Review: Glass Sword

February 9, 2016 in Book Reviews, Fantasy, YA Fantasy

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Glass SwordGlass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Published by Orion on 11th February 2016 (UK)
Genres: Fantasy, YA Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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 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 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?

This week sees the publication of the second book in the Red Queen series Glass Sword. If you are in the US the book is out today, but here in the UK Thursday is the publication day. I was kindly provided with an eARC of this book via the publishers on NetGalley, so I thought now would be the perfect time to share my thoughts.

If, like me, you feel you need a Red Queen refresher before you jump into Glass Sword then I recommend this post. I only just happened across the site this week but with lots of sequels coming up this year I think it could prove very useful if your memory is as bad as mine!

So, Glass Sword picks up where we left Red Queen – Mare and Cal on the Undertrain with the Scarlet Guard, fleeing from Maven and his scheming mother, the Queen. As you know I hate spoilers so I’m not going to discuss the plot of this book and I’m going to be very cagey with whom and what I mention. So rather than launching into a summary, let me tell you why I only gave this book three stars.

I liked but didn’t love Red Queen, however I was really looking forward to book two and seeing where the series would go. However, I didn’t love this book either. I’d say I enjoyed the last quarter the most. In all honesty at 51% I wrote myself a note “I kind of don’t care. Hard work to read this right now.” That’s truly how I felt, let me try to explain why.

Firstly, there is a lot of information about a lot of different places. Now I love world building and it’s something I generally really appreciate but I just lost interest with this. The book visits lots of different places, mentions lots of places, describes these places, their history, their physical appearance, which way roads bend, but it was just all too much information for me. I felt swamped by it and couldn’t enjoy the actual plot. I found it particularly difficult as there are places that are just visited briefly, and yet when we are told about them there is great detail so you kind of think “oooh this place must be important, I’d better pay attention” and next thing we had left. Does this make sense?

I also struggled to keep up with all the names. There are plenty of new characters in this new book and I found it hard to keep track of them all. This was compounded by the references to various Houses etc from the first book, I felt lost in a sea of names at times. I kind of felt like I could’ve done with a wee cheat sheet!

I should say that I do live with a foggy brain so it’s highly likely that these two issues are entirely unique to me. I’d love to know if anyone had a similar experience though.

As for the characters, well I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a huge fan of Mare. Somewhat problematic I’m sure you’ll agree when she is the central character, the heroine. I just found her to be pretty moany, selfish and generally hard to like. However I do still love Cal! I was very intrigued to see where his character would go in this book and honestly it’s his character that makes me want to read on in the series. He’s definitely my favourite!

Despite not seeing a huge amount of Maven in the book, Aveyard still managed to convey his evil. Just his name sent a shiver down my spine; in a way I’d liken it to reading the name ‘Joffrey’ in A Song of Ice and Fire series.

I really like a lot of the concepts in this book and as far as the actual plot of the story is concerned, I enjoyed it. I found the different powers of the Newbloods to be fascinating, and the exploration of the relationships between the reds, silvers and red-silvers was really interesting.

Clearly though I had some issues with this book. I must say that once the foundation blocks of the story were laid and things started to really kick off, I did enjoy it. All in all, by the time I finished the book I was glad I’d stuck with it. I enjoyed the plot and the progression of the story, however I just had a few issues with its execution.

Will I read on in the series? Erm… probably, if only for more Cal and some closure.