each note entails that if Mare turns herself in, all the killing will stop. Ridden with guilt and yet unable to surrender herself, Mare hides these notes from everyone.

On the next mission, the group meets a Seer named Jon who tells them that all the newbloods presumed dead had actually been imprisoned in Corros Prison, alongwith all the Silvers who had defied Maven and are being prepared to fight in the war. Mare learns that Julian and Sara are also at the prison. Jon tells them that they will fail in saving the prisoners unless they plan a jailbreak in 3 days and he then guides them to a newblood named Cameron, who has already escaped Corros through her powers of silencing other superpowers.

Cameron refuses to join or trust the group, due to which Mare defies her own rule of giving each newblood a choice, and forces her to help them. She then asks for volunteers among the existing newbloods at their camp to help in the jailbreak. They manage to get most of the prisoners out but sustain a number of losses. As Mare is about to leave, she is pursued by Elara and Ptolemus. While trying to rescue her, Shade is murdered by Ptolemus and a shocked Mare loses control of her power and ultimately kills Queen Elara.

Angry about Mare’s recklessness, Cal wants to head back to the newblood camp but Mare convinces him to go to Tuck to deliver Shade and Elara’s bodies. The Colonel and Mare strike up an alliance and using his resources, the Colonel telecasts a message for all the Reds to join the Scarlet Guard’s cause. Mare holds up Elara’s body as a proof of their victory.

The Colonel then takes Mare to meet representatives from the Free Republic of Montfort, who offer all newbloods sanctuary in their country, but Mare turns down the offer on account of believing that it wasn’t truly freedom to only favor newbloods.

Deciding to finally rise up to her role as a rebel leader, Mare assembles a team including her brothers, Cal and Kilorn to rescue the child soldier Battalion and the team leaves by airplane. However, the plane is intercepted by Maven and grounded. In order to save the others, Mare strikes a deal with Maven wherein she agrees to be a willing prisoner as long as he lets the others go free. Maven accepts and decides to use the fallen Red Rebel as a symbol of his power and makes her publicly kneel at his feet with a golden collar and leash binding her as prisoner.

 

MY OPINION


The saddest part in this book for me was Shade’s death. Shade was an amazing character and his death was quite shocking. As much as I expected there to be a significant death when the plan for the Prison Break was formulated, I didn’t think it would be Shade. Shade’s romance with Farley, however wasn’t something I particularly appreciated because I couldn’t see Shade in any other role but as big brother to Mare.

Mare’s choices in the book were a lot to absorb. Her decision to kill the Silver guards mercilessly was shocking and sociopathic and made the book a little too dark for my taste. I completely agreed with Cal and his decision to berate Mare for her cruelty. It was however interesting from a writing point of view because her character development in the face of a rebellion was interesting.

Overall, the book is worth a read purely for more Maven and Mare. When it was revealed in the previous book that Maven was never on Mare’s side, I was devastated because Maven was an amazing character and I couldn’t believe he was evil. However, his new side is equally intriguing and makes the book a worthwhile read, even if Maven is only described from afar.

All in all, this book gets a 3 out of 5. Do leave me your opinions of the book in the comments, of you’ve read it!

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