Glass Sword (The Red Queen book 2) by Victoria Aveyard (book review)

October 27, 2016 | By | Reply More

‘Glass Sword’ is the second book in ‘The Red Queen’ series by Victoria Aveyard. The series is set in a futuristic world, a thousand years after a nuclear holocaust where there are now two different types of humans, Reds and Silvers. Reds are regular humans with red blood and the Silvers have super-human powers and silver blood. After many years of oppression, the Reds are starting to openly wage war against their Silver overlords.

glasssword

Mare, after the events of ‘Red Queen’, has escaped the Silvers after being rescued by the Scarlet Guard with the Silver Prince Cal who is now their prisoner. They are taken to a Scarlet Guard island base, where she rejoins her family and meets one of the men in charge, Colonel Farley, who has no interest in helping Mare find the other newbloods, Reds with powers like her’s.

The Scarlet Guard is far more organised and widespread than Mare assumed. There are Reds from the Lakeland; the country that Mare’s homeland Norta is warring against who are part of the Guard. The Reds in Norta’s surrounding lands are also under the cruel rule of the Silvers.

The list given to Mare with the newbloods names is also known to the Silver King Maven who intends to eradicate them. Mare, along with Cal, Kilorn and Captain Farley set out on their own to rescue and train as many as they can to aid the Red cause. The newbloods that they find have little choice but to come with Mare as they are doomed to be found and killed or used to be studied by Maven. Their powers are diverse and unique, unlike the Silvers powers which have a set number that are passed through to their children.

For every newblood they find, Maven finds or kills another as well as their families. The Red population are suffering under new laws that send children as young as fifteen to fight in the war without adequate training in child legions. The Reds are given incentives to give up the Scarlet Guard and their poster girl Mare, the Red with Silver powers. This makes finding the newbloods and keeping them safe very difficult.

After ‘Red Queen’, Mare has learnt she cannot trust anyone. Having said that, she still needs help to save the newbloods and struggles to place her faith in the people working with her who have their own agendas. Mare also has to deal with Maven’s relentless hunt for her and the fear and mistrust of some of the Reds who view her as the reason for their suffering.

‘Glass Sword’ is an improvement from ‘Red Queen’. Mare is finally starting to question everyone’s agendas and for the first time she is genuinely trying to help others instead of just herself. Although the fact that she still cares for Maven is surprising, considering what he did and how little she knew him. It seems out of character considering how she treats people she knew and trusted for far longer. She is also starting to become worryingly callous and withdrawn which is making it hard to like her. I would have liked to see more Silvers who are Red sympathisers, like Julian Jacos, as even Prince Cal who does wish to help the Reds still sees the rebellion as a war with too great a cost to Silvers.

There is a pattern of racism to the way the Reds and the Silvers view each other that is now extending to the newbloods which will be an interesting development for the author to explore in the next book.

Supreethi Selvam

October 2016

(pub: Orion/Hachette UK. 440 page small enlarged paperback. Price: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-4091-5074-9)

check out website: www.orionbooks.com

Category: Books, Fantasy

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