There’s a spoiler disclaimer at the top of this section’s homepage, so if you’re here and reading this now, I’d assume you’ve seen all the warning and caution signs. But just in case! I’ll say it one more time: there are spoilers from this point forward! Read at your own risk.
Okay! With that being said, welcome to the spoilery review of Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard! This is where I share my thoughts and feelings (oh so many feelings) about the people and events of Book 2 of the Red Queen series.
We get to see more of the world VA has created as Mare and Co. go out to find other Red-and-Silvers. I found most of the new locations to be very similar to those in RQ – Reds downtrodden, Silvers haughty and spoiled. (<— That’s a generalization, by the way). What I liked most was what these new locales revealed about the characters. For instance, at one point we find ourselves in Cal’s mom’s home (well, one of them) and his reaction to this setting and his subsequent behaviors endeared me to him even more. I also liked the wooded area where they hunker down in. It reminded me of the base camp in Dragon Age.
Favorite: Red-and-Silver Camp
Mare: Mare’s got it tough in this book. Okay, everyone has it tough in this book. And yes, she had it tough in RQ too, but the betrayal she experienced in Book 1 really caused the emotional withdrawal we see in GS. Given what she went through, I’m inclined to cut her some slack. Would it have been cool for her to have shrugged off the hopelessness, despair, and confusion that Maven’s betrayal caused and rise up like Wonder Woman to start kicking some heavy-duty ass without the melancholia? Yeah, maybe. Would that have been realistic? Not in the slightest. Mare’s reaction seems more real to me. No one’s going to get over something like that in a few days or even a few months. It’s a lot for anyone to take in and work through and while I don’t think pushing people away is the smart choice, I think it’s, unfortunately, a realistic reaction.
Cal: Cal’s doing surprisingly well here. I mean, in RQ he found out his stepmother killed his birth mother, his brother betrayed him, and he was forced to kill his own father. And now he’s on the run and helping people he viewed as enemies his entire life. He’s handling it like a champ. That’s not to say he isn’t struggling here and there, of course. Hang in there, Cal! He and Mare are also kinda-sorta-but-basically an item, much to Kilorn’s disappointment. (Go Team Cal!)
Kilorn: I really wasn’t a fan of Kilorn in RQ, but I liked him way more after reading GS. He’s proven himself to be clever and brave. Unfortunately, that’s really all I have to say about him…
Shade: Shade! Shade is Mare’s older brother who, in RQ, was thought to be dead. That was one of my theories that proved to be true – I never really believed he was dead. And lo and behold, we find out he’s alive and thank VA for that, because Shade is an AWESOME character! I loved him – he was kind, patient, funny, clever, witty, and he had one of the BEST abilities. I would totally want to be a teleporter. That might not be a word, but whatever.
Farley: Like with Kilorn, I don’t have too much to say about Farley. I like her well enough – which is more than I did in RQ. She’s fiery, stubborn, determined and practical (for the most part), so that’s pretty awesome. And she’s romantically involved with Shade. Yay!
Maven: Ah, Maven – where do I start? It didn’t occur to me that anyone could have been Team Maven. I don’t mean that in a mean way. I actually really liked him in RQ, but to me, the chemistry between Mare and Cal was so strong that it was obvious they’d end up together. (Of course, the series isn’t done yet, so I could be eating my words later). But because of that, I never really thought Maven was a real contender for having a chance with Mare, hence being Team Maven didn’t really cross my mind. In fact, while reading RQ, I felt sorry for him because I was so sure that she’d choose Cal. My feelings were split and I thought either one of two things would happen. 1) If my theory was correct, Maven would be a bad guy in the end and therefore wouldn’t deserve Mare, so hurray for Mare’s secret not-so-secret feelings for Cal and vice versa! Or, 2) my theory was wrong, and Maven turned out to really be a good guy and poor him for being (eventually) cast aside for Cal. Which brings us to Glass Sword. Surprise! Maven’s a bad guy. Like, a really bad guy. Part of me was holding out hope even while reading GS – after all, he loves Mare (in a twisted, dark way) so maybe there’s a chance he’d see the errors (HUGE errors) of his ways and throw in the towel. Maybe beg for forgiveness (yeah, good luck with that, buddy). But nope. It’s a downward spiral. And the notes he left for Mare? Way to be uber creepy, Maven…
Shade’s Death: Nooooo!!! SHADE!!! Why, VA? Why?!
So, sometimes when I read, my eyes do this rebellious thing where they – in complete defiance of my brain – jump down to the bottom of the page (or even to the next page) before I’ve had the chance to read everything. Which is how I found out that Shade died. Say it ain’t so! See above for how much I loved him. I mean, were his powers too good? Maybe they were giving Team Red an unfair advantage? I don’t know! And! At this point I had already figured out that Farley was pregnant with his child and then Shade dies?! Right before he gets to be a dad? Yes, I know, it’s a war – people die. Main characters die. Like real life. That doesn’t mean I have to like it. Let me just wallow in despair for a bit. I guess the silver lining (no pun intended) is that he’ll live on through their baby. Technically. Or not technically? I still would’ve preferred him to just be alive so that he and Farley could both be there for their child. I think Shade would have deserved that. **SIGH**
Queen Elara’s Death: Wait… what? I was disappointed that this wasn’t given more attention. One moment Shade’s dead right in front of Mare (the world is a cruel and unforgiving place) and the next moment Mare’s on the plane. With Elara’s body. I would have liked to see how that played out, because I’m sure that was an epic fight scene.
New Players: There were new players introduced – people from a different country (not sure if country’s the right word for it) that’s supposedly better than Mare’s in terms of equality. Give me a moment to let my skepticism set in. I’m guessing we’ll see more of these people in the upcoming books. The question is whether they’ll be allies or enemies. My money’s on the latter.
The Ending: Oh my goodness, the ending! Mare gave herself up to save her friends and is put on display once again, only now Maven’s got her on a leash and collar. Literally. Seriously though, Maven? You’ll be regretting that later.
Can we have the next book already? Pretty please?