**WARNING – May contain minor spoilers for the series**
Title: Glass Sword
Author: Victoria Aveyard
⭐️ 4 / 5
If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different. Mare’s blood is red – the colour of common folk – but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court wants to control. Pursued by the vengeful Silver king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join the rebellion. 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?
Glass Sword begins where Red Queen ends with our favourite characters (mostly) speeding off into unchartered territory – in some instances, literally. My favourite part of this novel is the vast amount of world building Victoria has included. This second instalment sees Mare travel into the Lakelands, the Northern Territory of the world we are becoming accustomed to. We also discover much more about Norta which builds on what we’ve already discovered in Red Queen. The underground workings of Mare’s world and the mysterious Scarlet Guard are unravelled further and further as the novel goes on.
Glass Sword also sees the introduction of several new characters, most of whom have complex powers and lives to get to know. It’s great fun to see these people emerge into the limelight and how Mare changes upon realising she is not alone in the world. Mare’s interaction with one character in particular, a young girl named Cameron, is incredibly interesting to see develop. It’s clear that there’s some kind of larger plan for Cameron which starts to become clear in the final few chapters.
The amount of action triples in this novel. There are plenty of tension-filled fights between the two sides of this developing war. Gift combat is also much more prevalent, with us learning how the Silvers and the Red-and-Silvers harness and use their powers. The climax of all of this comes with a prison heist at the end of the novel. It really shows off just how incredible Victoria’s writing is. However fair warning that something like this incurs a few obligatory YA losses, so I say you buy shares in Kleenex round about now.
Remember that cliffhanger I raved about at the end of Red Queen? Well bloody hell, she did it again. Victoria delivers a massive kick to the cut that means I am yet again so glad I didn’t read in ‘real time’ because there’s no way I could have waited a year for book 3. Somehow she manages to make the predictable unpredictable and twist the hell out of her plot. I cannot say enough good things about this book. I think it could be my favourite of the series so far.
Yet again, I implore you to read this book series and join us all in the fun.