Saturday, 9 June 2018

Book Review: Glass Sword

Following on from the first novel in the series, Red Queen we follow the mind of the unusual Mare Barrow once again in Glass Sword. The novel begins immediately from where the first book left off, with a bang. Trapped by her Red blood status but with her Silver abilities, she tries to run from her former friend, love and Prince; no longer sure if Maven is truly who she thought he was, she is constantly on the run from his pursuit of her. Along the way, she discovers that she is not the only one of her kind; essentially she begins building an army, training and understanding herself and others like her, although at points Mare becomes unrecognisable. Changed forever by the actions of Maven and his mother, Mare has started to become exactly the kind of monster that she so desperately seeks to overthrow. Through being betrayed so many times, she’s no longer able to trust or form regular friendships to the point that she doesn’t truly believe or trust in herself either. The majority of this book is based around military tactics, such as training, planning and attempts to takeover the Kingdom. Mare has a genuine understanding of the difference between right and wrong, although through the lengths that she goes to protect others, she creates a ridiculous amount of pressure on herself to be stronger, faster, cleverer... By doing so, she begins to lose her purpose and her sense of self. Her own mind is tearing her apart.

There is a lot of character development for Mare in Glass Sword; she begins to hone her ability and build an army, although as I’ve said, she does start to lose her sense of self, unfortunately. This is what helps the reader to remember how truly young she is, how strong and how much life has thrown the world into her face. As a reader, it is difficult to witness characters that were previously loved and trust begin to betray Mare, although ultimately it is unsurprising due to the world being at war. Mare is both a thinker and an actioneer, which at times does lead to her personality taking over the plot at times as the world is told purely from her first hand perspective and so naturally, Mare does miss some vital points in some cases. It was interesting to see her relationships develop, particularly between Cal and Maven, the two Princes. This second part of the series is definitely more focused on action rather than romance, although both sides of the story are beautifully written, with the reader constantly wanting more information and clarification on thoughts, feelings and intentions. I liked the realistic portrayal of the relationship between Mare and the Princes, how both Mare and Cal mourned the loss of the boy that they believed that they knew; it is so important to remember just how young they all are, as that is the key reason why each of the three 'main' characters have such explosive reactions to the various situations that arise.

Overall, I wasn't as impressed with Glass Sword as I was with Red Queen, but regardless it was still a fantastic read. Victoria Aveyard really knows how to craft a villain, as well as set the scenes for war and add many more characters in the midst of this. The final chapter of this book absolutely saved the whole novel for me; not only was it a cracking cliffhanger, it was beautifully orchestrated. One of issues that I had throughout this book was the amount of emphasis on military operations; as much as it was interesting to appreciate how much organisation and planning is put into staging a rebel group, it came to a point where it was difficult to differentiate rebels from the crown, as both sides were concerned with military tactics. I would have preferred to see more character development of those other than Mare, but ultimately this book felt like it was written to be the bridge between worlds; with Red Queen as pre-war and Kings Cage destined to be full on warfare. The introduction of more characters was welcome, particularly the newbloods as they add another angle to the story, although I would've loved to have chapters told from the first person by characters other than Mare to project more of an overview of the whole story, as opposed to just one perspective. Farley, Shade and Kilorn all had excellent character development and added so much to the story that I found myself wishing for each of them to have a chance at narration. This book wasn't quite flawless, but the ending resulted in it being an easy 4 stars; I can't wait to start Kings Cage now!


1 comment:

  1. I'm so bad with seeing an amazing book cover and then forgetting completely about it. As soon as I saw the picture of the Glass sword I remembered the Red Queen cover. I have to write this down on my goodreads Want to Read before I forget! I'm sorry you didn't like this one as good as the first but yeah most of the times you need the second book to set up the big bang finish! Thank you for the reminder of this series! =)

    I hope you have a lovely weekend! Melanie | Toots + Dill Blog


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