If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.
Mare Barrow’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 ignore.
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 righters 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’s 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.
444 pages; Book #2 of Red Queen Series; YA/Fantasy; 2016
Glass Sword picks up right where we left off.
With the help of the Scarlet Guard, Mare and Cal did not meet their maker in the arena where the newly crowned King Maven had sentenced them to their death at the hands of Silvers who thirsted for their blood.
Shade, the brother Mare mourned, alive all this time, adds to the term “newbloods”, with his ability to transport from one location to another in the blink of an eye. Together, they all travel by underwater boat to a safe haven where the other half of the Barrow family anxiously await their return.
But a family reunion is short-lived as Mare, Shade, Kilorn, Farley, and a conflicted Cal take flight – literally – once more, eager to set their plans into motion.
So how is our former king doing? Cal has been held in chains, held in solitary confinement, and is simply feared and untrusted amongst the Reds who cannot be certain where his loyalties lie. From the moment Maven’s betrayal was revealed, Cal has been at war with himself – when the time inevitably comes, will he really be willing to strike against the man whom he called brother all his life?
Mare feels more than she should for the ex-king and comes to his defense (much to the sneers and disgust of fellow Reds) when need be but she has more pressing matter to tend to. Troubles multiply as the race against Maven to reach the newbloods scattered against Norta begins. Locating them is only the starting point; then comes having to undo all that they thought they knew about themselves and persuading them to join a new war – one that can bury Maven’s reign for good. Training becomes essential and patience to achieve all that must be done for Reds to triumph wears thin as Mare discovers she cannot save everyone.
Blood is spilt, both Silver and Red. And when Maven changes the game with a truce built on only one chilling condition, will anyone choose to take it despite the sacrifice it demands?
Red Queen was the thunder and Glass Sword is the lightning.
If you’ve read my review, you know that I hold RQ in very high regards so don’t take that statement to mean it was the calm before the storm or any less beloved than GS!
Victoria Aveyard was just getting started.
The divide between Reds and Silvers is worsening and Mare just cannot catch a break; many a time, she is seen as a betrayer of both. As strong-willed and kick-ass as she is, guilt weighs on her shoulders like a ton of bricks. She isn’t as trusting anymore, and who could blame her? But she’s easier to warm to this time around. Yes, she is forced to be selfish at times, ruthless at times. But to her credit, she is truly trying to do what she can for the greater good.
Cal’s character is enduring great change as well. The fallen king, shoved off his throne by the one person he was supposed to be able to count on as his right hand. Now a country is hungry for his blood to spill and the one thing he must do in the name of justice is probably the one thing he is unable to do. He has but one person whose heart would break to see him fall but is she enough to keep him together?
Maven lingers on each page, though we only ever get to see a glimpse of him – and his cold heart – here and there. I shudder to think of the likeness between him and Joffrey, Elara and Cersei. Though I sometimes entertain the possibility that there is more to Maven that meets the eye. Her it been a guarantee that this series would last three books, I wouldn’t are. But four? It seems there’s some wiggle room for more of Maven’s character development, some more story for VA to tell. I’m not saying I’m Team Maven or anything, but I’m open to being talked into it.
The romance is more simmer than sizzle (totally not complaining though). Cal and Mare have their moments of weakness but this isn’t the focus of the story. Mare struggles with her growing feelings for him but she also hobbles through the feelings for Maven that haven’t left her system yet. And Kilorn, poor Kilorn. He waits in the wings for Mare to notice his affections and when he finally takes a deep breath to confess it all to her, he already knows he’s missed his chance.
I want to see Mare rise and reign …but I don’t know who I want by her side when she does. Cal is ahead in the running for me but Kilorn is nipping at his heels and Maven isn’t out of the race just yet. Not that I want her to be the rope in a tug-of-war. I don’t want some Gale-Katniss-Peeta cop-out (I was Team Peeta all the way but that’s not the point!), I want Mare to really choose, not settle for not having to choose. I want three actual choices, each with merit, laid out bare for her.
The secondary characters have their turns in the spotlight. Shade. Kilorn. Farley. All I’ll say is that I want more.
The newbloods? I love the expansion of this element to the buildup of GS. I loved how well AV played around with what abilities made sense, which ones were needed without question for which scenario. They get their turn to shine albeit briefly – you don’t get to know any of them as well as you would hope to.
Which meeeeeeeans …there can be more. I can see this going past the fourth book. Prequels, sequels, novellas, the whole enchilada. I haven’t felt this excited about a series since The Mortal Instruments! I’ve said it before but the possibilities of this world could be endless and I have great faith in VA that she’ll deliver with grace and an ending that will make me crave and demand more. I can’t wait for it all.
BUT FIRST –
THAT ENDING. Even better than RQ for me (which I saw coming). I didn’t read this on my Kobo like I planned because my husband, who knows me so well, got me a SIGNED FIRST EDITION (swoon) for Valentines Day. My fingers itched to peek at the last page for the entirety of the read but I was so happy that I didn’t succumb to the pressure! (And proud as hell, too.)
Impatiently waiting for Book #3.
1. Little Me – Little Mix
2. Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia ft. John Martin
3. They Just Don’t Know You – Little Mix
4. Superheroes – The Script
5. Just Give Me A Reason – P!nk ft. Nate Ruess
6. Burn – Ellie Goulding
7. Turn Your Face – Little Mix
8. Russian Roulette – Rihanna
9. What Now – Rihanna
10. Lightning – Little Mix
- No one is born evil, just like no one is born alone. They become that way, through choice and circumstance.
- The thing with heat is, no matter how cold you are, no matter how much you need warmth, it always, eventually, becomes too much.
- Fire and lightning raised Maven up, and fire and lightning will bring him down.
- But I can’t shake the feeling that, while they stand with me, there’s no one beside me. Even with an army at my back, I am still alone.”
- I am afraid of waking up to emptiness, to a place where my friends and family are gone and I am nothing but a single bolt of lightning in the blackness of a lonely storm.
- Cal ceased to be a prince and became an inferno.
- No matter how much I might want to feel him, I cannot. I must keep my eyes ahead, and away from the fire of a fallen prince. I must freeze my heart to the one person who insists on setting it ablaze.
- One already betrayed me, and the other might leave at any moment. But I do not fear a broken heart. I do not fear pain.
- But I need him. And I can’t find the strength to let him go.
- My life has changed more in the last two months than ever before. And only two people were with me through it. The first is imprisoned and the second wears a crown of blood.
- We are nothing more than distractions for each other, and distractions to get you killed. But my hands close over his, our fingers lacing, until our bones are woven together. The fire is dying, flames reduced to embers. But Cal is still here. He will never leave me.
- He is not only a distraction I can’t afford but a heartbreak waiting to happen. His allegiances are shaky at best. One day he will leave me, or die, or betray me like so many others have. One day, he will hurt me.
- A banner of the Scarlet Guard, a face on a wanted poster, a prince’s downfall, a thief …a killer. A doll who can take any form but her own.
- Revenge is her right.