Review | Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Goodreads Summary: 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.

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

TL;DR Review: Hate the characters, love the plot, good settings, iffy on whether I’ll continue the series.

My Thoughts: I’m torn on Glass Sword. On the one hand, I vehemently hated some elements. On the other hand, I thought other elements were really well done. So let’s talk it out in my review!

Right off the bat, I found myself being really annoyed by Mare, who I found kinda whiny, self centered, and narcissistic. She blatantly uses other people then whines about how others use her like she expects the audience’s sympathy as a given. She also orders around people who know far more than she does like she expects them to listen. Then there’s the fact that she’s always alluding to, if not straight up mentioning, how powerful she thinks she is and how much everyone should fear her. Just, ugh. So narcissistic.

Mare’s narcissistic internal monologue does worse than simply making her unlikable—it cripples the storytelling overall. The first person narrative focused so heavily on Mare that it leaves little room for any supporting characters to develop. And the side characters matter as they are, oh I don’t know, the leaders and members of a revolution. Instead of being given their own defining traits, supporting characters are characterized by their relationship to Mare and whether or not she needs them. Even still, the supporting characters are equally as unlikable, with Kilorn sulking the entire book, Cal blatantly shoved at us as “the brooding hot guy,” and Farley cold and constantly barking orders at everyone. I liked them better than Mare, but that’s not saying much.

You may be thinking, “Well, Lila, if you disliked the characters that much, why did you finish the book? Didn’t you say that this year was gonna be the year of DNFing books you dislike?” Yes, yes, yes, I know. But the thing is, while the characters were super unlikable, the plot was actually really good. The story was waaaaay plot driven and was fast paced and action packed. The story had a purpose and a goal and our protagonists journeyed towards it through hell and high water. The plot also had momentum. There were plenty of twists and turns that kept you guessing, tying in with the book’s overarching theme of betrayal and distrust. It was gripping and I honestly couldn’t put it down.

The settings were another high point of the novel. We travel out of Naercy and around Norta, seeing many different places. Aveyard is particularly talented at giving us vivid, unique descriptions of each place, showing us how diverse her world is.

It was also really interesting to also see all of the New Bloods. While we didn’t get much of their personalities, we did see a lot about their powers. This is the part where cult fan theories could totally abound. I mean, a lot is explained, but a lot is left unexplained as well. Like why do all the New Bloods have never-before-seen powers? What is this genetic mutation that causes New Bloods to have these new powers? I want to know, goshdarnit!

The ending was also very gripping. The last 2-3 chapters and the epilogue kept me guessing, hanging on to see what happened next, and screaming at the book. I must admit, Aveyard writes gripping, compelling endings that leave you hanging on; I have no gripe with that.

All in all, I’m torn over Glass Sword. I hated the characters with a passion and that’s a BIG issue for me, but the plot and the ending left me wanting to know more. I’m iffy on whether or not I want to continue the series. Most likely, I’ll wait for my library to get the books in then read them. Read if you don’t mind unlikable protagonists and violence and if you enjoy plot driven stories. If that’s your thing, I’d say give it a try.

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Lila is a 27-year-old college student studying physics and a lover of literature. When she's not busy reading or saving the world through science, Lila can be found singing jazz and blues and obsessing over hedgehogs (a.k.a. the cutest animals in the multiverse!)

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