If you haven’t read Red Queen yet, be warned… This review will contain spoilers for the first book. So turn away if you haven’t. (By the way. Why haven’t you read it yet? It is a lot of fun. Go read it and come back.)
SPOILER ALERT for RED QUEEN
Maven still searches for Mare. Her power to control lightning and electricity makes her an awesome weapon. The royal court fears and covets her power, and has labeled her traitor and murderer. But Mare has discovered that she is not alone; Reds with supernatural powers, stronger than those of the Silvers, live in secret terror as commoners, afraid of being discovered and turned over to the ruling Silvers.
The race to find the newbloods is on. The Red Guard wants them in the rebel’s forces, before newly crowned King Maven finds and kills them all. The search will take Mare and Cal and their group of rebels across the land, trying to stay one step ahead of Maven and the Silver Army.
But in the search, Mare herself is forced to make decisions she would never have thought possible. She must answer the question: what is a life worth?
I am not as impressed with Mare this time around. Actually, I don’t like her at all. Seriously, how long can the pity party continue? Yes, Maven betrayed her. He betrayed EVERYONE. Get over it, move on. She finds herself alone, at the head of a revolution, but her loneliness is self-imposed. She pushes everyone away, even those who are loyal and stand with her. Is it arrogance? Ignorance? Maybe it is fear, but she does not change. She does not learn or develop. The entire book is filled with her internal monologues, and it gets old, quickly.
Also, the revolution is about equality. Yet Mare treats Kilorn, loyal, devoted Kilorn, like crap. Why? Because he has no special powers.
Cal, on the other hand, the lost and exiled crown prince, still retains remnants of what made him the king-in-waiting. He brings his military expertise and knowledge of the lands to the fight, and he grows stronger. He is the more interesting of the characters as he struggles to figure out who he is without his crown. But his strength is lost next to Mare’s inner turmoil and self-hatred and arrogance.
And Maven is a wonderful villain. He is evil, strong, cold, and without conscience. He was woven throughout the entire story; even when he was not present in the scene, he overshadowed everyone’s thoughts and made it impossible for them to rest. I like him, even as I loathe him.
The book needs a map. All the cities sound similar, and I can not picture their locations in relation to each other. (And I like fantasy novels to have maps.)
The plot never really moves along, and the ending? Well, it definitely sets up the third book, but it seemed rushed and anti-climactic.
All in all, I did not enjoy Glass Sword as much as I did Red Queen. It has the same elements, but I hoped for more. It will not keep me from reading the next instalment, but I do think Aveyard has a great idea that she needs to focus more sharply. This book reads like a middle chapter.
Glass Sword was published February 9th, 2016 by HarperTeen.