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?
As a sequel, Glass Sword does not truly live up to the former book, Red Queen. Where Red Queen was a fantastic book of political intrigue, Glass Sword is a messy let’s-assemble-a-Xavier-academy, with Mare’s faith in humanity crashing slowly in the background. Don’t get me wrong, the writing and characterization are superbly done, but the plot as a whole was lackluster. Mare embarks on a mission to save all the newbloods from Maven’s wrath, but as she faces obstacles and Maven himself, she loses control over her own compassion. She didn’t have much to begin with, with her being okay with sacrificing some Silvers in Red Queen, but now she descends to vengeance. The others don’t understand her, even when they know she has been through a lot, and this keeps her aloof and lonesome.
Cal, on the other side of the character development spectrum, shakes off a bit of the Silver-Prince and embraces the new world he is in, eventually. He realizes that he can’t be hypocritical, and the gentler side of him shows up more often. I am still not convinced of their romance, though, not since Red Queen. Shade was a good character to have in this book, and he and Farley were a pair I was eyeing for development since Steel Scars. The other characters, we don’t see much of, since Mare is the protagonist and she keeps to herself. She might be in a spiral of depression, and that ending certainly didn’t help it. The ending made me go ‘WHAAAAT?’ for like a whole minute, and the epilogue confused me even further. Talk about a cliffhanger! But the pacing was off for a sequel – it was slowly paced in the start and only gained momentum towards the end. Overall, this book was a mediocre installation, but I am still eager for the next two, if only to see where these plot lines go.
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