book recommendations · book review · young adult

Book Review: Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

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  • Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard
  • YA Fantasy, Sci-fi, Dystopia
  • My Rating: ★★★★

“I am a weapon made of flesh, a sword covered in skin. I was born to kill a king, to end a reign of terror before it can truly begin.”

Red Queen was one of my absolute favorite reads from 2016 and I gave it a 5★ rating. It’s been a while since I read it and even though I couldn’t remember everything that happened (I had to visit Wikipedia for a full plot reminder), I still remember the feelings it gave me. I’m totally into the whole palace intrigue genre and all the betrayal and just plain evil-ness of everyone chilled me to my bones and I distinctly remember tearing up near the end.

I wasn’t surprised to see that Glass Sword had just slightly lower ratings on GR than book 1 and even book 3 (this came at around a 3.97) as middle books tends to be the least favorable in a series because they’re just continuations and build up more tension.

Aveyard really challenges me with this series because I want to love Mare but I also hate her. She’s supposed to be the hero – a girl who thought she was destined for nothing, whose every mistake led to the misfortune of someone she cares about, but had powers she never imagined. She’s supposed to be the phoenix and she’s supposed to save the world, right? But at the same time, Mare is extremely selfish. She uses people and thinks nothing of it, only to break down and feel sorry for herself later. She believes she gives others like her – “newbloods”: red-blooded people with silver like powers – a choice to fight with her, but she’s actually really manipulative. She gives into the malicious side of herself that she swears she would never give into…good one, Mare. She’s desperate to protect those around her and hold onto them for dear life, but then she turns away from them or ignores anything they say that goes against what she believes is right…and then feels sorry for herself again later.

She recognizes that she needs to take action and use her powers for good, but it seems like it goes to her head. I keep going from thinking “Yes! It has to be Mare! TEAM MARE!” to “Well…who died and made you Queen??

I think that’s what makes this series so good though. It challenges what I think a hero should be and it makes me feel something – usually mad and frustrated. I notice in a lot of series that no matter how bad things are, the books tend to end with some twinge of hope (like Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes). But the Red Queen books always seem to end without any hope at all – total cliff-hangers that make you want to rip your hair out.

Also…I NEED more Cal. Yes, I totally ship Mare & Cal and I know that’s cliche, but damnit I love that boy. And I heard there are #TeamMaven people out there…you people scare me. Maven is an amazing villain, but he is borderline Queen Levana from TLC (and I HATE that woman…HATE HATE HATE her). And usually I’m all about the bad boy becoming the ultimate winner in the end…but I don’t know. Maven & Mare just don’t do it for me. Although, they would make great fanfiction material (and I’m sure they already have).

Verdict: This book was really slow at first and I was pretty bored and confused since I couldn’t remember everything from book 1. But as I continued to read, I was glued to this book and I couldn’t stop myself from consuming hundreds of pages at a time. I hate how the story progressed, but at the same time, it just seemed right. This book drove me crazy and I think it was a pretty darn good continuation after Red Queen.

 

 

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