REVIEW: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

 Victoria Aveyard

PUBLISHER: Harper Teen

DATE PUBLISHED: February 9, 2016

RATING: 1194984978279254934two_star_rating_saurabh__01-svg-med

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads): 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?

Nope. I will not go on any pretentious pursuit of liking this book and wrack my nerve to come up with any compliments to sugarcoat my review. So yes, 2 out of 5 stars. Given my history in rating books, I am pretty much benign so a 2 star score for me could even be more godawful for others. Just saying.

Victoria Aveyard’s writing style in Glass Sword wasn’t at a complete odd with Red Queen, its predecessor. Looking back, I hardly had any effort getting into RQ but for some reasons, it was a 360-degree turn for GS for me. For the record, my reading activity for February revolved on this book alone. I am telling you so you get the picture how it practically killed me to drive my focus into it… and to illustrate how much of a masochist I am trying to love a book that wouldn’t love me back.

I read chapter 2 countless times not because I was so into it but because some trinkets of life pulled me out of Glass Sword’s universe. One second I’m reading but on the next, I’m admiring the lovely shade of blue in the sky outside. No, seriously it was like that for me. To others who said they devoured it in one sitting, good for you. I was reading with so many attention-grabbers, Mare included, that 75% of the book, I kept on forgetting what just happened I had to back-read multiple times. I know the problem has to be me but the book shouldn’t dare come clean because if it were as spanktacular as it promised to be, my rants would be non-existent.

Glass Sword picked up right were Red Queen left off. The entire plot was strewn with action-packed scenes from the first page to the last. The whole book mostly revolved around recruiting newbloods. There were close-to-death encounters. There were warfare and combats here and there that attempted to keep “your” (meaning, not mine) blood pumping all throughout. I’ll give Aveyard that credit. But not because it’s jam-packed with motions doesn’t mean it will keep you off your seat like watching Rick Grimes and his gang slaughter a bunch of walkers in Alexandria from The Walking Dead. NO. It wasn’t compelling enough.

There were so many things going on, so many characters introduced, so many places mentioned I can’t help but be like *le sigh* “WHERE’S THE FREAKING POINT?!”. Fine. There are points but before I even got to them, I’m tired comprehending which place lead to which (Cartography exists for a reason!), who this character is coming into picture all of a sudden, and ugh, MARE. Don’t get me started on Mare.

On second thought, let’s discuss the lightning girl. Much of my exasperation on this book is credited to Mare Barrow. That woman’s got loads of issues on her system. She’s feisty but not in the most adorable way. The outright opposite, to be honest. In RQ, I tolerated Mare’s obnoxious POV but here, it’s just too much. We knew she regretted trusting the douche that is Maven. We knew she felt sorry for the fire prince. We knew she wanted Kilorn alive and breathing forever. We knew she’s shattered. And obviously, we knew anyone can betray anyone. And how many times have we heard this? Thousands. I was on the verge of ordering myself to throw a fit the next time she wails about these.  Will somebody junk this broken record away?! And what’s more sickening was this made up at least a fourth or a third of the book if summed up. More than sympathizing for the lightning girl basking in the the drama department, I pitied the trees cut to supply us papers for this book with a lost cause.

I still had sting my eyes, prickling at Maven’s memory. It’s hard to forget him as he was. No. As he pretended to be. The kind, forgotten boy. The shadow of the flame.

Mare of the Stilts died the day she fell onto a lightning shield. Mareena, the lost Silver princess, died in the Bowl of Bones. And I don’t know what new person opened her eyes on the Undertrain. I only know what she has been and what she has lost, and the weight of it is almost crushing.

I also felt sorry for the other characters – Cal, Kilorn, Shade, Farley, Maven, etc. Mare stole their spotlight. She’s got huge character development at the expense of others who were given just snippets. I saw less of Maven. Kilorn had hiatuses as well when it’s better he’s given none. Cal was there but taken not so importantly. I get that you’re the main character, Mare, but this isn’t your biography.

It’s not fair to point out only the crappy things about the book. I obviously loathed it to some extent and thus, the 2 stars. However, I didn’t give it a 1 for no reason. I praise Aveyard for putting first the actual theme here and that’s a war-based fantasy. She learned from the huge mistake of Red Queen that was insta-love. This provided a realistic setting because blatantly, when you’re facing a fight, you think of nothing else but to win it. You sought for distractions because humans are vulnerable but you don’t let that get the better of your game.

Also, that ending was one helluva cliffhanger. Finally, I could genuinely say that event was gripping. I like that it ended that way because at least, there’s a reason, even the littlest bit, for me to still consider the third installment, I could say it compensated for the ugly parts but hmm, I can’t afford to be that generous so I’ll just say it was one positive thing about this book.

I recommend this book to readers who are extremely patient with headstrong, insufferable characters, takes pleasure on action-packed fantasies with less romance, and with a zeal for listening to a broken record.

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  1. Noooo, I’m so sorry you didn’t like this book! I thought RQ was mediocre and wasn’t planning to continue with Glass Sword, and now I think I made the right decision. I haven’t yet read a good review for it from the bloggers I trust. 😦


    • Given the reviews on RQ (how it lacked originality, etc.), I thought Aveyard would step up her game on GS but no. But a lot of people still liked it and mine can be considered an unpopular opinion so I hope you’ll find it differently than I did 😀


      • I doubt I will, to be honest. The things that bugged you about it would bug me too, and I’ve read other reviews emphasising other negative things I most likely wouldn’t enjoy, haha. I think I’ve read enough to know that I don’t really care to give this series another chance… 😛


  2. Sorry to hear you didn’t like it! I actually really enjoyed Glass Sword and though Mare was a thorn in my side I didn’t outright hate her. The story was very interesting and the action never ending. I think we might have to agree to disagree 🙂


    • I get where you’re coming from. GS just wasn’t really for me and TBH, RQ is way better in my opinion. There could be other factors why I didn’t enjoy it (but definitely Mare’s one of them) like my mood, the timing, etc. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this great and honest review. To be totally honest, I read the book, and felt annoyed with it, a lot more than I did for Red Queen, but still rated it 3 stars because well, there was action, it was entertaining, and that ending, well, let’s stay Victoria Aveyard really finds a way to torture us… but, the more I think about it, the more that books annoys me, hahaha. Yet I’m going to need to know how that ends. And to second Joey’s comment right above mine, well, I’m on the masochist club, too, hahaha.


    • RQ was okay but just okay. However, when I read GS, it’s like RQ became the best book there is! Haha! I love that it was action-packed as well but it didn’t compel me to read through and through. AND MARE. Ugh, her guts is loathsome. Haha! Aveyard is just so good with endings. I liked how RQ ended and thankfully, GS was at par so I’m still picking up the third book. And yes, we’re on the masochist club! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m going to read this next after The Winner’s Kiss and I am dreading it as early as now, lol. I’m going to keep an open mind and hope I survive Mare’s constant moaning. Thanks for the review, Trisha! I hope your next book is much, much better


  5. 😦 I wish you enjoyed this more! I haven’t read any of Victoria Aveyard’s books, but I know there were a lot of mixed reactions to the first book, and I was hoping that the second book would blow away everyone’s minds so that I can start the series! Sadly, it seems like a lot of people are in the same boat as you and frustrated with it? Oh well :/ At least the cliffhanger was really gripping for you to consider the third installment! 😀


  6. There are soooo many mixed reactions on Aveyard’s 1st and 2nd books! I’m still down for this one though. I am sorry that it was so frustrating for you. I hate frustrating characters in general. What’s next on the TBR?


    • Right?? I’m thinking this is better read with proper timing and less hype. Are you planning to read it? If you do, I hope you find it differently than I do. I’m reading Lady Midnight next! Gaah I miss shadowhunters! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I definitely don’t give in to hype myself because I hype up books on my own, I don’t need publishers to hype stuff up, lol. I’m a raving fangirl, I don’t need their help!!! HAHAA!! I do plan to read it but not right now. I’m currently reading. Ten Thousand Skies Above You and then I’m moving to contemp and then diving into A Court of Thorns and Roses! >.<
        OMG YASS, I do want to read Lady Midnight too!!!! I hope you like it! ^.^


  7. I have consistently heard negative things across the board for this book – and it sounds like a godawful mess. Despite RQ having loads of tropes and needless drama, I actually really enjoyed it. However, Mare is not my favourite character – so hearing that she takes mos of the limelight in this sequel is not good news – especially if I have to spend a book seeing her wallow in self pity. What a waste of a perfect cover. Thanks for the honest review!


    • Red Queen was the one of those books full of cliches and I felt it was a mash-up of awesome YA fantasy but despite these, I liked it. I was just expecting more from GS and thought Aveyard learned from bad reviews on Red Queen. Mare’s repetitive self pity eclipsed all other good things in this book for me and from what I read on others’ reviews, they thought the same 😦 I hope the third book will be a saviour.


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