ARC Review: Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard10:00
Series: Red Queen #2
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published July 21st 2016 by Orion Publishing
If there's one thing Mare Barrow knows, it's that she's different. Mare'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 wants to control.
Pursued by the vengeful Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join the rebellion. 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?
See my review of book 1, Red Queen.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.
For some reason, I have waited ages to read this book. I was approved for an ARC before the book was released, but with uni and graduating, I never got around to reading the book. When I noticed my library had a physical copy of the book, I decided it was time to start reading it, and you know, I really enjoyed it.
After the devastating betrayal we saw in Red Queen, Mare can’t believe what is happening. She knows she is a ‘new blood’ – a Red with Silver abilities, and her fiancée, Maven, whom she trusted, is planning on hunting down, and killed every person with the same abilities as her. He has the list with every new blood’s name on, and it’s down to Mare, and the Scarlet Guard, to find and protect each and every new blood. To top it all off, she doesn’t know how to deal with her feelings for Cal, who is one of her only allies, now that Maven and his mother, Elara, caused Cal to kill the king, and turned him into public enemy number one.
I enjoyed Red Queen, but was not blown away by it, and I think that may have been one of my reasons not to rush to read this book. However, I felt like whilst Red Queen seemed to regurgitate many of the common tropes in YA fantasy, this book had a definite plot, that drew me in quickly. Now that we know what the world is like, and how the fantasy aspects play out, there isn’t as much info-dumping, and the plot can play a bigger role. Mare and the Scarlet Guard, including her siblings – one of whom, Shade, is a new blood like herself – are racing across the country to find, speak to, and somewhat rescue all of the new bloods. Still, at the same time, Maven is doing the same, and Mare sometimes finds herself being too late in some places. Considering new bloods hadn’t existed – or hadn’t been known about – the numbers she finds, and adds to the Scarlet Guard is unreal.
Mare grew on me as a character throughout this book. At first, I found her annoying, and very self-involved, but now, she’s not. There’s an aspect of PTSD in the book, for both her and Cal, and I liked how Aveyard didn’t gloss over the subject, but truly showed us how broken Mare felt at times. The more and more she was unable to save someone, the more she fell into a state of despair, thinking it was all her fault, and she should’ve done something to save them.
There wasn’t much of a romantic aspect in the book, but I did enjoy what was there. For Mare, she’s conflicted on how her feelings for Maven had blinded her to his deception, and how she still cares for him, to some extent. There’s also the feelings for Cal, who she feels is one of the only people she can trust. I like them together, and can’t wait to see how the events of the book impact on them in the future. The secondary romance, which is more in the background, also intrigued me, and I wish we saw more of it.
All in all, I did like this book, and will definitely be reading book three, King’s Cage. Glass Sword didn’t have the common sophomore slump, and with the ending, I am glad I don’t have longer to wait until I can see how Mare’s story ends.