“If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.” – Glass Sword, p. 250
This is the second book of the ‘Red Queen’ series by Victoria Aveyard, so this review may contain spoilers regarding the first book, ‘Red Queen’.
In ‘Glass Sword’, I returned to the place I left with the turning of the last pages of ‘Red Queen’: An underground train, escorting Mare, Cal, the members of the Scarlet Guard and of course her oldest brother Shade, who was formerly presumed dead, to their new headquarters. With the words ‘Anyone can betray anyone’ haunting her, Mare is on the hunt for others like her, Reds with silver abilities, the so-called Newbloods. For Mare, this is the beginning of a race against time, because the boy king Maven knows about the newbloods and will do anything in his power to use them for his own terrifying agenda.
Truth be told, this book made it somewhat difficult for me to enjoy myself – at least during its beginning. Learning about Shade and the background story of his faked death was an interesting start to the second book, but after that I grew more and more restless and simply couldn’t muster any interest for the story and its characters. I also kept stumbling upon details that didn’t make much sense to me at that point. Something that bothered me, for example, was my own modern knowledge of airplanes which did not quite fit the description of those flying machines in the book – I mean, a group of people wanting to stay undetected use an airjet and stay undetected? How is that possible? Small things like this kept occurring during the first part of the book, and I was a bit bothered by it. I forced myself through the first hundred pages until I had to pause the book to give it another chance at a later time. Two weeks after that I picked it up again and imagine my surprise when I suddenly found myself completely immersed within the story! Maybe it was better timing, maybe it was because the story finally picked up some speed and gripped me with iron claws – well, whatever it was, I just couldn’t stop reading.
From that point on, a lot of things happened that left me breathless, incredibly sad and shocked at the same time. A bunch of interesting new characters joined those we already knew, carrying their own burdens and trying to cope with their own heartaches and tragedies.
The language used was fluent and only a few times a little bit repetitive, which did not bother me at this point.
I especially liked that throughout the story, I met so many newbloods with extraordinary abilities. People being able to manipulate sound or to change their appearance, those who are able to trick others into seeing things that aren’t really there – it was fascinating and I pictured their camp as though I were training with them. Varying from young age to old, each and every one of these newbloods learn to control their powers and are being trained by those who already get a hang of it. Also, something interesting happened: I grew to like Mare and the other characters and started to understand the motives behind their actions. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better…. entrance of ‘the cliffhanger’! Wow. I have to say I was really bothered by that, although I knew about its existence beforehand (which was the main reason why I decided to continue reading this book). But it bothered me in a good way, because the same day I finished this book I had to pick up the third, ‘King’s Cage’, because I needed to know how the story continues. Thank goodness I had it already waiting for me on my bookshelf.
Although I had a hard time with the beginning of ‘Glass Sword’, the last two thirds made me read hours and hours until my eyes wouldn’t stay open any longer. I’m glad I gave it another chance and a little time to convince me that it is indeed a gripping story.
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Title: Glass Sword
Series: Red Queen (#2)
Press: Harper Teen Books
Year of publication: 2016