“If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.”
To be honest, I’m at odds about how I feel about this book. On the one hand, I totally enjoyed it. On the other, a friend who also received an ARC expressed disappointment about certain developments in the story (mainly when it comes to developments regarding the rebellion and the New Bloods), and I don’t disagree. I guess I see how Glass Sword may have fallen short of our expectations, but somehow, it didn’t bother me as much as it did her. Because when it comes to books, and YA in particular, I mostly expect to be entertained, and if it did that well, that’s good enough for me.
At the end of Red Queen, Mare Barrow had been betrayed by Maven, exposed as a Red, and had run away to join the Scarlet Guard. Cal, now no longer crown prince, escaped with her, but the Guard still distrusted him (on account of him being Silver). With Maven now established as the Big Bad, and the love triangle gone, you’d think that it would make for a more straightforward romance in this book, but… no. Both Mare and Cal were traumatised by the events in Red Queen, and Cal in particular seemed to be haunted by nightmares and his desire for revenge. As for Mare, she couldn’t seem to reconcile the vindictive, malicious Maven pursuing her and the boy that she had known and befriended when she was still living as a Silver. (Do note that evil!Maven is absolutely evil. He reminded me of Joffrey from ASoIaF.)
Mare’s focus was in finding the New Bloods, what they were calling the Reds with powers. This search was impeded by (1) Maven’s people getting to them first, (2) the fact that the Scarlet Guard answered to a larger rebellion that didn’t care about the New Bloods, and (3) the fact that Mare wasn’t over Maven’s betrayal and couldn’t trust anyone. Sometimes she came across as rather paranoid, and I know this might’ve been one of the things that put off my friend, but I figure that after all that she had gone through, she had good reason to be.
As far as the other characters go, I kept expecting Kilorn to be like Simon in the Shadowhunter Chronicles – a bit “useless” in the beginning, but developing to be a kickass character in his own right. It didn’t quite happen here, but I still harbour hopes for the next book, as he proved to be a decent guy, at least, and someone that Mare probably needed to have around. Farley also turned out to be more interesting than I thought, especially after reading the story about her in Cruel Crown.
Did I think it was as good as Red Queen? No, not really, but it did come close. Red Queen was an amazing debut that left me craving for more, and Glass Sword didn’t quite leave me the same way. However, I enjoyed it immensely, and found it just as entertaining and hard to put down, and UGH, THAT ENDING, it left me in tears.
This post was part of the Glass Sword (International) blog tour, so check out these other reviews!
Feb 8th: Confessions of a Readaholic (Singapore)
Feb 9th: Dreaming Out Loud (Malaysia)
Feb 10th: Westeros Reader (Mexico)
Feb 11th: Spell Saab (Philippines)
Feb 12th: Junkies Literarios (Puerto Rico)
Feb 13th: Amaterasu Reads (Philippines)
Feb 14th: Comiendo Mundos (Peru)