Monday 15 February 2016

Glass Sword, Victoria Aveyard

Pages: 464
Publisher: Orion
Release Date: 11th February 2016
Edition: UK e-proof, NetGalley review copy

Other Titles by this Author: Red Queen

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 tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from the prince and friend who have betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by the Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red and Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her suppressors.

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 the rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

I really loved Red Queen when I read it last year so I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of Glass Sword. And I LOVED it!

We pick up with Mare and Cal pretty much right after we left them in Red Queen: they’ve been betrayed, had their hearts broken and they’re about to discover that the Red Guard rebellion is even bigger than they could have imagined. The world was expanded to delicious levels in this instalment of the series and I loved learning about how widely the oppression of Reds reaches and the true extent of the world which we just didn’t see in Red Queen. Mare and a team of Red Guard start recruiting the people like her to fight against Maven and his silvers and they travel all over and meet people with a range of skills which was super cool.

Even though I was completely suckered by the shock betrayals that took place in book one, I still wasn’t completely involved in the relationships, but in Glass Sword I was practically singing ‘Ship, ship, shipped ship’ in my head as I was reading. Gah, the tension! The angst! The drama! I love it and I hadn’t realised how much I missed that element of dystopian YA until now! But, unusually for a dystopian YA novel, there are genuine consequences of the trauma the characters experienced in the series. Mare no longer trusts anybody (and you can't blame her!), she’s battling becoming what she’s fighting against and suffering from something that seems a lot like PTSD from her experiences in the first book.

There is a not a single character in this novel who is presented or seen by another character as anything but flawed. It’s is so ridiculously refreshing to not see protagonists put their love interests on a pedestal or gloss over anything that isn’t perfect, but more than that, they even point them out to each other! It made everything feel so much more romantic when love stories began to develop and the dangerous excursions even more dangerous, knowing that no one feels themselves or those they love invulnerable.

Victoria Aveyard developed everything in Glass Sword: the world, the characters, the relationships, the magic system (that’s not really magic but you know what I mean) and the black hole of feelings her readers are left with after finishing it. There was no sign of second book syndrome whatsoever and I loved it. It’s one of my favourite books of the year so far, if not my favourite.

Glass Sword is a storming second book in the Red Queen trilogy and I was completely swept up in the rebellion, angst and sheer agony that was reading this book. And after the cruel, cruel ending, I need book three stat.

Thanks to Orion and NetGalley for the review copy.


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