I heard many different things and often negative ones, about this book. The latter I cannot share. Yes, at the beginning I had my difficulties getting involved in the plot and to see where the story was now. But within a few pages, I was back in the picture. Glass Sword is the second novel in the authors Red Queen Trilogy. Victoria Aveyard is maybe not for everyone a good read. Especially not after she told in an interview why she wanted to become a writer and why she invented the world of Mare Barrow and the figure itself. If you are not a fan of her style or how she writes in general, then you better keep your hands off. 

Glass Sword*
by Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen #2
Publisher Harper Teen on February 9, 2016
Genre Children 14+
Pages 464
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher

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?
Mare somehow escaped from the royal palace. But her fleeing has cost many lives. Among the dead: the former king. Now rules Maven, Cal´s half brother, and he is as cruel and cold-blooded as never before. He wants Mare back in his life, at his side, and her ability as a weapon to use. But Mare doesn´t obey. Instead, she fights with everything she has and can get to free her folk. A folk, that is now divided into those with the mysterious red-silver ability and those who are just like anybody else. But that fight costs her a lot. Many innocent lives are at stake, many innocent get killed and she has to learn that she can´t save everyone she wants to.

Glass Sword is written from Mares´ point of view. She shows the reader what she thinks about how she feels and that being Her isn´t a piece of cake. Her inner conflict, her struggle with her power her old me, and the new one is shown by the author in a sensitive and very intense way. There is not one page where you think she has to do things she never wanted and to take responsibility for human beings as well as for the plan everyone believes she has. But hasn´t. She goes from day to day, tries to make the best out of her situation, and to deal with every loss she has to endure. Victoria writes decent, her tone is often ironic and she shows the reader a world full of cruelty, blood, and at the beginning of another war. Okay, there aren´t as many unexpected twists and turns as in the first book of this trilogy, but some things shake you really. And in the end, you stay left behind with a sad and unbelievingly empty feeling. 

Why had that specific figure to die? Was that really necessary? And no, I won´t tell you whom I am talking about. Otherwise, I would steal a great deal of tension from your reading experience and that wouldn´t be fair, right? Her characters are very different. There are some who love to misuse their power, their abilities to threaten and torture others. The new king is a murder without a conscience and he gives Mare a really hard time. But don´t expect Mare to be the girl you met in Red Queen. Because she isn´t anymore. She has to lead her folk, has to make decisions she never wanted and she has to keep all her real feelings and the real Mare locked up deep inside her. Otherwise, she wouldn´t survive all this or be able to do what she believes she has to do. Her inner conflict and her struggle with herself is shown by the author in a very intriguing and intense way. 

In the end, I was shocked, didn´t really know what to think of or how many stars this would get. I am not happy with some scenes, and for sure not with the death of that single figure, but I can guess how this story will continue. And with the title of the third book in mind, King´s Cage, I guess I might know what to expect from that. Looking forward to it.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition new release July 1, 2016, by Carlsen 

Victoria Aveyard
Victoria Aveyard ©Stephanie Girard

Victoria Aveyard was born and raised in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, a small town known only for the worst traffic rotary in the continental United States. She moved to Los Angeles to earn a BFA in screenwriting at the University of Southern California. She currently splits her time between the East and West coasts. As an author and screenwriter, she uses her career as an excuse to read too many books and watch too many movies.


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