books

Review: Glass Sword – Victoria Aveyard

17/01/2016

WARNING. THIS IS A REVIEW OF A SEQUEL – IF YOU HAVE NOT READ RED QUEEN, WE ADVISE YOU DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK…

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Book: GLASS SWORD
Book in series: book 2 in the RED QUEEN series
Publisher: Orion and Harpercollins
Release date: February 9th 2016
ISBN: 9780062310668
Source: uncorrected proof copy sent by the publishers
Synopsis:

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.


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?

Review:

As sequels go, GLASS SWORD is one of most anticipated reads for 2016
, and one of the best. If you’ve been following us on Instagram, then you might have seen how excited we were to be sent a copy of GLASS SWORD, and literally couldn’t stop squealing after loving RED QUEEN so much. We did receive an uncorrected proof copy, so the final version might be slightly different.

We were lucky enough to be sent GLASS SWORD by Orion about a week after we read RED QUEEN, so we got a pretty good comparison of the two and hadn’t forgotten anything from the first book. This timed perfectly as GLASS SWORD picked straight up from the end of the first book, right into the action we’d seen most of the way through RED QUEEN. Even though GLASS SWORD started and ended with a lot of action, the whole book was actually a lot slower paced than we’d expected, with a lot more description and long winded passages. This initially made it less gripping than RED QUEEN, and the book could have done with cutting out a few unimportant events (like travelling from one place to another – this became quite repetitive in the story), but when looking at the book as a whole, it did help with the world building and laid the foundations for later situations.

Victoria Aveyard makes a real point of discussing the issue of power and comments on the realism of being a heroine. Mare finds herself in a position of power, leading the search to find others like her who possess Red blood and Silver abilities. The pressure on her and the ordeals that she’s had to go through catches up with her in GLASS SWORD, resulting in her becoming quite cold, yet you still feel every stab of pain and hurt, even though she tries to swallow it. This book really expresses the reality of being a heroine in society, and how these protagonists isolate themselves to protect those that they love, but in doing this, become quite sacrificial. They often loose their age and personality in these books, as they must become more adult like to be able to deal with society. Most dystopian authors try to embed this subtly in their book, but what we loved was that Victoria Aveyard almost ironically commented on other authors’ decisions by making this a big part of GLASS SWORD and showing the more realistic extremity of it.

GLASS SWORD really grew in our estimations with the flawless character development of some of the more background characters, which was something that we picked up on needing development in RED QUEEN. Characters like Shade and Farley really evolved as part of the story, which added more depth to the book as we were able to hear more about other people’s stories in the society. GLASS SWORD is much more about a journey to one “destination” than lots of big events, which meant that these characters were with us for the long run, making us connect with them deeper than in RED QUEEN.

We honestly couldn’t do this book justice without talking about Maven, the single person who not only completely betrayed Mare, but ruined our ability to ever be able to trust a character again. He torments Mare throughout the entire book, physically harming her and leaving her heavy messages, but also mentally destroying her. Maven becomes a symbol for Mare’s own demons, showing her demise as her depression takes over. Whether you like Mare as a protagonist or not, we are almost certain that you will feel genuinely concerned for Mare, especially as she prepares herself for potentially dying for the cause.

Another interesting point that Victoria Aveyard makes is how sometimes the cause of the fight (equality) can be lost in a war. The line between standing up to a government and becoming just as ruthless is definitely crossed in GLASS SWORD, as in a battle against race, even the Silvers who side with the Reds will be fought against as they are still associated with the cruelty of the Silver ruling. As with any rebellion, in GLASS SWORD power becomes something in its own right to fight for, forgetting the fundamental cause. GLASS SWORD explicitly discusses this, showing how when it’s race against race, one will simply replace the others authority – “a newblood king will sit [on] the throne you built him”.

This book takes cliffhangers to non-existent new levels of leaving the reader on the edge. We won’t spoil anything, but Victoria Aveyard has left the series open to either continuing or leaving the readers to make their own interpretation of the ending, but we want nothing more than for the books to carry on. Luckily for us, Victoria Aveyard is set to write two more books in the series , so this won’t be the last we see of this world, but whether that will be it for Mare, we will have to see. We can’t stand the idea of her not being there, and can only hope that the author feels the same. We will see…

Age recommendation – YA

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