Please note that before you read this review that I am reviewing this publication for Orion! I received an advanced readers copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. In no way is my opinion influenced by the fact that I received this free of charge. Now on with the review!
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Publication Date: February 9th 2016
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
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's always difficult to review a book when the only notes you have left for yourself are ' That ending! Those deaths! Why?!' Seriously helpful, Daniel. Looking back on Glass Sword, it is definitely evident to see that Victoria Aveyard has stepped up a notch in providing her readers with something extra. Red Queen was an introduction to Norta and the story of Mare Barrow, and that itself packed a mighty punch. Glass Sword was unreal - a complete opposition to Red Queen in it's story, and yet there was so much development that it left me craving for more.
We continue the story immediately from where Red Queen left off, and we're once again thrust into Aveyard's world of deception and mystery. Escaping from the vindictive and newly crowned, Maven, Mare surrounds herself by old friends as well as a new rebellious force behind the Scarlet Guard. Over time, Mare's story journeys to far off areas of Norta, giving readers a wider angled view of the country we began to learn about in Red Queen, as she seeks out the newbloods on her list - individuals embodied with silver abilities disguised within red blood. As we venture through the lands, we're exposed to some new characters, reunited with old characters and provided with a developed sense of bond and unity that holds the rebellion together. All in all, it was very impressive to see the counter side of the fight after spending the majority of Red Queen investing in the world of the silver bloods.
Whilst at times the story seemed repetitive, constantly seeking out the next newblood, Aveyard provides her readers with intense action sequences and a variety of twists and turns along the way, each darker and more suspenseful than you could imagine. That is one thing that impressed me so much in Red Queen and in Glass Sword it blew it out of the water - Aveyard's ability to provide surprise that will literally get your heart pounding.
Character development is a major feature of Glass Sword, especially for our main protagonist. In this novel, Mare changes quite a bit, dealing with the impacts of Maven's kingship as well as the extension of her abilities. As she learns to battle against herself, the forces of revolution around her remind her of the trials and tribulations she is yet to face under Maven's rule. You can definitely see there is going to be a scene or two in the third book where Mare is going to have to confront everything she has learned to battle against, especially within herself, and it's going to be explosive. I can't wait.
Now a book wouldn't be good without a good death and boy oh boy does Aveyard smack you in the face with the death count. Whilst her body hits aren't as torturous as George R.R.Martin, Aveyard certainly knows how to caress your heart and then crush it into a thousand pieces when it comes to her characters. I'm not going to bother spoiling who dies and so on and so forth, but my advice to readers is simply to prepare yourself because it cripples you. As soon as you read it, you'll soon know the sweet torture that Aveyard delivers.
In consideration of everything, the element that makes this book what it is has to be the ending. Aveyard wasn't afraid to shock us in Red Queen with Maven's dramatic turn, and yet in Glass Sword, when we thought Aveyard couldn't brutalise her cliffhangers much more, she drops the bombshell on us that is the Glass Sword ending. My goodness, if you weren't eager for the next instalment then you certainly will be now - the ending is torturous, heart-breaking and yet devilishly delicious. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book to see where this dark and twisted finale will take us. I award Glass Sword a 4 out of 5 star rating on my classification scale - a delicious wonder to behold for those who enjoy sinister betrayal and an explosion of character development. I eagerly await the next book.