February 2016 reads, Uncategorized

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

  • Glass Sword, Victoria Aveyardglass sword

Rating: * * *

Series: #2 Red Queen

Publisher: Orion

Publication Date: Feb 2016

Goodreads synopsis: ‘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?’

I really enjoyed Red Queen, the first book in this series. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this sequel as much. I found the beginning slow and rather frustrating and, although I enjoyed  bits of the second half of the novel more, overall I was disappointed.

One of the main aspects of the beginning that frustrated me was the repetition in Mare’s narration. To me, it seemed like every couple of minutes she would be mentioning Mareena, the girl she used to be, or she would be emphasizing the fact that she’s ‘the lightning girl.’ That phrase was mentioned countless times throughout the opening. I know that it is the nickname Mare earns during the first book, but I felt that it need not be used quite so often, especially by the person it refers to. I found myself getting irritated by it, particularly at times like this:

‘But he’s not really asking me either. Not Mare Barrow of the Stilts, the thief, his friend. Kiln is looking to someone else now, to who I became in the halls of a palace and the sands of an arena.

He’s asking the lightning girl.’ 

I found Mare difficult to connect with in this sequel. It wasn’t that I didn’t like her, I was just totally indifferent to her and actually to most of the other main characters, like Cal, which surprised me because I did connect to these characters in the first book. I think that based on this I would have actually preferred this novel to have been from the point of view of Farley, because she is the character I like most in this series, and while she had quite a large role in Glass Sword, it wasn’t big enough for my liking.

I would rate the first half of this novel 2 or 3 stars due to the fact that I found the narration and Mare’s characterisation difficult and because I struggled to have strong feelings or to root for the majority of the characters that had most of the limelight, aside from Farley. I also was surprised, after the breathtaking finale to Red Queen, that the sequel didn’t start with a faster pace and more action.

On the other hand, I would rate the second half of this book 4 stars. The pace picked up, the action increased, and when that happens, Victoria Aveyard’s writing is awesome. She is a master of twist and turns, and always manages to surprise the reader. I enjoyed the finale but the reason I wouldn’t give it five stars is that, having read a lot of YA fantasy, I didn’t think it was as original as it could have been. It did, however, make me curious as to what will happen in the next installment, so I think possibly, despite not overly enjoying this novel, I might continue with this series.

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