Review: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

23174274Title: Glass Sword

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: Hardcover, 444

Publication: February 9, 2016

Synopsis:

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

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?

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.

Review:

Guys, this book gave me so many feels. Like I’m going to try to articulate all of my feelings and opinions, but it’s going to be extremely hard. (Just a warning: there are SPOILERS in this review).

So, Glass Sword picks up right where Red Queen left off– the Scarlet Guard, Mare, and Cal are trying to escape from Maven and the other Silvers. The beginning fight scene in this book, and, more generally, all of the fight scenes in this novel are amazing. I love seeing how Mare keeps developing her skills and becoming a better fighter because she’s just such a badass. Also, I LOVED how Victoria Aveyard wrote Mare and Cal’s fight scenes together. They work so well together, and it makes me so happy. They’re a fierce, well-oiled fighting machine, and it brings so much excitement and efficiency to all the fight scenes in this book.

The character development in this book is among some of the best character development that I’ve ever seen in any sequel that I’ve read. When I read Red Queen, I loved Cal, but I didn’t like him as much as I loved Maven (my love was misplaced, I know). However, throughout Glass Sword, Cal becomes one of my favorite characters because we get to see the inner workings of his mind. Mare tells us in the book that, as time goes on, Cal becomes easier to read, and I think it’s just showing us how excellent Aveyard has developed him.

While we don’t get as much Maven as we got in the last book, I loved what we did get. Maven is such an interesting character because he acts so evil, but, to me, you can see the cracks in the walls he’s built up to keep everything out. However, Mare is his weakness, and, somehow, that makes him more human. Cal said it best when he said:

“Maven lies as easily as he breathes, and his mother holds his leash, but not his heart.” -Pg. 248-249

Plus, despite everything he’s done (and he’s done a lot of shit), I still love Maven. Is there something wrong with me? Probably. This Tumblr post basically sums up my feelings.

But I think that my favorite development in this story is Mare. Because of what she goes through/knows what she has to go through, Mare hardens her heart to most everyone. In fact, though she pretends that she doesn’t have deep feelings for Cal, I think the only person she can be herself (old and new) is with him. While his blood is not red, he understands almost entirely why she does what she does. However, throughout the book, Mare does get a little annoying because she thinks that no one understands her. Sometimes she even thinks that she’s better than others (oh, the IRONY), which is really frustrating.

Another thing that I absolutely LOVED were the relationships in this book. Shade and Farley’s developments are so subtle and well written. The relationship that Mare had with Shade was beautiful and amazing and just so freaking well written. I love a good brother-sister relationship.

Cal and Mare’s scenes together are somehow both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Maven and Mare still have that connection, which I can’t wait for Victoria Aveyard to explore in the next books. My favorite quote in this book sums up the entire love triangle type thing (I honestly don’t know what to call it) between Cal, Mare, and Maven.

“Burn them, throw them away, send them back dripped in Silver blood– but not keep them. Not read them while I slept next to you.” -Pg. 394-395

UGH THE FEELS

So much plot happens in this book, it’s hard to even describe it all. However, I think it was handled very well. Victoria Aveyard obviously writes what happens through Mare’s eyes, and, as readers, we tend to agree with what she’s thinking. When Mare thinks finding New Bloods and training them to fight is the best thing for the Scarlet Guard, we kind of agree. However, Cal, the ever-present voice of reason, reminds us that this plan is flawed. It may not fix everything. In fact, it may make things worse. I can’t wait to see what Victoria Aveyard does in the next two books with the plot.

In short:

Victoria Aveyard has crafted a beautiful and heartbreaking sequel to Red Queen that kept me enthralled the entire time. It’s story and characters are captivating in a way that attracts them to you, but also repels them. Her characters are ambiguous and real. This story takes the classic good versus evil story and turns into a story about moral ambiguity. She shows that even a hero can do evil things. She makes us wonder: do the ends justify the means? And I love it.

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