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Red Queen #2

Glass Sword

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If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

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?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

444 pages, Hardcover

First published February 9, 2016

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About the author

Victoria Aveyard

24 books67k followers
I'm an author/screenwriter who likes books and lists. This site is the nexus of my universe.

I wrote the #1 NYT bestselling series RED QUEEN and my next series, REALM BREAKER, will be out in May 2021.

The genres I'm into include YA, Fantasy, Historical, Adventure, Apocalyptic - if people are dying, I'm buying.

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Profile Image for Rachel E. Carter.
Author 9 books3,512 followers
January 27, 2023
I am still #teamMaven. Scroll down to the spoiler portion of my review to read my theory on his redemption arc. I'm either right or dead wrong, but my gut is telling me to there is more to Maven than meets the eye.

"Mare, I am very afraid for you. Things have been done to you, things no person should suffer. You've seen horrible things, done horrible things, and they will change you. I'm so afraid for what you could be, if given the wrong chance."


Enter the world of shades of gray. No character will be spared.

I FINISHED. AND I HAVE MANY, MANY THOUGHTS. Let me try to get them down coherently in GIF's (find my review of Red Queen HERE):

1. First 50% I was mostly bored. >>Not that the writing wasn't amazing, because it was, or because there wasn't action, because there was, but because there was little romance and no Maven and no palace and I just wasn't as entertained as the first book. But that all changed the second half when things got GOOD...


2. A certain someone's death hit me harder than expected.


>> I didn't like this person at all in the first book, and now I'm thinking I should read one of the novellas to get more of this character.

3. I really loved Mare in this book.


>>I'm sure some reviews will say she was moping and angry but honestly she was REAL. Mare struggled to make the right decisions and be who they wanted her to be and she was haunted by the events of book one. (Again, this series reminds me A LOT of Mockingjay-Katniss feels, but for me that's a wonderful thing because I loved Hunger Games and would gladly read scenes like that over and over. I got why it was so hard of her to let go of protecting Killorn and move into some sort of friendship with Cal. I liked that she didn't know how to interact with the children and people kept looking at her like she was a traitor to both Red and silver. I liked the way she kept the notes from Maven and the way she and Cal still mourned the boy they thought they had known.

4. The ending. OH DEAR LAWD THAT ENDING. Now that was an ending.


His expression is unreadable, but his meaning is clear. With one hand, he points at his feet. His fingers whiter than I remember.
I do as he says.
I kneel.


>> Read below to understand my thoughts (everything is marked as a spoiler FYI):

Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
March 14, 2016
And I am revealed for exactly what I am - a particularly stupid fish, moving from hook to hook, never learning my lesson.

^This is a pretty good summary of the whole book.

I know some people will not like that I tried Glass Sword after being really disappointed with Red Queen, but I've had a lot of luck with sequels lately. My dislike for first books like Cinder and The Winner's Curse turned into love for the later books in the series. So I thought I'd give Aveyard a second chance.

No disrespect intended, but I really do struggle to understand the popularity of this series. Nothing about it is particularly good or compelling. YA fantasy is made up of lots of fluff, but even the lightest of romantic fantasies generally offer some excitement, some pull, even if the world-building is scarce and it is heavily diluted by romance.

This sequel offers nothing like that. The prose is bland and the plot contains a lot of meandering between places and constant repetition. Mare's narrative is tiresome and dull, going over the same thoughts about Cal, Maven and her own specialness. Only the last few chapters contain any real action or story development - the rest of the book shows the characters going from place to place in search of those with special abilities who can help their mission.

The author is too lazy to craft thought-provoking scenes and characters, only ever writing something or someone when it furthers Mare’s mission. Everything feels orchestrated around the super special Mare, none of the characters have their own identity or purpose, which makes it not only boring, but also turns every character into a chess piece, a stereotype, and a trope. Glass Sword introduces many new characters and not a single one of them is memorable.

And Mare alone cannot carry this story. If, perhaps, her character had been so strong and interesting that it didn't really matter about the one-dimensional other characters, then maybe this book wouldn't have been terrible. But Mare is neither a likable character, nor an anti-heroine that demands your sympathy anyway. She's an immature, often stupid, mess.

Mare blends in with a sea of forgettable fantasy heroines. Even her flaws are not portrayed as such; her first-person narrative so self-obsessed. She's arrogant; always concerned with her own power and mission. She's selfish; often forgetting her family even exist and rarely expressing emotion befitting the situation. If you enjoy reading about super special heroines, stick with Throne of Glass. If you'd rather read about a fascinating and morally questionable anti-heroine, then check out The Young Elites.

For everything you could possibly be looking for, I can suggest a better book/series than this one. Unless you are actively seeking poor writing and boredom.

The late dose of action couldn't save the book, nor could the ending that is more cliffhanger than resolution. It is a boring, derivative fantasy that only stands out from the crowded genre when it sits dazzling prettily on a bookshelf.

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Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
December 10, 2020

Rarely, (and I mean rarely) do I abhor a book to its very core.

In an effort to give some structure to my upcoming rant, I will limit myself to the things I disliked the most: The title, the writing and (of course) how our heroine is actually a terrible, horrible person.

The Title

I literally cannot get over this title. So much over-the-top symbolism... but not in the way the author wanted.

All I took away from it was, my God. How useless.

Anything is better than a glass sword. A wooden one, a plastic one, heck...even a french bread one provides nourishment.

One swing of the stupid glass thing and the sword's gone and splintered itself. Then you're left stepping on glass shards for the next few weeks...which is what it felt like to read this book.

Actually, I guess the title works. Glass swords - cumbersome, annoying, useless...just like Mare.

The Writing

For the life of me, I honestly can't say what this book was about. It was so bland and repetitive that I tuned out for great portions...yet, I don't think I missed a thing.

The author would either A) say the same thing three times per sentence or B) copy-paste the inane catchphrases (Red Dawn, Little Lightening Girl, Rise Red as the Dawn, etc).

I wanted to shake her - I GET IT THE DAWN IS RED AND MARE HAS LIGHTENING POWERS. And yet, in another three paragraphs, we are reminded just how red that dawn was and how Mare still had lightening powers.

The sheer laziness of the writing really annoyed the living daylights out of me.

Whenever things get the least bit tough, Mare conveniently finds just the perfect person with the exact right powers to achieve (insert plot point here). Then side-character dies. Rinse and Repeat.

How our heroine is actually a terrible, horrible person

We follow Mare and her rag-tag group of middle-aged superheros ran here and there as a giant X-men recruitment fest.

She's so full of righteous anger and rebellious spirit that she never once thinks about the implications and consequences of her actions.

Honestly, I couldn't be the only one who noticed how there must have been generations of powered Reds living out their lives in secrecy.

Well, until Mare showed up and pressed them into her army...only to either A) ruin their lives or B) get them killed (depending on which was more convenient for the plot)

To top it all, she has no feelings towards the dying people other than an initial shock/squeal of outrage. You think I'm kidding? Even the other characters noticed it.
"You [Mare] feel no remorse for the dead...you can't control yourself."
and yet, everyone in the book admires her bravery and strength.

They literally fawn over her like she's this amazing, self-sacrificing, pure-to-the-bone heroine. How (honestly, I want to know) does no one notice that all she does is A) murder people or B) force them into her army.

In short, this is a half-star book. The half is because of the sheer effort it took to come up with over 400 pages starring Mare...I don't know how the author did it.

Audiobook Comments
Listening to the bland monotone a la Amanda Dolan did this book no favors.

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Profile Image for Sasha Alsberg.
Author 8 books66.6k followers
November 21, 2015
JUST. I CANT. YES. This book. Bless this book!!!!! That ending. Damn. I can't even type in complete sentences after reading Glass Sword (even though I just did).....
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews176k followers
February 5, 2016

I'll be doing a full video review for this soon & I'll share the link once it's live.
Profile Image for Antonia.
327 reviews34 followers
Shelved as 'reviews-say-run-forrest-run'
March 14, 2016
edit 03/14/16:
After long consideration I decided to not start 'Glass Sword' and quit this series instead - the reviews released so far mention the lack of the two things I was looking forward to in GS, action and Maven, and I do not see the point of picking it up, if I'll only get disappointed.


Still rooting for Mare and Maven.

Profile Image for Sabaa Tahir.
Author 23 books32.2k followers
February 1, 2016
You are not prepared for the awesome. *cackles in glee*
Profile Image for Andreea Pop.
321 reviews2,230 followers
December 28, 2015
Careful, there! Unavoidable spoilers from book #1.

“Attend to your own fate, Mare Barrow.”
“And that is?”
“To rise. And rise alone.”

As I sat wallowing in self-pity, speechless, angry at this cruel world, I had a revelation -- Victoria Aveyard enjoys being an evil mastermind. She enjoys making me laugh, fall in love with countless characters at the same time and then drown into an endless puddle of my own tears. And she does it with such glorious creativity that, even though my heart is breaking into shards of glass, I cannot help but applaud her every time her writing mojo blows away my mind. She's done it twice already. First, with Red Queen. And now, with a sequel worthy of its predecessor -- Glass Sword.

Glass Sword is unputdownable. If it weren't for Christmas chores and drooping eyes, I would've read it back to back, because from the beginning you're caught in a whirlwind of action, intrigue and betrayal and you cannot shut the damned book. The fast pace sets the tone, but some profound, haunting psychological echoes reframe a darker atmosphere.

This sequel brings the story of Red Queen to a whole other level, exploiting the divide between Reds and Silvers in a realistic manner -- new allegiances are made, old enemies gamble their power, queens and kings fall to their knees and some of them kneel with bleeding hearts. The hunt for newbloods is on and Mare has to save as many as she can while trying to patch up the deep scars Maven carved into her soul.

And this is where the main big difference between these installments lays. Mare. The time spent with the Silvers molded her into something entirely unique -- Red and Silver alike, not just her blood and abilities, but her mentality as well. Mare, at her core, remains the heroine we've been introduced to in the first book. She's strong. She's badass. She's selfish around the edges. She's brave and she's cunning. But she's shackled by guilt. She's haunted by memories. She's weaving webs of lies and she's loosing herself into an abyss of heartache and, not surprisingly, fear. Who wouldn't after such treacherous events? Not to mention her trust issues that, even if they resemble paranoia sometimes, are good reasoned.

“If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.”

However, I adored her. I had a bit of a trouble supporting her in the prequel thanks to her double faced demeanor, but now she had my unwavering respect and admiration. I know some readers will feel conflicted about her occasional stumble into merciless, ruthless, vindictive and Silver-like behavior, but I felt it justified, although sad. And for the love of gods, she tries so hard and so much in this book to keep everyone safe, to concoct moves and countermoves, to get rid of her emotional instability, to escape Maven's shadow and to change the world a little bit. To make a difference. The little lightning girl is not so little anymore and I could not help but love her, because even though she loses a lot of fights with inner and outer demons, Mare always had the courage to battle for her beliefs.

“I see you as you could become, no longer the lightning, but the storm. The storm that will swallow the world entire.”

Cal is also a great difference. He reminded me of Celaena in so many ways. Gone is the prince in his overwhelming intensity; a boy with nightmares, a thirst for revenge and endless loneliness remains. I think he's even more lost than Mare is, because his home, his people, his whole goddamn country want him dead and he's running away from people he used to care deeply for. That kind of messes with his head and it triggers subtle changes in his personality and behavior, but still -- I. Loved. Him. To. Bits. He's tough. Loyal. Kickass. And quite swoony -- a scene with him and a child had me dying of FEELS.

“I made mistakes because of him. And,” he adds quietly, “I made mistakes because of you.”

Now on to the most interesting character of them all -- Maven. He was exactly like The Darkling in Siege & Storm -- not there but for a few sparse pages, but always there. You get it or I'm talking nonsense? His presence was almost palpable for he is constant in our main characters' thoughts and whenever he does make an appearance, he only instates his wicked, power-hungry, cruel ways, making it even harder for the rest to escape his mental grasp. He's strong, cold and calculated and a wonderfully nuanced complex villain -- I'm anxious and enthusiastic at the same time for what it's to come.

“No heart can ever be truly understood. Not even your own.”

I have to warn you beforehand -- the romance is certainly not the focus. Actually, I could say that it barely survived the aftermath of book 1. You can wave the fragile "love triangle" goodbye. With Maven not being physically present for most of the story, that leaves us with Mare and Cal and, um, well, to say that their relationship is complicated would be the understatement of the year. Each of them got burned by the other and they have walls in place to maintain distance. Arghh, and there's tension. And wildness. And desire. Regrets upon regrets. They still use and hurt each other. But, paradoxically, they protect one another despite their past. AND I JUST LOVED THAT. It's no secret I shipped Mare and Cal to the moon and back, so I'll admit I devoured every scene with these two in it, especially those where they just crumble without the other nearby. *happy sigh*

“I must keep my eyes ahead, and away from the fire of a fallen prince. I must freeze my heart to the one person who insists on setting it ablaze.”

To Maven's fans -- don't worry, Mare still clings to him no matter how much she tells herself not to. So you see, we have a confusing, effed up mess, one deliciously agonizing.

Let’s get to what is also known as my new favorite secondary characters. Shade and Kilorn. And even Farley. THEY WERE ASDFGHJKL. Shade especially. I completely fell in love with Shade -- he was a great addition to the cast. He's clever, easy going and just cute, not to mention that his love for his sister was awww worthy.

Kilorn evolved quite much. I mean, I don't hate him anymore. I love him now. He's a central piece to the story and despite his "uselessness" he proves to be a good friend, a brave soldier and an all-around great guy. His friendship with Mare was awesome and my heart ached for his unreturned romantic feelings -- I might bless a possible Kilorn and Mare couple. I might.

And Farley was another kickass chick I was glad we spent more time with. She's just, courageous and determined. Plus, her fate brings a bittersweet smile on my face whenever I think about it (you can't bribe me to spill the beans).

I have to admit there were a few flaws (but not major enough to deflect my boundless love for this book). The newbloods plotline develops and tons of characters are introduced, some of them memorable and some of them not. The world-building is not extraordinary, although we get to venture in new cities (not that it ever was in RQ) and the Red Guard only has a minor role in current events, keeping its enigmatic traits.

The mild reminiscences of Shatter Me linger, but this time they are coupled with Breaking Dawn and The Young Elites deja-vus due to the expansion of the newbloods' power palette. Nonetheless, there are some characters that have managed to amaze me with their original abilities and I had an overall sense of badassery every time their lot became the focus. I do have one slight regret though -- I would have liked to know each one better, because there was a gold mine of awesomeness for side stories.

Expect twists and turns. The jaw-dropping kind. The clever ones. The shit-God-no-I-wanna-go-back kind and also the yeah-you-are-going-down-bitches kind. These twists are part of what makes GS a thrilling sequel -- no one is safe, no newblood, no Red and, for once, no Silver. And I CRIED A LOT THANKS TO THESE TWISTS.

But HOLY GODS THAT FREAKING ENDING. I had tears streaming down my face because I thought the book will most likely end on a sorrowful note, you know, I expected that, but then shit just hit the fan, K-BOOM, pow-pow, things I didn't expect happened in a matter of a few lines and I was left crumbling on a cliffhanger that gutted me. Nooo, the author just couldn't have kept me sane and I AM HERE WONDERING HOW TO FAST-FORWARD MY LIFE TO GET MY HANDS ON THE NEXT BOOK, because while the last few pages killed me, the epilogue pretty much stomped on my grave.

“Love blinds.”

The decision to expand this series into a four-volume saga couldn't have been more right, because there's no way in hell Aveyard could tie up all the loose ends we're left with in just one novel. And even if she would, there are worlds to be explored. Kings to be conquered. Queens to be made. And you don't want that exquisite potential to feel rushed. Regardless, I have a feeling the dynamic will change dramatically in the third book.

“I am a weapon made of flesh, a sword covered in skin.”

Glass Sword was an electrifying sequel (shhh, let my pun be). It was an emotional roller coaster, one careening towards an explosive final, riveting, surprising, vivid and glorious. It made me cry, smile in anticipation and crave more and more of this enthralling universe. Glass Sword is exactly what a sequel should be and I cannot wait to see what the dawn brings for these amazing characters.


P.S. This review contains quotes subject to change.
Profile Image for Darth J .
417 reviews1,265 followers
February 29, 2016

Basically Mockingjay

After I finished Red Queen , I suspected there would be a large problem with the sequel: too many characters and details. I was correct that I wouldn't remember them because the author just launches into the story here without as much as a previously on to refresh the audience with the story and cast. This works against the story from the very beginning, because unless the reader just finished the first book, it's all a very confusing game of catch up.

Adding to that confusion is a weird round of c/k name games. Kilorn, Cal, Cameron, Corros, Corvium, Ketha... I mean, the author's head is obsessed with these sounds and it does the reader no favors in distinguishing these characters and places from one another.

To further confuse you, Aveyard spends the first half of the book in action sequences that are also pretty chaotic and don't do much for the story. I get that the author is a screenwriter and these scenes probably would look great on film but she needs to learn to write them for readers instead of directors. As if sensing that the first half is all action, she overcorrects and spends most of the rest of the book with exposition. It doesn't balance out the book; it makes it a slog to read as info dump after info dump weight down the already-too-thin story. Seriously, there's maybe only 80 pages of storyline here stretched into 440+ pages.

As others have already said, this series gets less and less original as it goes on. Glass Sword borrows heavily from the disappointing finale to the Hunger Games series. I know: Looking for originality in YA these days is fruitless, but one can hope, can't they? And the villain, Maven, is basically Joffrey Baratheon.

Look, I love the cover of this book and the first one, but there doesn't seem more to this series other than a pretty face anymore. I'm sorry, but Aveyard is going to squeeze this thing into at least 2 more books but I doubt there is any juice left. So I give up on this once-promising series.

Profile Image for Katerina.
422 reviews16.9k followers
December 6, 2016
“If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.”

I would be more than willing to be the one who shatters you and stomps on your pieces, insufferable lightning girl!

I swear I have no idea how I managed to finish Glass Sword. I'm not saying this because I found the plot slow like I read on many reviews, or because it suffered from second-book-syndrome, but because for the first time in my life I wanted to physically hurt the heroine with such a seething passion. It's like Mare's face was calling for my fist.

Mare is a horrible, horrible person.

I gave up every effort to understand her and instead I started imagining which death is more appropriate for her. She kept acting like a martyr and God's greatest creation and gift to all those unfortunate souls who were not powerful and amazing like her. Hey your Superiorness, I have news for you! Power doesn't come from the random ability to manipulate the elements around you, power can be found in sharp minds and kind hearts. Your lack of brain and heart makes you a weak and pathetic brat that only cares about herself and the other newbloods and ignores everyone else. There was actually a point where she wondered how Kilorn managed to survive since he was no one, just a simple fisher boy! I am not a fan of Kilorn (I found him annoying most of the times but he surprisingly grew on me towards the end) but I wanted to cut my arm and throw it at her! Always thinking her decisions are the best, always ignoring the voice of reason, always so self-righteous and self-involved, eager to manipulate and control, to sacrifice others for her own purposes. The way she kept judging and blaming Cal made my blood boil. She accused him of fearing to act when he wanted to show mercy, a concept unknown to her, she judged him for not trying to make things better for the poor when she was the one who stole from the poor to satisfy her selfish needs, and I keep wondering how did she know that he wouldn't change things when he never had the chance. She turned his world upside down, she betrayed him and took everything from him, she was his downfall.
I hate her.
“Kneel or bleed.”

And I also hate Maven. I can't find any redeeming quality in him, I knew from the very start how rotten and corrupted he was. He's not a misguided soul that started off as good and lost his way, he didn't exprerience an upleasant childhood or a trauma that made him this monster, he is just evil. He craves power, he's full of jealousy and hatred, he.murdered.babies. for heaven's sake to make a point! But I can't help but admit he's one of the reasons that made this book so gripping, while he had very few scenes, he was always present, making you shiver.
“I am your rightful king, Silver-born for centuries. The only reason you're still breathing is because I can't burn the oxygen from this room.”

I love Cal. He's the victim of the worst betrayal, he has no one, he is no one, he clings to Mare and tries to salvage the humanity that's left in her but he rarely succeeds. He doesn't belong anywhere, he's broken and scarred but he's still noble, he endures the mistrust and the insults and he starts to realize the awfully wrong way the world works. He is smart and kind and by far the best character in this book. I just want to hug him and tell him everything's going to be alright.

As for the plot, I loved the idea of recruiting newbloods, it reminded me of Professor X and Magneto in X-Men First Class (only they did not force anyone to join them) and Hunger Games at the same time, with the revolution brewing. There were times I wished Victoria Aveyard didn't elaborate so much in some scenes, but in general I found Glass Sword action-packed and I was constantly afraid of what was about to happen next, I was fully invested to the story with its schemes and beautifully crafted fight scenes and plot-twists! And of course, the world-building was utterly intriguing, the blend of modern technology and dystopia and high fantasy is what won me over in the first place!
“I am a weapon made of flesh, a sword covered in skin. I was born to kill a king, to end a reign of terror before it can truly begin.”

(well you gave this reign of terror the chance to begin but there's no point repeating that, right?)
Victoria Aveyard is without a doubt a very talented author, and the fact that she created so many flawed and three dimensional characters and inflicted so many emotions (albeit the most dominant ones were wrath and terror) is proof enough! The cliffhanger though shattered any resolve I had left, which means

I need some anger management sessions.
Profile Image for Ally.
44 reviews163 followers
February 18, 2016
£10.99 for a paperback?!


Completely and totally not worth the money. Luckily I borrowed a copy. I could not bring myself to spend money on this and boy am I glad I went with my instincts on this one. What a fucking terrible book.

If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.

I'm really not exaggerating when I say I hated this. I strongly disliked Red Queen but there were enjoyable moments. But while reading Glass Sword I could literally feel my life ebbing away. My organs were shutting down, I was losing brain function.


I do not understand the hype for this book. I just can't wrap my head around it. It's all over my Tumblr feed. It's everywhere on Twitter. Other readers are losing their shit over Mare Barrow's predicament and yet, here I am struggling to find a single fuck to give. Victoria Aveyard must have one hellavu marketing team behind her. Or maybe I just missed something. I couldn't find a single page in Glass Sword that warrants the anticipation and reception this book has received. I mean, looks like Red Queen is gonna be a freaking movie? You can read more about that here. I am confused and uncomfortable because I feel like everyone else is seeing something that I'm not. What is it about this series that's getting people so fucking excited?

The average rating for this is 4.27 !!! What's that about?


We pick up where we left off with Mare and the gang having narrowly escaped losing their lives to the Silver court. From there on out it's just running, endless running as they search for the prized newbloods, in a race against Maven to gain the upper hand.

My biggest beef with Glass Sword is Mare. I fucking hate her. Like, I loath her. She's a jumped up, arrogant, nasty piece of work.

Part of me wants to hold my ground, to stand, to fight. My purple-and-white lightening will certainly make me a target and draw the jets away from the fleeing Guard. I might even take a plane or two with me. But that cannot be. I'm worth more than the rest, more than red masks and bandages.

From this moment on, I knew Mare and I would never see eye to eye.


I get that she has a revolution to partake in. I understand that that means making some tough choices and stepping up to the challenge of becoming a leader who can shoulder the burden of these difficult decisions. But what I don't understand is this deep rooted arrogance. She's a power crazy bitch. Let's all just keep in mind that Mare has been aware of her abilities for one month. Yes, one month. Prior to that month she was scraping coins together in some godforsaken crap hole with barely the wherewithal to look before she crossed the fucking street. Now, she's been transformed into some freaking goddess, commanding Zeus himself with her incredible prowess as lightening wielder. All after barely more schooling than a few etiquette lessons and a couple of history classes.

She reminds me of one of the know-all kids that we all remember from our school days, muscling in on every discussion because she read some Wikipedia article that makes her an insta-expert on everything and anything. Please . . .


Okay, so she's got her little lightening trick. Fine. But she's basically an untrained street-rat. And yet she takes it upon herself to head a fucking revolution. I kept waiting for someone to tell her to pipe the fuck down. I mean, what she's trying to achieve is tantamount to attempting to perform brain surgery after managing to successfully stick a plaster over a friend's grazed knee. But no, Mare apparently has morphed overnight into superwoman extraordinaire:


Some interesting things I learned about electricity in Glass Sword:
-It can be used to destroy metal
-it can be used to create a forcefield
-It can be used to break a fall
-It can be used to blast things into a million pieces
-It can be used in place of duct tape for just about anything you can think of


Mare is such a fucking special snowflake. She's elevated to god-like heights in this book and it's just all so fucking convenient.

My ability is my most prized possession, even though it separates me from everyone else. But for power, for my own power, it is a price I am willing to pay.

Mare's ability separates her from everyone else because she places herself in a prison of her own making. She's so fucking up herself she alienates everyone around her. If she tried maybe getting that ego in check, she may find people gravitate more towards her. But instead, she plays the martyr. She puts up this hideous cold, uninviting front and creates a self fulfilling prophesy whereby she assumes no one wants to be close to her because she's so different and she's so special and actually end up pushing everyone away. She pushed me away. I couldn't stand the bitch.

She's got a lot of guilt on her shoulders, she's responsible for the deaths of many people, she has to make choices that end up hurting a few for the greater good. Fine, she's got a struggle, a cross to bear. But where Katniss was endearing and relatable in her similar ethical and moral dilemma, Mare is like a punch in the face. She's a bulldozer. She plows into every scenario the gang find themselves in, dragging her delusion of grandeur behind her, with a big flashing neon sign over her head stating: I'm special. Look at me. LOOK AT ME. Insufferable. And she's not even amusing or interesting with it.

I absolutely loved reading about Carswell Thorne in The Lunar Chronicles because he's got this massive ego, insists everyone calls him captain though he's done nothing to earn that title besides stealing a ship and generally thinks he's god's gift to women. But he's lighthearted about it. His head is as big as a planet but he doesn't drown in his own self importance because unlike Mare, he isn't also mopey and self involved. Mare's head is so far up her own ass, I'm surprised she can even see where she's going. Her voice is incredibly grating. We're were never going to be off to a winner as the book is written in first person present tense but it's also so pretentious and over written, peppered with this almost constant inner monologue I wanted to rip out my own eyes and stomp on them.

I’m safer than I’ve been in days, surrounded by the people I love most, and yet I’ve never wanted to cry more. For them, I hold back. I curl inward and bleed alone, inside, where no one else can see.

Shut up.

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.

Okay, you need to stop now.

While they stand with me, there's no-one beside me. Even with an army at my back, I'm still alone.

Dear god, someone make it stop.


Some of the writing is so cringe it hurts me, it physically hurts me. The rest of is just incredibly uncomfortable, over dramatic and feels like something straight out of a very important creative writing class where no-one talks, but sits hunched over their laptop trying desperately to out-write the student sitting next to them. The effect is, the writing creates this barrier between Mare and reader. She's so stiff she's like a day old corpse in the throes of rigor mortis. I could find nothing to relate to. I understand that the tone of the book is very serious. A revolution and a race against time to save lives is nothing to laugh about, but there's gotta be some kind of reprieve where we can breathe and smile at each other. Otherwise readers end up finishing the book and immediately require a chiropractor to work out all those kinks now formed in their shoulder muscles. Give us some kind of break where we can see Mare as a human being that we can actually warm to rather than either a scorpion waiting to strike, or a blubbering mess of jello puddled on the floor. There's nothing genuine or likeable about Mare. She's simply horribly contrived and awkward. I really detested her.

I can hate characters because they're dumb shits but to also find a book where the writing just sets my teeth on edge? I got real unlucky. That's two strikes. Three strikes and you're out right? Yeah, Glass Sword is out. The third strike's a biggie:

Nothing happens

This book is violently, almost abusively boring.

90% of it is dedicated to Mare swanning about moping and lamenting her inner turmoil, stating how cruel she is, how different she is, how much of an outsider she's made herself become. Okay, I get that she has trust issues. She's been let down. Big time. But on closer inspection, Mare is surrounded by many loyal friends: Kilorn, Farley, even Cal has made a commitment to help her. And yet she's fixated on being alone and trusting no-one:

Anyone, anything, can betray anyone. Even your own heart.

Get over yourself, Mare. Shit happens. You suck it up and you fucking move on. And maybe you actually do something other than glower and stomp about. The remaining 10% of the book is simply emotionally manipulative and badly described running, jumping and searching.

A lot of the book is incredibly difficult to picture. There's no map. Not a deal breaker, but it would have made life easier considering there are several locations. What is a deal breaker however, is a complete lack of cohesive telling when it came to action sequences. I had no fucking clue what was going on half the time because the scene setting was abysmal. The scenes which should have been real turning points in the story arc went off like damp fire works. It was just bad. The deaths had zero impact. I literally gave not a single fuck.


When you feel such a strong repulsion towards a main character as I feel towards Mare, there's really no hope. Even Cal, who was actually alright in Glass Sword was lost in the shit storm that is Mare Barrow. She eclipsed everything that could have been mildly tolerable. I couldn't see past the red veil of rage I felt more strongly with each page I turned. I just wanted to:


Do you know what we have to talk about? The fucking dead baby. This is where emotional manipulation rears it's ugly head. There was absolutely zero reason to place that in there. It added nothing to the story, nothing to the character development. Ooh, look how evil the Silvers are, they murdered a baby. Okay, but what about the adults they murdered? Are we just gonna glance at those bodies hanging in the square and fucking sashay away? Are they of lesser value, less worthy of our grief just because they are fully grown men and women? I didn't see anyone vomiting in the fucking fireplace when we stumbled upon those mutilated corpses. It was redundant and it was a cheap shot tug at the heart strings. I do not approve.

I think a lot of the reason why this book has inspired so much rage in me is not the fact that it's a terrible book. Shit happens and you read some crap and you move on. But when a book is built up to be this incredible work of literature worth losing your fucking mind over, worth spending thousands and thousands of dollars making a movie of, when people are going wild for it and throwing edits around and hyping it to the highest of heights and then it turns out to be an actual pile of garbage? It seems unfair to be honest. It's unfair on all the books that are lesser known, that I have read and are wonderful. Books that I simply stumbled upon because they haven't had half the exposure books like Glass Sword have gotten. There's nothing unique about this series. We've seen in all before. We've read The Hunger Games, we've watched X-Men. So what is it that makes this book more worthy of such anticipation than all the droves of other books that are, well, just better? I find this frustrating and I swear to all the gods, if I so much as glance at the third instalment of this series, someone place a gun to my head and promise to pull that fucking trigger if I don't back away slowly. Do it.
Profile Image for Cody.
204 reviews634 followers
February 8, 2016
Glass Sword picks up straight after the explosive ending of Red Queen. Mare and Cal are now with the Scarlet Guard but that doesn’t mean they’re safe, far from it. They're being hunted down by Maven, who is now the King of Norta. The race is on to find these so-called ‘New Bloods’: Reds who possess the powers of Slivers, the only question is, who will get to them first; Mare or Maven?

It’s really hard to talk about Glass Sword without giving away spoilers but anyway the whole point of the book is to track down these New Bloods, King Maven will obviously send them to their death as they undermine his rule, after all Mare was portrayed to be Mareena Titanos, a lost Sliver girl living with Reds. Mare wants to find the new bloods to protect them from Maven’s wrath, she gives them a choice, runaway or join The Scarlet Guard who's mission is to dethrone the sadistic King. So it’s basically a wild goose chase for Mare, she must find the New Bloods before Maven, protect her family, as well as avoiding capture because she’s now a traitor to the crown.

Mare changes a lot in this book and not all of it was for the better, she was cunning, ruthless and sometimes cruel. I actually expected this change, in order for Mare to go up against Maven and his mother she needed to evolve and look at her past mistakes. However, Mare became my biggest problem, she lost the fire she had in Red Queen and instead became this husk of herself. I think she also suffered from a huge case of delusions of grandeur; her powers became somewhat god-like in Glass Sword and instead of giving of the impression of ‘Mare, Queen of Reds’, there was a lot of cringing and eye-rolling and just get on with it moments!


So, I think everyone knew my opinions on the romance of RQ and I can happily say this love-square is over! There are no new love interests for Mare, thank god but the romance for Glass Sword is pretty much a giant question mark, it changes depending on Mare’s moods, I’d like to think I know what’s going to happen but honestly Glass Swords feels like a completely different book at this point, so anything is possible…. I guess.

There was a lot of adventure in this book, I loved being able to explore Norta more and in addition to adventure we got heaps of action. Speaking of action, can I just take a moment to fully appreciate our exiled Price of fire, Cal? WHOA, my only complaint is I wanted, needed more of him and if I���m honest, a lot less Mare ha! Okay, not my only complaint, basically my biggest one is with a certain action scene, basically someone died but it wasn’t explained at all. The whole chapter was a mess and wasn't until the next chapter that you realise 'said character' died? Huh! *sigh*

Overall Glass Sword is somewhere between a 3-4 star read, it just wasn’t able to grip me in the way RQ did and sometimes it was a struggle to carry on reading. The cliffhanger was so shocking, heartbreaking and fantastic but it didn’t really make up for everything else. As much as I would like to blame the hype with this one, I really must blame myself, I was expecting A LOT more, Glass Sword is a good book but in order to follow Red Queen, I think it needed to be a great book and sadly it just wasn’t.

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Literary-ly Obsessed
Profile Image for Ben Alderson.
Author 21 books13.5k followers
February 22, 2016

One of the best sequels...
Not going to spoil it.. but yes!
Profile Image for Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books).
212 reviews1,012 followers
February 14, 2017

This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books.

Rating: 4.5/5

Holy hell, that ending. That last chapter. That last sentence.

Glass Sword was one of my most anticipated 2016 reads and it completely lived up to the hype, making it a fantastic sequel to Red Queen.

Without giving away spoilers, Glass Sword started right in the action, basically right where Red Queen left off. The main focus of Glass Sword is to search for and recruit others like Mare Barrow for the uprising against Silver Royalty.

After reading Red Queen almost a year ago, I impatiently awaited the sequel, but I was also apprehensive. Would it live up to the first book? It most certainly did! The entire story was like watching an action movie. No boring lulls in the middle of the story, no dull scenes slowing the narrative down.

Mare develops as a character—she becomes harder, colder, and it’s completely understandable and justifiable. Ironically, I like her because I don’t like her as a person. She makes mistakes, she makes bad decisions, and she’s selfish. It was wonderful to see her change from a scared and unconfident girl in Red Queen to a bold and powerful woman in Glass Sword.

My only criticism is at around the halfway point, we saw a whole group of new characters introduced in the span of just a few chapters, which made it a bit difficult to remember who is who and who has what powers.

Glass Sword ended on such a high note. I think Victoria Aveyard is becoming the queen of plot twists! The set up for the next book looks ridiculously exciting.

Thanks to Orion Publishing Group for providing me with an ARC of Glass Sword from NetGalley!
Profile Image for Dorreh.
63 reviews202 followers
September 25, 2017
It's actually more of a 3.5. I just can't make up my mind about how I feel.

Warning: review must be read till the ending to understand the stars...........

I'm not sure what made me feel negative towards this book from the beginning. I guess you really shouldn't read the reviews for a book before you've read it yourself, especially if you're planning on reading the book either way. Since I opened the first page I had a sense of distaste towards it, that continued until page 200 or so. To be very honest my bias wasn't entirely unjustified. The first half was bad, and I don't mean to be crude, but it just wasn't entertaining or even truly bearable. Maybe it was the fact that I loved red queen so much, so the disappointment hit me harder than it should have.

The first and biggest flaw was the dramatic monologues. The way mare kept overestimating and underestimating herself at the same time. Yes I know monologues are a vital part of characters and their personalities, but I found them more annoying than anything. It wasn't just the self pity, it was like she couldn't decide who she is. A self centered egotistical killer, a breakable weapon, or smitten heartbroken puppy. Honestly thats how it went, from conflict to confused to self assured to messy goo and the cycle would start again. So mare annoyed the living crap out of me for about 200 pages to be exact. Then there was a turn of events.
The pace started to pick up, and the storyline started to change all together. It went from the repetitive revolution theme to something more creative and interesting. Honestly I thought this would be like MOKINGJAY, a book which I was also terribly disappointed with. Simply because nothing happens until the last 20 pages or so. Then everything in the span of the next 10 years, revolting included occurs in the last few chapters. But thankfully it wasn't the case here. Things began to pick up pace then got better and better. I think it was mostly that the book stopped revolving around mare entirely. And towards the end I was reminded why I loved red queen so damn much.

The ending was the worlds most dramatic cliff hanger. And shade was probably my most adored character, so I'll probably be in this emotional wreckage for the next few days. I'm so incredibly sorry that such a wonderful ending had to be tainted by that beginning.
But I think the struggle of the begging was worth it once I got to the second half. It was truly an excellent second half. So the stars are purely for the second half, the first half is a zero from me.
There's no doubt that Victoria Aveyard is a talented author, albeit an inconsistent one. The story telling and characterization of red queen are proof of this. So I'll give the next book the benefit of the doubt.

Let's see how the third book will make me feel.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
December 29, 2019
rounding up my rating because im in a good mood and still feeling that christmas cheer, but there are only so many rebel military tactics and kingdom overthrow attempts i can read before a book becomes a snooze fest. sigh.

this isnt as captivating as the ‘red queen’ (because of the aforementioned issues with boredom) but, because of that ending, i have my fingers crossed that the story can be redeemed in the next book. maybe this is just an unfortunate case of a sophomore slump, so im not giving up just yet!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Nasom.
195 reviews141 followers
May 19, 2018
Full Review

Finally done with this mess. This is the most boring book I have read in my life and I rather watch paint try. An annoying main character did not help either.

Shoutout to Maven's bish for suffering with me. Almost DNF a lot of times but held on because of this buddy read.

I’ve never 1 stared a book. I usually DNF books that I’m not enjoying but I kept reading this especially because people told me it gets better at the end but the end wasn’t enough for me to rate this book any higher. My buddy-read consisted of us complaining about how there was no point in this book and that the main character was annoying.

Things I hated
- Majority of this book is spent describing Mare and co going on field trips, trying to save people. It was so boring and I did not care about the journey at all.

- Mare was so condescending and cocky: She treated her so-called best friend Kilorn like shit because he didn’t have any abilities. She talked to him like he was a child (even though he’s older than her) and was always trying to stop him from helping. I’m pretty sure she called him useless at some point. Imagine if it was a male character that said/treated a female character like that… Plus Mare thought she was God’s gift to earth. Her ability is good but there were people with better abilities than she and I don’t understand why she felt she was this special snowflake.

- This book introduced too many characters, each of them having their own abilities. It was so hard figuring out who was who and I had to stop reading at some points to try and remember who the person that is being talked about is. It made it hard to care for any of the characters

- Alot of irrelevant things are discussed at length but when it comes to something that is actually interesting, it doesn’t get discussed until after it happens… sometimes I thought that I was missing a page.

- Romance you say, What romance??? It doesn’t take me long to ship people, I have shipped two people before they even spoke to each other. In this, there was zero chemistry between the two love interest. I did not care about them at all and there was no other romance, except one little one which I didn’t really care about. So I’m still shipless and I’m bitter about it. I need my romance fix

- I really don’t want to hear the phrase “anyone can betray anyone’ ever again

- X-MEN did it better

Things I liked
- When someone was going off on Mare which unfortunately did not happen regularly.
- Cal

How do you make a book about people with different awesome abilities so boring??

Maybe I hate myself because I still plan on finishing this series...
Profile Image for Jeff.
143 reviews404 followers
May 9, 2018
Ahem, thank you for bearing with me for that little intro.

Now. Let me just get this straight.
The first book was AMAZING. Superb even.
But this book? What a bummer.
You know when you have a balloon and it slowly loses it's air? The noise it makes? Like:
That was me this entire time. In the beginning, I was like "OMG, this book is going to be great!" But then, later on, I'm just kind of like "meh."
Anyway, back to what I was saying. The first book was great. The characters were in a fantasy/dystopian type of setting, there was a lot of action, two hot princes at Mare's side and a jealous woman.
However, in this book, you're just straight up like, what the ef???
This entire time, Mare just tries to recruit a few people to build a little gang. Seriously, Mare, that's great and all, but you're up against an empire.

One more question.
Where's the romance?
Throughout this entire book, there is nothing going on. Mare and Cal are always like, "Oh, let's stay way from each other, I don't want any distractions." You obviously are attracted to each other, so what kind of shit are you pulling right now? Excuse me, but I ain't taking any of that.
I'm speaking for all those suckers of romance like me. A message to you, Aveyard.
Make them KISS.
Besides the romance and the lack of action, there's still pages, words, and unneeded dialogue.

What do you say readers? Hope you like it.
757 reviews2,349 followers
May 11, 2018
I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't I can't DO THIS ANYMORE, LIKE AT THIS POINT IT ACTUALLY FUCKING PHYSICALLY HURTS ME TO READ ANOTHER WORD IN THIS GOD DAMN BOOK.

P.S I'VE BEEN STUCK ON THIS CURSED PAGE 33 FOR 52 DAYS, I think it's time to just give up.

have a nice day
I've been stuck on page 33 for about two? three? weeks?? (It's so boring.) Wish me luck everyone.

Buddy read with Alyssa!!! (Who I'll tag)
Profile Image for Mikee (ReadWithMikee).
203 reviews1,310 followers
July 29, 2021
"If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, beginning to shatter."
This book ruined my life.


But I LOVED it all the same.

I know that people either hate or love Red Queen but I really do believe that this series is slowing becoming its own. Red Queen was far from original and I still had lots of X-Men and Hunger Game vibes while reading Glass Sword but I still enjoyed this book nonetheless and I'm really looking forward to seeing this series evolve even more as the later books come out.

It took me awhile to get back into the story in the beginning because I couldn't remember certain details that happened in the last book so I strongly recommend rereading Red Queen before continuing onto Glass Sword. On top of that, it was a little slow at first but once the story picked up, I didn't have it in me to put the book down and I devoured it all in a matter hours.

One thing I have to complain about was how often Victoria Aveyard was drilling "anyone can betray anyone" into our heads throughout the whole book. It got a bit annoying, really. I can understand mentioning it once or twice but we were constantly reminded in almost every chapter... Talk about overkill. We get it. Anyone can betray anyone. It took away the element of surprise for me because just like Mare, I doubted every single person. Maybe the author was trying to prove a point but if her goal was to pull some sort of reaction out of her readers like last time, it didn't really work out for me this time around because I was anticipating every little scenario possible.

But other than that, I was fully immersed in the book.

I was complaining that nothing was going on until it hit me in the face and now I'm suffering double time because I NEED MORE. This book wasn't enough.

The characters in this book were awesome. Sometimes I wanted to slap some sense into some of them but I LOVED everyone and the new characters as well!

SHADE. My heart. <3

And Farley being the badass that she is. Oh my aching heart.

CAL. Moody, damaged, handsome prince. I loved him a thousand times more in this book.


And oh um... Queen Elara. Was I the only one thinking WHEN???? I was literally like... "Wait. What." *Flips back pages* WHAT. I might've missed when it happened or maybe I just got too excited but I just have one word to say about it: ANTICLIMACTIC.

Now I have to wait another year. Sigh. I'm still torn on who I love more: Maven or Cal. I feel like it's The Grisha trilogy all over again except I actually love both male characters. I want Mare to end up with Maven but at the same time I want Maven to myself so Mare can end up with Cal. But I want the moody, misplaced prince too... I guess I'm fine with whoever she ends up with because I love them both!

But anyways, I need the next book and I need it now. Please and thank you. So much happened. Maybe even too much, but at the same time not enough. This series just keeps getting better and I'm already so hyped up for the next one!
Profile Image for Laura.
471 reviews557 followers
February 1, 2016
| ARC kindly provided by Orion Publishing Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you a lot! |


Blurb: 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.


After a few days where I was supposed to make peace with certain things that happened in this book, I’ve come with the following conclusion:

I have no idea how the fuck I’m supposed to feel about this story and I’m this close to give up on the whole thing.

I’m utterly disappointed in Aveyard, to be quite honest. She had a chance to redeem herself with this book and she just threw it away. There were only two things I liked about this story and I’ll talk about them later. Let me explain why this turned out a disaster for me.

Alright, you may not remember but when I finished reading Red Queen I said I needed Mare to level up and start being a cunning girl. She has potential but when it comes to explore she either is afraid or messes it up.


I could not stand her at all. She was low HIGH key in a never ending sorry fest that had me wanting to stab her for like 99% of the book. I just didn’t get her! WHY WAS SHE MOPPING ABOUT? Oh, poor Mare, she was fooled by Maven. Oh, poor little girl, she was hurt. Sweet innocent child can’t trust anyone… I had to put the book down more than 7 times just because of her and her effing whining attitude.

Oh, when she tried to be “bad-ass”? Whining tough wannabe. Mare was such a great disappointment my brain cannot wrap about how stupid she was during the whole book. I’m speechless.

Now, I’d like to say something nice about her but I did not find anything and I have no motivation to just go ahead and try to search for something decent to say. Nope, just no. It was plain stupid how she was pinning after Maven. She had to fucking move on but keeping those letters? Stupid ass decision.

EVERYTHING ABOUT MARE WAS DUMB AND DISSAPOINTING. She was just a little girl trying to play the ruthless boss.


If there was something I hated the same or even more than Mare dumb as fuck Barrow was those tag lines and nicknames.

Oh my god, I could find the words Lightning girl, the shadow of the flame, the exiled prince, anyone can betray anyone… like 10 times in one single page and it made me want to punch someone. I kid you not, it was so repetitive and plain stupid. Aveyard tried so hard to make those names and quotes to work but they were way too much. It did not work.

I missed Evangeline. She was such a threat and she was fun to read. I actually missed ALL THE VILLAINS. While our, uhm, heroes were traveling and recruiting people, they were facing problems BUT none of Maven’s actions in this book were as bad as in book one. Same with the queen.


Where did the evil masterminds go? And because we didn’t have that fast-pacing-we’re-going-to-die kind of thing, we got plenty of time to read all about Mare’s breakdowns, yay.

On that note, the queen was killed so fucking easily I totally missed it. Like??? Was that it? It was not only ridiculous but such a disrespect to the image I had of the queen. I just can’t believe she was killed that easy, you know? I was waiting for her to get up and start making people kill each other on the plane but nope.

And I was bored. Utterly bored during the whole book. Like I said, I put it down several times because I honestly didn’t want to continue reading it. I felt like it was going nowhere and I hated that feeling.


So, what I actually LIKED? Cal.

I wanted Aveyard to explore him and let us know him better and she did. Thank you. He’s quite great and he really does not deserve Mare whatsoever. He’s so much more sensitive and strong than I thought he was and absolutely clever. He’s got a really sweet heart and he’s just so good. He could’ve been an amazing king.


If there was something done right in this book, that was Cal’s characterization. I fell for the guy big time and I truly hope he gets to be happy in the end.

The other thing I liked about this mess was Cameron, Shade and the very end. Yep, all that in one single category because the more I think about the book, the more pissed I get.

I think that Cameron was, not only a strong addition, but also someone who gave a new purpose to the plotline. She was on point with a lot of things that Mare, selfish stupid Mare, could not see.

Shade *sigh* I did not see it coming and I’m not happy about it.
Look, I’m more than okay with deaths, seriously BUT his dead only served to what…? So Mare could wake the fuck up and do some shit? That was… ugh, I have no words. I’m just pissed.


I appreciated what Shade added to the story and he was just a good guy. So no. I’m not happy with what happened to him but at the same time I’m happy I got to know him a bit more.

Was it me or Fayre whatever her name is acted weird? I mean, I’m not talking about Shade’s death but I got the feeling she was hiding something. Is she pregnant? Are all the newbloods dying or something? Not only I don’t know what was the answer to what the eye guy said to her but that fishy feeling is still there.

The end was unexpected? I mean, I knew Mare was going to pull a Tris Prior but I guess I didn’t expect Maven to treat her like a dog. I liked that. If Mare is stupid enough to suffer for that piece of shit, then she well deserves what’s coming to her.

I mean:
“I’m not blind. I watched you take the notes off the bodies. I thought you’d rip them up. But when you didn’t—I suppose I wanted to see what you were going to do. Burn them, throw them away, send them back dipped in Silver blood—but not keep them. Not read them while I slept next to you.”
“You said you missed him too. You said so,” I whisper. I have to refrain from stamping my foot like a frustrated child.
“He’s my brother. I miss him in a very different way.”

Mare, I just…


Aveyard’s storytelling did not improve either and I did not know if I was reading a sci-fi, paranormal or fantasy novel. I think it’s an issue when an author doesn’t have a particular style that fits with the genre they’re writing so that was a disappointment as well.


Will I read the last book? Yeah, probably. I’m curious to see how this mess of a story is going to continue but for now I just want to forget about this book.
Profile Image for Cookie.
52 reviews43 followers
January 31, 2016

Oh, and while Maven is interesting as a villain, he is no Darkling (my poor poor baby). With that said, I'm TEAM CAL ALL THE WAY BABY. YA GOTTA LOVE AN HONORABLE AND POWERFUL MAN IN UNIFORM.



A little opinion of mine on why Maven will never be in the same category as the Darkling or Warner.

The Darkling is a villain who believes with all his heart that he is saving the Grisha and freeing the population from a tyrant (sadly he doesn't see that he's become a tyrant himself in the process). While Maven is none of that. He has no charismatic appeal, is weak physically and mentally, and he cowardly hides behind his mother's skirts. Maven does the despicable things he does, knowing full well of their destruction, and he revels in it.

Warner might have killed, fully conscious of the immorality of the act, however, he takes no pleasure in killing. He does what has to be done, as he operates by his own code of justice, and [spoiler] to protect his mother. On the other hand, becoming a villain was Maven's grotesque version of being a petulant child: when he doesn't get what he wants, he lashes out at everyone. There is no noble goal, no disillusions about his actions. In fact, Cal, with his bloody acts and a stubborn mind on the righteousness of his philosophy, are much more Darkling-esque. So no, I wouldn't put Maven in the same category as those like Warner or the Darkling, because that would be grossly offensive to their amazing villain story.
Profile Image for Kezia Duah.
391 reviews343 followers
March 5, 2022
… I'm sorry
But the old Mare can't come to the phone right now
Why? Oh, cause she's dead.

If you haven’t read the first book, then maybe don’t read this review!!!!

After the last book’s ending, of course I had to pick this one immediately. I loved loved this one! It’s so weird because I hate the person Mare has become and yet, I saw what Aveyard was doing and I loved it!!!!

“Strange. My enemies know me best and my family doesn’t know me at all.”
I hurt for Mare! Mare is horrible in this book, but what did we expect? You don’t get betrayed by someone in such a manner and still easily open up. Yes, trust/betrayal is still pretty much the big theme in the book, and I wonder if it will be that throughout the series. Averyard really just got me suspecting everybody at this point. It’s pretty clear that Mare hates who she is in this book, but she feels she must do what she has to bring down evil. I think this portrayal of Mare was done pretty well, the only thing I would ask is that we see some growth in the next book. I get why she’s this way, but if she’s still like this in the next book, then we might have a problem.

“We seem weak because we want to.”
There were so many new characters added to the book that I gave up keeping track of. We also get to know the old characters a bit more. Mare and other previous characters are trying to find people like her, newbloods, in order to form an army. I’m back to fangirling over powers, as the newbloods all come with fascinating abilities. In this search is where we really see how Mare just sees people as uses and less of well, people. They find a lot of the newbloods, but are they successful in the mission Mare has planned?

“One day soon you’re gonna get lost and I won’t be there to lead you back.”
I like that some of the characters held her accountable, especially Cameron. I literally agreed with all she said. I don’t always like the times they did, because it felt like they only waited for something to go horribly wrong before they start hurling accusations at Mare as if they weren’t part of it the whole time. That being said, when was it decided that Mare was the “leader?”

“I wish some people were born monsters. It would make it easier to hate them.”
Maven’s “new” personality in this book is so interesting right! He really did a whole 360-degree character change, just because I refuse to believe all of that in the first book was acting. He is literally a child in this book and it’s so sickening.

Cal. I’m sorry, I still feel no chemistry. Maybe a bit more than the previous book, but still not at the level I usually like.

This book was dark, let’s be real here. Obviously not as dark as some books, but some scenes got me shook. Overall, pretty heartwrenching story. It evoked anger and sadness at the same time out of me, which I think was the goal. I could see how other people would not like this one, but I personally really enjoyed it. I was still hooked and just want to start the next book as soon as possible.
Profile Image for Beth.
743 reviews573 followers
February 4, 2019
DNF at 64%, page 286

Just to pre-warn everyone, I'm in a bit of a ranty mode.

I've finally had to call it quits. I just feel so let down by Glass Sword after Red Queen was so good. Understandably after the way things turned out in the first book, it had to change direction. But how much it did, I just wasn't impressed. This book had so much potential. It's taken me FIVE days to read nearly 300 pages. That isn't like me at all.

My issues with this book are solely around Mare... I just didn't like her what so ever in this book, she is so self centred and seems to put herself before anyone else. I hated, literally hated how she treated Cal and Kilorn. Particularly that she underestimated Kilorn for not being "special". I mean come on up until a few months prior they were both from the Stilts as Reds with no known ability. It was just so infuriating. Not just that, but she always seemed to want to be right, like she doesn't listen to advice or offer support to anyone who she knows needs it. Infuriating

As for the plot? It started off so strong, I can hold my hands up and say I was blown away by the first few chapters, I thought it was smart and it had so much potential. After that, for me personally it kind of dwindled. Personally I usually like some deceit it books, I mean who doesn't like a twist? But the fact is, I feel like it pushes you not to trust anyone in this book. Why would you not want to like anyone?! It seems that the book is full to the brim and the characters are constantly doing something, but my question is. What?! It just seems to me that it's a lot of walking around and searching with not much else.

It also doesn't have a lot of character development. All we seem to get is Mare. You know what? I couldn't stand her. I know I've said this. But I honestly couldn't. All we see is her. I don't know how the book continues, but I would of loved to see more of Shade. He was one character that really stood out for me, and he was barely in it!

Cal is literally thrown to the side and treated horrifically, even though time and time again he proves his worth. It's just so infuriating. His bright flame has grown dark indeed" well of course it has you fool, look at how he's being treated!

What did I like?
- Shade and Cal were honestly the only redeeming features for me.
- Maybe the first few chapters as well...

Overall, it just got to the point where I was forcing myself to read it, simply for the fact I wanted to continue the series and find out what happens in King's Cage. I told myself at the start of the year, if I don't enjoy a book, don't finish it. So I'm sticking to that. Maybe in the future I will try again, but for now? No thank you.
Profile Image for Bhavya .
479 reviews901 followers
June 29, 2021
"I stare at the polished metal, examining my reflection. The girl I see is both familiar and foreign, Mare, Mareena, the lightning girl, the Red Queen, and no one at all. She does not look afraid. She looks carved of stone, with severe features, hair braided tight to her head, and a tangle of scars on her neck. She is not seventeen, but ageless, Silver but not, Red but not, human—but not. A banner of the Scarlet Guard, a face on a wanted poster, a prince’s downfall, a thief... a killer."

Rating- 2 stars

Content/ Trigger Warnings- child murder, show off of corpses

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard is book 2 in the Red Queen series.

*Spoiler alert for Red Queen*

Thank you to Ester for buddy reading this with me!

“I am a weapon made of flesh, a sword covered in skin. I was born to kill a king, to end a reign of terror before it can truly begin.”

I do not know how to start this review. Seriously.

That's why it's been pending for over a month.

And after A LOT of thinking, I realized why:


Nothing really happens.

Yes, nothing happens in this book.

The plot= non-existent

When Mare discovers that she is not the only one of her kind- red and silver both, she sets off to find fellow 'Newbloods' like her.

Yes, that's the plot.

Throw in some random stuff like: rebellions, deaths, killings, action scenes and some romance to make it ~interesting~ but honestly this book felt like a filler.

Because it is a filler.

If I had to summarize the plot properly, here's what I would say-

Mare Barrow, is the FaCe oF tHe ReBeLlIoN. As the blur says, 'If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different'. She is SpEsHuL, as she is red and silver both.

In the previous book, she was kept in the Palace and was engaged to a Sliver Prince Maven (which again, doesn't really make sense as to why a red was given power, so Mare should have seen the betrayal coming but she is stupid so, never mind) and is betrayed by Maven (who frankly is the only one with a brain here, except for Farley. We stan Farley.)

Towards the end of the book, they escape and now Mare is on the lookout for more like her, also called the Newbloods so that they can fight and face the Silvers.

The entire first half of the book is full of plot conveniences and predictable storylines.

It comprises of- "Oh no, we have a problem! But this Newblood has a random special power that can save the day. YAY!!!"

Yes, that's what happens throughout the first half book.

*Insert* some random fights and yelling between Mare and Cal and Mare having a few breakdowns and thinking over Maven and Kilorn (who is her childhood best friend, and is iN lOvE with her)

Fortunately, the book gets slightly better in the middle portion as something starts happening, and the last 20 pages are probably the best part of the book. (they were actually good)

But this book is 400+ pages, and when only the last 20 pages of a 400+ page book is the best part, its not a good sign.

The world building= even more non-existent

There is no world building.


I could stop there, but let me emphasize.

From book 1 we are told that there are different cites (?) all over this world where the Red's are forced to work and etc. etc. but that's all we get about it.

I want to know more about this world and it's history, and was disappointed with what I got.

The writing

“Red Queen. The lightning girl. She lives. Rise, Red as dawn. Rise. Rise. Rise.”

The writing was alright, but it is a recurring of the common catchphrases; 'red like the dawn' and 'little lightning girl' and I personally found the action scenes repetitive.

"And I am revealed for exactly what I am - a particularly stupid fish, moving from hook to hook, never learning my lesson."

This is a pretty good summary of the book.

So I don't really have much to say on the writing. It was alright, but it could have been better.

The characters


“If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.”

Mare Barrow, our protagonist.

I don't know what to say about her.

She's having a hard time yes, but I won't excuse her behavior.

She is arrogant and power hungry.

The entire time Mare is mopping about how bad her life is.

"I suppose I should get used to being alone too. Not in the world, but in here. In my heart."

“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.”

She is not compassionate at all, even towards the people she killed herself.

“It isn't hard to let people die when their deaths give life to something else.”

I get it. Mare is having a bad life. Don't tell me that every other page.

Mare is not a morally-grey character or an anti-hero.

She is just a MC who doesn't have many good traits. And that makes her unlikable.

I would have technically called Mare flawed, but after some thinking I realized she is just a special snowflake character who can do anything.


"Part of me wants to hold my ground, to stand, to fight. My purple-and-white lightening will certainly make me a target and draw the jets away from the fleeing Guard. I might even take a plane or two with me. But that cannot be. I'm worth more than the rest, more than red masks and bandages."

Mare's lightning can do anything possible, and that makes it so plot convenient. She hardly ever gets injured, and even when she does she recovers far too quickly.

I do admire her for her strength, but I didn't like Mare much as I felt things were far too easy for her.

I get that she feels guilt, but I never felt sympathetic towards her.

And that is Mare Barrow.


“Every single thing I did, you stood behind me,” I say. “If I’m turning into a monster, then so are you.” [Mare]

I found Cal to be flat, boring and someone with hardly any personality. (Don't come at me!)

I was fine with Cal in book 1, I had no emotions for him whatsoever. I was hoping book 2 will change that, but it didn't.

I seriously think Mare and Cal are carbon cutouts of each other. There's hardly any difference between them.

Let's do this;

Mare is physically strong- Cal is physically strong.
Mare can fight- Cal can fight.
Mare misses Maven- Cal misses Maven.
Mare is stubborn-Cal is stubborn.
Mare wants revenge-Cal wants revenge.
Mare is a Mary sue-Cal is a Gary sue.
I hate Mare-I hate Cal.

Need I go on?

My point is that I don't like Mare or Cal, and that's unfortunate considering they are the main characters.

Let's just hope they get better.

“No matter how much I might want to feel him, I cannot. I must keep my eyes ahead, and away from the fire of a fallen prince. I must freeze my heart to the one person who insists on setting it ablaze.”


Shade is Mare's brother. I liked him a bit but he didn't really have much of a personality. Still, I liked him a bit.


Farley is the best character in this series for me, second only to Maven.

I absolutely love her.

She is an actual strong character, unlike Mare.

She trusted Maven in book 1, but that was a rookie mistake. We're gonna ignore that.


“Maven lies as easily as he breathes, and his mother holds his leash but not his heart.”

Maven is possibly one of the best villain's I've read.

“He leans forward slightly, lips pulling back against his even, white teeth. It’s so aggressive and animalistic I expect to see fangs. “I am your rightful king, Silver-born for centuries,” he replies, seething. “The only reason you’re still breathing is because I can’t burn the oxygen from this room.”

I do expect him to have some sort of redemption arc, because it just seems like he will.

“Yesterday he was a prince; today he is king. I thought he was my friend, my betrothed, but now I know better.”

The romance

I do not care about Mare's love life.

But if I had to make a choice, I ship her with Maven.

I don't like Mare and Cal together as I personally don't see much chemistry between them. But they are both boring, so I suppose they deserve each other in that way.

Why does mare have to end up with someone anyways? She's like 17.

(But this is YA, so obviously that won't happen)

Audiobook Comments

I think the narration was alright, but it was a bit slow for me. I can’t tell if it was because of the book, or the narration was generally slow but I think you might have to speed it up. I recommend the audiobook otherwise!

Why did I rate it 2 stars?

Despite its flaws, I enjoyed some parts of it (the ending) so its a 2 star from me.

Final thoughts

If you were a huge fan of book 1, then you might like this book. I think this is the kind you will either hate, or love.
I would recommend it only if you are ok with everything I mentioned above in books. :)

I am still reading book 3 to see where it goes. We can only hope it gets better. 🤞

“Anyone, anything, can betray anyone. Even your own heart.”

My ratings and reviews for other books in this series-

Red Queen - 3 stars
King’s Cage- 3.75 stars

DISCLAIMER- All opinions on books I’ve read and reviewed are my own, and are with no intention to offend anyone. If you feel offended by my reviews, let me know how I can fix it.

How I Rate-
1 star- Hardly liked anything/ was disappointed
2 star- Had potential but did not deliver/ was disappointed
3 stars- Was ok but could have been better/ was average / Enjoyed a lot but something was missing
4 stars- Loved a lot but something was missing
5 stars- Loved it/ new favourite


Pre- review

Update- 30 March 2021

I am writing this now. Will be up in a while!


Update- 20th March, 2021

I think I’ll write this soon. Sorry for the delay.


Update-24th Feb 2021
I have to write a review for this but I don’t know what to say. I need help.


3 stars I think, I might change it later. I have mixed thoughts on this. The ending picked things up, but it was quite a drag otherwise.
Thank you Ester for buddy reading this with me!

Review to come.
Profile Image for ~Calliope~.
238 reviews372 followers
January 31, 2023
“Anyone, anything, can betray anyone. Even your own heart.”

-In the entire book, Mare was annoying. How all the heroines I read lately are so stupid? I understand she feels betrayed for what Maven did but....but ...... She kisses Cal and then she thinks Maven....

“I miss him,” I whisper, enable to hold Cal’s gaze. “I miss who I thought he was.”

- Kilorn is in love with Mare... I knew it.. He is a nice guy but noooo... #teamCal forever <3

- Shade and Farley
I wanted more of their relationship! I shipped it so hard and then Shade died???

-I think Farley is pregnant because she touched her stomach and Jon said that the answer to her question is "yes".

-Finally, Elara is dead :P

- I hope Ptolemus would die too!!! How dare he kill Shade? He will pay for this!!!

- P.S. I love Cal <3 He was so brave and sweet. Mare, why you can't see what's right in front of you?

“If I could speak, I would tell Cal that I'm sorry, that I love him, that I need him."

Just tell him already!!

- I hope Mare choose who she wants in King's Cage or I will lose my mind!!!

Profile Image for Pearl Angeli.
624 reviews963 followers
February 28, 2016
Gripping, intense, and an achingly beautiful comeback. This sequel to the Red Queen is Victoria Aveyard at her very best!

Sequels have always been very crucial in a series because they can either be a success, a failure, or in between. Thankfully, this sequel fell to the success side.


Red Queen ended up with a promise. Glass Sword started off by fulfilling that promise.

It's actually hard not to love this book because first and foremost, everything started with a BANG! Lots of actions were already happening even at the very first pages that I found myself gripping the edge of my seat.

I was particularly amazed by how Victoria Aveyard weaved the plotline of this book with so much thrill and adventure. The searching for new bloods and the painful, action-packed experiences Mare and the gang experienced as they journeyed from places to places. The introduction of new characters that are so interesting and with unique traits and abilities. So exceptional!

Yes, there were parts that are dragging, but who cares? They actually gave so much time to take it all in and anticipate what's about to come. Was I surprised? Hell, yes! There were so many shocking scenes and revelations here. Even heartbreaking ones that made me cry.

"I stare at the polished metal, examining my reflection. The girl I see is both familiar and foreign, Mare, Mareena, the lightning girl, the Red queen, and no one at all. She does not look afraid. She looks carved of stone, with severer features, hair braided tight to her head, and a tangle of scars on her neck. She is not seventeen, but ageless, Silver but not, Red but not, human--but not. A banner of the Scarlet Guard, a face on a wanted poster, a prince's downfall, a thief... a killer. A doll who can take any form but her own."

Mare's character development, I admit, was kind of an on-and-off here. Sometimes she was so weak and hopeless but most of the time her strength was the one that made sense to everything. On the other hand, Cal-- Holy freakin' Cal! This guy-- *sigh This brooding prince, ONCE AGAIN, swept me off my feet! His character development in this book amazed me to no end! Seriously, I love him even better here! He was indeed born a leader as the way he acted always had an air of command. And when he brought the "That's my girl" line to Mare.... *squeals! Who wouldn't swoon over?


The romantic parts in this book was my most favorite, of course. I was so happy that there was a bit of a romantic development here between Mare and Cal! MY SHIP! It was certainly sailing in all its glory!!!


The ending, however, made me flinch and cry and feel a bit of frustrated. WHAT ON EARTH JUST HAPPENED? I was screaming at the top of my lungs because once again, CLIFFHANGER! And we all have to wait another year before the third book comes out!

All in all, Glass Sword is a beautiful, satisfying, made-me-swoon-and-cry sequel. Everything that happened here was remarkable and right in target.

"If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter."


5 Stars

Pearl's Book Journey (1)

Profile Image for Josu Diamond.
Author 8 books33.2k followers
November 16, 2016
A ver, a ver, que ni sé por dónde empezar.

Antes de nada quiero decir que no, no son cuatro estrellas totalmente merecidas. Si obviamos las últimas 150 páginas del libro podrían incluso ser cinco, pero es que de verdad, incluso me he planteado las tres. Y me duele. Os cuento.

En La espada de cristal nos encontramos una historia que es la lógica continuación de La reina Roja, con la evolución de personajes correcta y unas tramas bastante coherentes respecto a lo que vimos en la primera entrega. Y eso no lo niego y aplaudo a la autora por ello. De hecho, aún cabe lugar para la sorpresa, pues me sorprendió muchísimo encontrarme una historia como la que se nos presenta en esta novela pese a que esperaba algo similar. Pero es inteligente, te mantiene enganchado a la novela y sorprende continuamente al lector.

Disfruté muchísimo de la primera mitad de la novela especialmente, donde Mare busca a los nuevasangres y vamos descubriendo increíbles poderes de nuevos personajes que consiguen despertar el interés del lector. Y como en toda guerra, tras un planteamiento y una preparación del ejército viene el momento de planear el ataque y de, obviamente, atacar. Es ahí donde flojea la novela.

Toda la construcción de la acción final es bastante... pesada. El haber leído más de la mitad del libro en dos días y dejar menos de 200 páginas durante una semana creo que dice ya bastante. Simplemente el ritmo decae muchísimo, y aunque es importante para el desarrollo de Mare y para que conozcamos dónde se encuentra mentalmente en ese momento, creo que no era necesario pararse tanto en acciones innecesarias y subtramas sobrantes.

Sin embargo, en cuanto al resto de cosas (la acción a través de toda la novela, los personajes...) la verdad es que he terminado contento. Mare Barrow no me ha sorprendido tanto como en la primera entrega pero es por lo que comento: es un avance lógico. Es decir, no me ha sorprendido como personaje pues ya esperaba esas decisiones; lo que me ha sorprendido es que la autora haya decidido mantenerla tan firme como personaje. Olé.

Respecto a los personaje secundarios estoy muy contento porque las relaciones entre ellos y para con Mare están muy bien definidas y todos interactúan con todos, con grandes frases y fuertes relaciones. Me ha gustado mucho la dinámica de grupo que se desarrolla, la verdad.

Las tramas románticas se relegan a un segundo plano y yo estoy contento, ¡porque no es el momento! Que sí, aderezan un poco la historia pero no aportan nada en el entorno en el que se mueve esta saga. Así que otra sabia decisión por parte de Victoria Aveyard.

El estilo no tiene queja, aunque ha sido un error el elegir pararse tanto en la preparación del ataque en vez de en otros elementos mucho más interesantes. Hay cosas desaprovechadas, y me ha faltado un poco más de descripciones en los ataques y poderes especiales, pero no se pueden pedir ya tantos detalles, que nos sale un libro del tamaño de los de Sarah J. Mass.

Así que es eso. En definitiva he terminado algo desilusionado con la saga, porque de verdad que las últimas 150 páginas se me han hecho increíblemente cuesta arriba. No llega a la altura de la primera novela pero porque la primera era demasiado maravillosa. Eso sí, tengo muchas esperanzas en la tercera entrega y en ver con qué continúa, porque el final me ha dejado totalmente desorientado.
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,331 followers
March 6, 2016
The second book in the series, 'Glass Sword' picks up where 'Red Queen' left off. Mare and Cal are on the run with The Scarlet Guard, as they regroup and plan their next move. It doesn't take long for this story to get more complicated once they begin their missions to save the other "new bloods" and bring down the king.

Although this time around Mare and Cal seemed to grow closer, there still wasn't enough romance for me. I enjoyed the action and adventure, but I craved a deeper, more emotional connection between these two. At times, they seemed to be getting closer. Then, they'd turn their backs on each other with little thought or consideration. That drove me crazy!

I listened to the Audible version of this story and it continues to be well-narrated. There is a lot going on in this story, so I did find myself needing to rewind a few times to catch details that I missed. However, that was a result of my own distraction and not a failure of the narrators to engage me in the story.

Overall, I think that this story continues to be good. It wasn't as good as the first book, for me, but I still liked it. I will continue the series when the next book is released. I give it 3 1/2 stars.
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