I just finished Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard and I am dying. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did in the end.
Glass Sword (Feb 2016, HarperTeen) is the sequel to Red Queen (Feb 2015, HarperTeen). It’s set in a dystopian world where the people are divided into Red and Silver bloods. The Silvers are the elite class with special powers and the Reds are pretty much living in poverty and enslavement. Mare Barrow is a Newblood, a Red with the power to control electricity, and after the betrayal of Maven, her once betrothed and now king of Norta, she sets out on a mission to find others like her in hopes of defeating him, accompanied by the fallen Crown Prince Cal, her brother Shade, her childhood friend Kilorn, and Scarlet Guard Captain Farley.
I am going to be honest. The first 200 pages were really difficult to get through. The book jumps in right where the last one ended. Since I read Red Queen right when it came out and didn’t reread it, I was a little lost on who some people were and where some of the locations were. The plot was also lacking much interest in the beginning. Stuff happened, but it wasn’t anything super significant and I felt like it lacked forward momentum. The characters were also kind of flat to me. Other than Mare, sometimes I felt like I could forget the other characters existed. No one really had traits that stuck out and no one really did anything really memorable. Even Maven lacked presence in the scenes he was in. Now Mare, she’s another story.
I think the hardest thing about getting through the first 200 pages is Mare’s character and narration. She was very repetitive and leaned towards being immature. She kept talking about how she and Cal had the power to pretty much destroy everyone and how monstrous she was, but she never really did anything. I felt like it was very one-liner-y which made the narration a little choppy and distracting at times. She spoke a lot on how the old Mare from the Stilts no longer exists, and that was annoying to some extent. She also kept pushing people away, very much on a one-track minded to achieve her own goals. It was frustrating. I love Cal and I love their relationship. That just went nowhere in the beginning, which was equally as frustrating.
At the same time, I could somewhat understand why she would act this way. After the betrayal of Maven, it would make sense that she doesn’t want to trust anyone. With the trauma that came from the end of Red Queen and being without her lightning, it would also make sense why she keeps repeating that she is powerful. It could be a way to reassure herself that she isn’t powerless and make her more determined to never be in that type of situation again. Either way, it was difficult to find it in me to keep going, but I am now glad I did.
The second half picked up a lot more. So if you are reading the book and it’s losing you in the first 200 pages, get through them and you will be rewarded. I felt like I could connect more to the characters. They finally came back to life. A lot more action took place. Mare was still determined to be alone to some extent, but she started to let people in. As the book continued, I was able to see more of a character arc. It may have been a more negative than positive development, but I could some transformation.
The last 200 pages really did redeem the book for me. So much happens and it really gets crazy. I mean, the ending is insane and left me screaming for more. I wanted to cry because I don’t have the next book and it won’t come out until next year.
Being the generous rater that I am, I would give this book 4/5 stars. The first half was a 2.5, maybe, but the end made up for a lot of it.
If anyone has read Glass Sword or is in the process of reading it, I would love to know what you thought of it.
Happy Reading, Belinda