ARC Review: Glass Sword

Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 448 Pages
Publication Date: February 9th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC via publisher 
Goodreads | Amazon
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?
It pains me to say this, but the second book in the Red Queen quartet pales in comparison to book 1 in nearly all areas in my opinion. The proverbial cobwebs have been wiped away, and I'm left completely disenchanted with Red Queen after my quick re-skim and Glass Sword after a thorough read. 

In Glass Sword, Mare races to find all the Reds like her who have special powers before Maven can get to them. As new alliances form and true colors come out, Mare must be careful when deciding whom to place her trust in. 

This review might turn into a long rant, and first I need to address Mare. I loved her thievery and spunk in Red Queen, yet she felt so cold and detached in this book. She's a mere shadow, no, a husk, of the person she was before. Her selfishness and foolishness are constant warring issues in this book. She never learns, and at times she clearly just doesn't care about things that she should. It was completely frustrating having to follow this girl along the story. I liked all the secondary characters, especially as they never let Mare get away with her own ignorance. Mare's transformation in this book is frightening and just plain sad. I think this is supposed to be character development, but it just feels wrong. 

Oh the romance.... It's a tangled web of eye-roll-worthy, cringing, and cheesy lines and tropes. While Red Queen teases and confuses readers, Glass Sword simply annoys us. There's so much time spent denying their love and lots of reiterations of weak statements like "we will only distract one another." There is a kiss here and there, lots of looks filled with longing, and searing touches that hold far greater meaning. Overall the romance still leaves me confused! 

The action sequences are rapid and far fewer than I'd expected. They were also highly confusing. Maybe because Mare is confused and disoriented, we are too? Half the time I had to go back and reread sections because the scenes were so hard to follow or unclear. This book lacked any and all humor or lightheartedness. Even Allegiant managed to sneak some in, and that was a truly depressing book. I liked the new characters introduced to the book. I'd recommend rereading or skimming Red Queen before starting this because there are references to events and names that I hardly recall.

I enjoyed Red Queen even though it has all of the usual book/movie/tv show entertainment gimmicks. Special powers. Love triangle. Ordinary Girl Turned Rebel. Social Unrest. Revolution. And many more. It's so highly unoriginal and basically a smorgasbord of everything ever done, yet it works. In this book sadly it does not.

This book starts off slow and doesn't really pick up until page 350. The last ninety pages of this book are insanely epic and potentially worth a 4-star rating, but the first 350 pages hardly condone a 1-star rating. The plot is slow-going for most of the book until the explosive climax. I must admit Aveyard definitely knows how to keep readers on the edge of their seats near the end of her books. This ending reads like a cliffhanger for a trilogy, and I honestly have no idea how Aveyard is going to draw out two more books.

Both Red Queen and Glass Sword have consistently ended on a high note. It's like a sick joke, these books infuriate you so much and then hook you at the end! I didn't really enjoy this book, but I must know what happens next.
Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.


  1. I have heard so much about the disappointment that came with this sequel. My friends are like, "WHAT'S THIS MESS?" I haven't even read Red Queen yet and now I'm really thinking about whether I should actually start it now.

  2. Oh man, props to you for wanting to read the next books. I can't. I was intrigued with the set up for book 2 at the end of RQ, but it failed majorly for me. I agree; action scenes were super unclear (like so unclear I don't even understand how a major character died). Loved reading your review :)

  3. I know, I know. Most of the bloggers who read this earl as well didn't think the sequel lived up to the hype and especially because this book is one of the most overhyped books in YA book history. I don't know. I didn't feel so strong about the first book so I don't think that I"m going to like this one any better. Although I still did pick up the second one on preorder because I just want to know what happens!

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  4. I've read nothing but disappointment on this one. And here I was really looking forward to finding out how Red Queen will continue. I know you loved Red Queen so knowing that you didn't like this as much makes me want to stay away for a while and see how the 3rd book will go.

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

  5. Wow that's disappointing! I liked Red Queen so it stinks some of the things that were great about it weren't the same in this one. Great honest review!!

  6. Oh no this sounds so disappointing! I really enjoyed Red Queen and have been looking forward to seeing what happens next but I've seen a few reviews like this now that are making me kinda nervous. It's always a shame when this happens. I enjoyed reading your review!

    --Nicola Reads YA

  7. Oh no! So sad to hear that this one does not live up to its predecessor! And Red Queen was pretty awesome I thought! I would have thought the books would just get better. To hear it regresses is very upsetting, but we all know I'll still read it! Lol. Very nice and honest review!

  8. Oh wow your review makes me scared to read Glass Sword. I loved Red Queen but that was at a time when I was okay with putting up with all of YA's bullshit.

  9. There have been times that this has happened to me too. I didn't like the book and yet I had to read the next one (Fallen series). It's so annoying! I've seen a lot of negativity about Glass Sword lately. I guess I'll try to go into it completely unbiased and see where I stand.

  10. I agree that the many overused tropes seemed to work in Red Queen, and that the last hundred pages or so definitely left me curious, but at the same time, I'm so wary at this point, not only because of your review - which proved all my fears about Glass Sword are true - but also just the general direction of the story and how Red Queen was set up. I was going to continue with the series and give it another chance to redeem itself, but I'm not sure if I want to anymore. Thanks for sharing such an honest review!

  11. I didn't read Red Queen and was so-so about it... and I've read some good reviews for this one, and some bad ones, but they all say that this reads like a second book in a trilogy, so I'm wondering about that... I don't think I'm gonna start on this series until at least the next book or the final one and see what the overall veredict is!

  12. I didn't love Red Queen so I didn't really fancy this one, especially now. All the problems you mention here are ones I had with Red Queen, so I don't think I will be reading this. I've heard a few bad things too, so I don't think this series will be for me. the romance sounds like it would annoy me too!

    Denise | The Bibliolater

  13. I'm sorry this one was a letdown. I was pretty in the middle about the first book and the few ARC reviews I've seen for this one have all been meh or bad. I may have to give up on this series. Thanks for the honest review!

  14. This reminds me of Ice Like Fire. I loved book 1 but wow, book 2 was soooo slow and boring. But it ended awesome, so of course I need book 3. I've been trying to read read Red Queen for the last month but I am doubting I'll ever finish. I am struggling hard to connect to any of the characters and the low ratings for this book aren't exactly motivating. Great review!

  15. Oh jeez, I'm surprised you made it through this one Rachel! I wasn't 100% sold on Red Queen so I don't know if I'll like this one.

  16. That is really disappointing. I was hoping it would improve. :( I honestly don't understand why the series received soo much hype...

  17. I DNF'd Red Queen and I was thinking of going back to it, but knowing that the sequel was underwhelming is making me question whether I should. :/


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