Series: Red Queen, #2
Published by HarperTeen on February 9th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Royalty
Reading Challenges: 2016 Dystopia Reading Challenge
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
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.
“It isn’t hard to let people die when their deaths give life to something else.”
And with that you have in a nutshell Mare Barrow’s philosophy on warfare in Glass Sword. The story picks up after the events of The Red Queen, with Mare and Cal taken in by the Scarlet Guard. Making their escape from Maven, the group does whatever is necessary to survive. As the story progresses, readers go on a journey with Mare as she attempts to take down Maven once and for all. However, the Mare readers find in this book isn’t the same one we met in the first novel. This Mare has grown up, hardened her heart, and realizes that sacrifices need to be made in order to win.
“Anyone, anything, can betray anyone. Even your own heart.”
One of the powerful lessons Mare learned in The Red Queen, is that people can be betrayed by anyone. Even ourselves. Mare trusted Maven completely, and now realizes the boy she thought she knew never existed. With a broken heart, Mare now looks at those around her with jaded eyes. Wondering if she can trust the Scarlet Guard, her family, friends, or even Cal causes her loads of pain. While this sucks for Mare, it’s great for readers, who wind up looking for backstabbers in each scene. This adds a layer of suspense that might otherwise me missing from this dystopian political thriller.
“No one is born evil, just like no one is born alone. They become that way, through choice and circumstance.”
While Maven and Queen Elara have been shown to be villains, another lesson Mare learns is that people become that way. As Mare navigates the political intrigue she’s caught in the middle of, surrounded by possible enemies, she’s forced into situations where she has to make tough choices. Each choice haunts Mare, and leaves her, and those around her, wondering how far she can go before she becomes a monster herself. This aspect of the story gave me a lot to ponder, as Mare, Kilorn, Cal, and others make decisions that have far-reaching consequences. Not just for themselves, but for large numbers of other people around them.
I really enjoyed reading Glass Sword. I felt that it was a more grown-up book than Red Queen, and gave me many deep and thought-provoking things to ponder. I also liked Mare’s character development, yet she frustrated me. Mare comes across as very self-involved, and narcissistic. She fails to see how events affect others around her, and is only concerned with her martyrdom, grief, and pain. This really had me yelling at the novel many times, and due to the number of characters who also bemoaned this flaw in Mare’s personality, maybe that was done purposefully by Aveyard. If there is anything I would say negatively about this book, is that I felt the new characters didn’t get as good of character development as Mare. It would have been nice if they read as more complex. Oh, well! Maybe that’ll get taken care of in the next two novels.