Glass Sword

Glass Sword

Title: Glass Sword

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen, #2

Publisher: Harper Teen

Release Date: February 9th 2016


Three Stars

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 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?

– Blurb courtesy of

This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“Mare of the Stilts died the day she fell onto a lightning shield. Mareena, the lost Silver princess, died in the Bowl of Bones. And I don’t know what new person opened her eyes on the Undertrain. I only know what she has been and what she has lost, and the weight of it is almost crushing.”

I wanted to enjoy this book, I really did. It had a lot of good reviews and a lot of people were really excited for it, but maybe this series just isn’t for me. There are a lot of dystopian books on the shelves now and for me to enjoy a book, for it to really stand out, it needs to have something unique. In my mind the Red Queen series doesn’t, the first book read like a generic dystopian novel and it didn’t improve with the second instalment in the series.

Glass Sword picks up immediately after Red Queen ended, with Cal and Mare fleeing the capital after Maven’s betrayal, helped by the Scarlet Guard. They need to keep moving, Maven knows all their secrets and he won’t hesitate to use that knowledge to hunt them down. They travel to Tuck, a small island which is supposedly safe from the Silvers, however with her dangerous powers Mare is a threat to the Reds. When the Colonel takes Cal prisoner, fearful of his abilities, Mare is forced to play another role but this time for the Reds.

With the list Julian gave her burning a hole in the back of her mind, a list of Reds with powers like Mare and her brother Shade, Mare knows she needs to find them and save them before Maven tracks them down. But the Colonel refuses to let her. There are more important things the Scarlet Guard needs to tackle first; like the fact that Maven has reduced the enlistment age down to fifteen, meaning a legion of fifteen to seventeen year old Reds are marching to their deaths in the front line of the war. However Mare refuses to wait, refuses to let Maven possibly track down and kill the newbloods while she does nothing.

“He’s hunting newbloods not to protect his throne but to hurt you. To find you. To make you come back to him.” His fist clenches on his thigh. “Maven wants you more than anything else on this earth.”
Would that Maven were here now, so I could rip out his horrible, haunting eyes. “Well, he can’t have me.” I realize the consequences of this, and so does Cal.
“Not even if it stops the killing? Not for the newbloods?”
Tears bite my eyes. “I won’t go back. For anyone.”

With Kilorn’s help she breaks Cal out of his cell and, together with Shade and Farley, they leave Tuck to track down the names on the list and keep them safe from Maven. However Maven isn’t going to stand back and let them build an army of newbloods. He too is tracking them down, killing them to cement his place on the throne. With a world of Silvers at his back he has the resources to not only take out any newbloods he can find before Mare can reach them but also to hunt down Mare and Cal, offering awards and making them the most wanted people in the country.

…The Characters

“Red Queen. The lightning girl. She lives. Rise, Red as dawn. Rise. Rise. Rise.”

Mare has changed a lot since the events of Red Queen, and also since Maven’s betrayal. She finally realises what Julian meant when he told her that anyone can betray anyone and it turns her against some of the people who are supposed to be close to her. She closes herself off from everyone but Cal. She becomes colder, more ruthless, and definitely more powerful but there is also a darkness in her and her actions which I think would be interesting if we saw more of it in the next books.

I wasn’t too keen on Mare’s character in the first book, and for most of Glass Crown she didn’t really improve. She seems to hold herself back from everyone around her, her family, her best friend, even the other newbloods who should be her people. Instead she cuts herself off and holds herself apart from them. While it’s understandable that she’s been effected by what happened with Maven her actions didn’t really endear her to me and I think the way she was in Glass Crown is a hard thing for an author to portray in a way that still makes the character likeable and sympathetic. It was done well with Katniss in The Hunger Games because although she was standoffish she had Peeta who endeared her to the people, and she stood by her friends and her family. Mare on the other hand only seems to trust Cal, who is no more trusted by the newbloods than she is, she pushes everyone else away.

He leans forward slightly, lips pulling back against his even, white teeth. It’s so aggressive and animalistic I expect to see fangs. “I am your rightful king, Silver-born for centuries,” he replies, seething. “The only reason you’re still breathing is because I can’t burn the oxygen from this room.”

Cal on the other hand I liked a little more in this book. In Red Queen he was nothing more than the stereotypical crown prince the heroine always falls for. In Glass Crown however he has fallen from his throne and has been branded a murderer. He is on the run and the betrayal he faced from his brother has changed him. He seems more destructive and he cannot even stand to hear his brother’s name. Cal seems to push everything he remembers about Maven before to the back of his mind.

The relationship between Cal and Mare, while it may have seemed shattered at the beginning of this book, didn’t stay that way for long. Despite them both having different bloods, Red and Silver, and despite everything Maven did it’s not long before Mare is seeking out Cal and trusting him over her own family. Because of course, god forbid we have one book without a romantic subplot.

“Every single thing I did, you stood behind me,” I say. “If I’m turning into a monster, then so are you.”
“Love blinds.”

We met plenty of newbloods in this book, plenty of new characters who had their own gifts just as unique and powerful as Mare, and I would have loved it if we could have seen more of them. There was Ada, who could memorise everything she read or saw, Nanny, who could change shape into any person she chose, Gareth, who could manipulate gravity, Harrick, who could create illusions. Instead of seeing and learning more about them and their abilities they seemed to be pushed into the background and, most of them time, I forgot about them whenever they weren’t in a scene. Instead the book focuses mainly on Mare and Cal and pushes all the other secondary characters to the side.

…The Setting

“Attend to your own fate, Mare Barrow.”
“And that is?”
“To rise. And rise alone.”

As Mare and Cal travel around the country we see a lot more of it, but nothing seemed to stand out. The different towns and cities they went to to save the newbloods seemed to blur together, there was nothing unique that made them stand out. And while we met a lot of newbloods with some incredible amazing abilities, we discovered nothing more about them or what it was that is causing certain Reds to have these abilities. There are so many questions I have about this world and the backgrounds of not only the newbloods but also the Reds and Silvers that are going unanswered. I really hope to get these answer in the next book but to be honest I’m not really holding out much hope. In some ways it feels like the world-building and the cities themselves are just as generic as the plot itself is.

I did enjoy both Red Queen and Glass Sword; the stories themselves, while nothing special, were good it was the characters I wasn’t keen on. I’m not sure if the series will improve with the next book but, after reading the ending of Glass Sword I will be picking up the third in the series. The last quarter was fast-paced and it ended in a way that made me want to reach for the next book.

What did you think of Glass Sword? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

17 thoughts on “Glass Sword

  1. I like the books. Mare is a little spitfire. I love her. She follows her ideals. Cal is the ideal man. Maven is mentally ill. Not sure why Mare kept his letters in the Glass Sword. He branded her, but why? To make sure Cal won’t want her? To prove he can control her? But he ‘s been trying to kill her, so it doesn’t make sense. And he wants her on a leash like a dog. I hope she spits on his feet and bites him!!

    Very intense and suspenseful. I don’t know how I am going to wait another year for the 3rd book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess everyone has different tastes in books. There are a lot of people out there who love the series so maybe I’m just one of a minority 🙂
      I think Maven has his reasons. In his own way he probably thinks because Mare owns part of him he should own part of her and that’s why he branded her. At least that’s my opinion. Cal did say in Glass Sword that Maven did love Mare in his own way. I take it you’re a Cal/Mare shipper then 🙂
      I am actually a little excited for the third book, mainly because of the way the second one ended. Despite my opinions on the book overall Victoria Aveyard definitely knows how to write a cliff-hanger!


  2. I think we basically got the same feelings about Glass Sword, haha. I really wish we could have discovered more about the history behind the Red’s abilities, and more about them. It just felt like we were introduced tons of characters, but we didn’t get much deeper than that. And yay, the ending really made me want to know what will happen next… ugh, why, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I completely agree. It’s been one of my main issues since Red Queen, we don’t even know where the Silvers abilities come from but all of a sudden Mare and other Reds have abilities. We’re not given any background information thought; it’s like the author is telling us this is a huge shock but isn’t telling us why.
      I would have loved to see more of the other new bloods, some of their gifts sounded really amazing but no, they’re just shoved to the background and essentially forgotten about until Mare needs their powers.
      Honestly for most of the book I was thinking to myself ‘yeah probably not gonna pick up the next one’ then that ending happened, and now I need to know what happens next!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES, that’s exactly it! It’s something I wanted to know in Red Queen, and even more in Glass Sword, and I’m sad we didn’t get answers. Knowing what happened and everything would have been awesome, but sadly it doesn’t seem like a priority to the author.
        Ahah that ending was just CRUEL, if there’s something Victoria Aveyard knows how to do, it’s how to make us BEG for the next book to come out right now, haha. But I heard there are going to be TWO more books…if this keeps going on like this, I don’t know if I’ll be able to read them all.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It wouldn’t really take much page space to give us an explanation would it? I’d settle for a conversation between two character just mentioning it in passing if that’s all the author wants to dedicate to it, just something to explain where these powers are coming from!
        Oh totally, I didn’t enjoy the books as much as I have others but that ending did convince me to carry on with the series, just to find out what happens next. Also I think it’ll be great seeing more Mare/Maven scenes in the next one as well.
        Really?! I thought this was just a trilogy. Well I guess there’s gonna be a lot of build up for hopefully a big finale 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. YES, it wouldn’t take much space, even just a quick conversation, to give us an idea, it would be great already. But I feel like the author won’t go that way…or maybe in the next book, but well… I really hope so, because I want to know!
        Oh yes, more Mare/Maven, I’m excited to see how that turns out, with all the hard feelings between them haha :p
        Yes, it’s going to be four books, actually, it’s written like that on Goodreads anyways. Yay, I guess so, I hope it’ll be well-done. If the third book bothers me as much, I don’t know if I will end the series…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes, I would literally settle for anything. It seems like the Reds with abilities were such a huge part of the second book and we still don’t know their origin story. I guess for a lot of the Reds it’s still a new development and they may not even know yet. I really hope something is mentioned in one of the books, if not the next one then the fourth hopefully.
        Oh definitely, after the ending of Glass Sword I’m excited to see more Maven, he wasn’t really in the second book much, it seemed to focus on Cal instead. I can’t wait to see the interactions between him and Mare that’ll be interesting to read 🙂
        Maybe an extra book will give more time for character development and background information on the Reds with powers you never know 🙂
        I’ll probably stick around to the end, I can’t leave a series unfinished so if you don’t I can let you know how it ends if you like 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes, I really hope so, too. I guess we’ll see in the next books how that turns out 🙂
        I tend to get annoyed when series drag on for tooooo long, but yes you’re right, it’ll give more time for the characters to develop this way. Hopefylly I’ll still like the series by then. Ohh that’s so sweet of you, thank you! I’ll let you know for sure then,, if I ever decide to stop reading it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It’s got to be mentioned in one of the next two books at least, it can’t be something that’s skipped over considering it’s become such a major plot point!
        I really hope I enjoy the next book more, I think in this one it was mainly the characters that I didn’t enjoy so much, they just felt flat and the secondary ones non-existent, the story was kind of generic but it was still good.
        That’s all right; I’ll probably post reviews for the next two so if you want to know what happens I’ll definitely be willing to let you know 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Yes that’s exactly what bothered me the most about that book, the characters. Mare got on my nerves SO many times, and there were tons of secondary characters, but they felt two-dimensional, and just non-existent, and that’s too bad 😦
        That’s so sweet ❤ Well, I guess I have time to make up my mind anyway, I don't think the next book comes out for another year or something …

        Liked by 1 person

      8. If a book was written about what happened to the new bloods before, or even after, Mare found them I’d definitely read it! I’d love to see their characters and abilities explored more but I dunno, character development doesn’t seem to be a strong point of this series at the moment.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I’d definitely pick it up, and I’d probably give it more stars as well 😀
        Some of the powers sounded amazing, and better than Mare’s lightning gift (the boy who had the power to kill, or the one who could create illusions)

        Liked by 1 person

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