Glass Sword is the highly anticipated sequel to New York Times bestselling Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. Fair warning that this will have spoilers if you haven’t read Red Queen. You can check out my Red Queen spotlight here.
I picked up Red Queen a couple weeks ago and finished it in one sitting. I was entranced by the world Aveyard created: one composed of the plain Red folk, magical Silvers, and Mare Barrow, something in between and a complete mystery. The lightning girl she’s called.
Mare walked a thin line throughout Red Queen, a part of the rebellion but living with the royals, and possibly falling for two princes. In the end she finds herself played and betrayed by Prince Maven.
Glass Sword picks up right where Red Queen left off, immediately after the Scarlet Guard has Mare and Cal from the Bowl of Bones. Mare as well as the reader get a fuller picture of the Scarlet Guard: its reach, its numbers, and its strategy. But the more Mare finds out the more she becomes uncomfortable with the guard: after all, she isn’t exactly a Red.
While it’s foreshadowed that there’s even more to learn about the Guard and its mysterious Command, Glass Sword is really about Mare’s journey as well as her relationships. She sets out to find the rest of her people, the newbloods, before King Maven. This introduces Mare and the reader to new characters with incredible powers.
It’s on this journey that her relationships suffer. After all the hurt, loss and betrayal Mare has been forced to suffer she has hardened her heart—adopting the motto trust no one. She shuts down, focused on her quest and nothing else. It becomes problematic, and hurts not only Mare but also those around her.
“If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.” – Victoria Aveyard, Glass Sword
Out of everyone Mare has probably hurt Cal the worst. The fallen Prince is not necessarily welcomed among the guards, among Reds, but he has nowhere else to turn. And to be honest I think he’d follow Mare anywhere, even though they have broken each other. He is forced to struggle with allegiance, ideals, and the importance of blood. The love triangle that was hinted at in Red Queen falls to the wayside in the sequel, which is understandable because while Maven’s presence is palpable throughout the novel his page count is short.
Glass Sword is just as suspenseful and heartbreaking as Red Queen. You are introduced to interesting new characters, and beloved old ones are threatened.
Aveyard is a master at surprising the reader, creating twists that are unpredictable and characters that are unreadable. If you were shocked and emotionally unstable at the end of Red Queen, be prepared for the ending of Glass Sword—a cliffhanger that will have you yearning for the next novel in the series, which I expect to be just as devastating since Aveyard made a deal to extend the series to four books.
At the end, with so many layers and betrayals, you will be echoing Mare’s paranoid sentiments: trust no one.
You can buy Glass Sword on Amazon. Let me know what you think of the series in the comments!