Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – Book Review

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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?

Going into this I had very high expectations after so adoring Red Queen, the first book in this series. By now I should know to try to tone down my excitement for books because then it’s much harder for the book to live up to my ideals.

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I’m glad that Aveyard took Glass Sword in a different direction than Red Queen. Aveyard pulls in Mare’s Family, more members of the Red Guard, and more newbloods! This book had more of an X-men vibe than the first, with even more characters learning how to use their superhuman abilities.

I also highly enjoyed Mare’s character development. Aveyard showed the effects of Mare’s actions on Mare’s own psyche. She didn’t just brush over those effects by having Mare get over her remorse and downward spiral quickly. Yes, Mare gets dark in this book and I liked it a lot. She doesn’t escape the Bowl of Bones battle entirely unscathed, either physically or mentally.

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I was not as much of a fan of Mare and Cal’s relationship in Glass Sword. If Aveyard had centered their relationship around their mutual loss of who they thought Maven was and grew it more from that loss, then I would have enjoyed their blossoming relationship more. Instead it felt a little like she was just trying to throw in another love story to satisfy readers’ romantic cravings. I do enjoy romance in my YA but she could have just teased some romance and left it more about developing the characters individually as well as the Red vs. Silver war.

One of my disappointments was that the plot twists were much more predictable than in Red Queen. They were still well done though.

Rating: 4/5

For Fans Of: Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, X-Men, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – Book Review

Red Queen Cover

I know, I know, you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover. But, come on! We all do. What I love in a book cover is when it stops you in your tracks and seems to call out to you, “Pick me up! You know you want to feel my beautifully embossed cover and discover my secrets.” This is still and incredibly hard feat to do though. So when I see a cover that makes my heart jump in excitement, and my fingers itch to pick it up I always know that my wallet is in trouble.

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The Cover of Red Queen written by Victoria Aveyard is simple, yet beautiful. It speaks to my love of symbolism, contrast, and white space. Even reading through the blurb once you can already feel how representative the cover is of the story. Not only does the cover image tie into the intense struggle between the red and silver blood lines, but it connects perfectly with exact quotes from the book. You know a cover has done its job well when you finish a book and just sit and think about all the ways that the design truly represents the plot, the characters, and the struggles they go through.

Red Queen Quote

Red Queen does have a stunning aesthetic, but it was also an extremely addictive read. Set in a dystopian ‘other world’ with magic/superhuman abilities, it’s the perfect combination of fantasy and futurism. I fell in love with Mare, the protagonist, the second I fell into her world. A strong female character, Mare stays true to herself and her cause despite the pull of a love triangle in the book. For anyone looking for an intense and fast-paced read, this is great.

Red Queen Quote

For Fans of: The Hunger Games, Legend, and Throne of Glass