Genres: Fantasy, Dystopian
Format Read: Paperback
Published by Orion on February 11th 2016
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 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?
Read my review of Red Queen before you venture into Glass Sword.
Mild spoilers below, you’ve been warned!
Following on from that cliffhanger of an ending in Red Queen, Mare Barrow and prince Cal is on the run, hunted by his brother Maven for the murder of the silver King aka his dad. Brought to the base of the Resistance, Mare begins to set out to save the ‘New Bloods’ (people born with red blood and silver abilities), to build an army strong enough to defeat Maven. Her quest is not without hiccups, and we follow her as she makes tough decisions and sacrifices to pursue freedom for the Reds.
Glass Sword is a very strong follow-up to the first book. I listened to the audiobook of Cruel Crown just before Glass Sword was published, so I had already immersed myself back into the world and couldn’t wait to continue the story of Mare Barrow. Luckily, I was not disappointed and found myself cheering Mare on despite her stubbornness (and selfishness!) at times.
Glass Sword is a lot slower paced than the first book and I know that some people found this a little annoying. I, on the other hand, appreciated the slower pace as this allowed for better character development, which was a little lacking in the first book, especially as we only read from Mare’s perspective. Glass Sword reintroduces a slew of characters that we met in Red Queen, as well as a dozen new characters as the story progresses. It was nice to see Mare reacquaint herself with her family, but also quite annoying to see how selfish she is when it comes to her family as well. She loves them and has the best intentions, but she is a very selfish person. Seriously, I’m sure many of you will agree with me.
The main theme in this book is about choice. Mare offers all the New Bloods she comes across the choice to join the Resistance or…die by Maven’s hand. Yep, not really much of a choice there, and the conflict in this book arises from whether these choices are really offered, or whether it’s just a pretense. People would go to war and give up their lives for the Lightning Girl…but is it worth it? That’s the question that plagues Mare, as well as the Resistance, but at the end of the day, we explore the theme of whether it is worth sacrificing a life for the greater outcome.
What I wish we got to see more in this book was the exploration of Maven’s character. What a little shit he is, but for the reader, we were really only given small glimpses. But from the ending of Glass Sword, I feel like we’ll definitely get a lot more Maven in the next book. Can’t wait, I love a good villain! And speaking of villains, can we please talk about Queen Elara?! View Spoiler »I’ll be honest, I’m pretty sure she’s dead…but then I read Rochelle’s review and now I’m in two minds. IS SHE DEAD OR NOT?!?! « Hide Spoiler
Overall, I thought Glass Sword was a very strong sequel. Really looking forward to the next book in the series next year!!
Thank you to Hachette Australia for providing a copy of Glass Sword in exchange for an honest review.