Picking up where the Red Queen left off, Glass Sword finds Mare on a mission to find fellow ‘new-bloods’, other red-blooded citizens with powers, before Maven and his mother track them down and kill them. Mare wants to gather enough people to make a stand against the boy who betrayed her but her methods put her at risk of becoming the same as the monsters she’s trying to stop.
This was one of my most anticipated books of 2016 and I was happy that I ended up enjoying it, even if it wasn’t as much as I enjoyed the Red Queen. There was a lot of action and the plot moved ahead quite a bit, some questions were answered and others got more complicated. I enjoyed the new characters that were introduced and I’m excited to see where the series goes from here.
The book was told all in Mare’s POV, like Red Queen. Her growth in this sequel was interesting since it wasn’t all for the better. With the theme of ‘anyone can betray anyone’ heavy in her mind, Mare was always suspicious, even of people she would have trusted easily before. The less she trusted and the more desperate she got to feel like she was making a dent against Maven, the darker and crueler she got. I liked the contrast between Mare’s struggle with her dark thoughts and what I can imagine what Maven’s had been before and during the Red Queen. Mare had people to try to pull her back while no one noticed Maven.
I also liked all the memories Mare and Cal both struggled with in regards to Maven. There were many good times with him and trying to reconcile the sweet boy they remembered with the dark, broken boy-king wasn’t easy. As much as I loved the new characters, I found myself missing the interactions between Mare, Cal, and Maven. Even when they were antagonistic, they were amazing to read. With Maven being off-screen for so much of the book, I missed that presence.
There was a lot of setting up for an eventual big, final showdown but still enough happening to make it feel like more than just a middle book in a series. I liked the idea that every new-blood Mare and her group saved was a blow to the other side and even though it seemed small, a victory was a victory. It didn’t completely suck me in like the first one did, I didn’t get completely lost, but I still didn’t want to stop reading. The first book was a huge roller coaster of emotions and this one was more like a kiddie coaster. It still had a lot of emotional ups and downs but I didn’t feel as drained after finishing this one as I did after the first one.