GLASS SWORD by Victoria Aveyard
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Publication Date: February 9th, 2016
Song I Played While Reading: What Kind of Man by Florence + The Machine
Rating: 4 stars
If there's one thing Mare Barrow knows, it's that she's different.
Mare Barrows blood is red- the color of common folk- but her Silver ability, the power to control lighting, 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, not 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.
Oh my lawwwwd was this delicious. Absolutely delicious. The second installment in this quartet (NOT a trilogy, as I originally thought!), was bloody, electrifying, and action-packed. Mare struggles with her inner demons while trying to fight back against the corrupted crown, hunting down these newbloods that are possibly the answer to defeating Maven. It was all very MOCKINGJAY-esque to me, which was both a good and a bad thing. I struggled with connecting to Mare, with her guilt and responsibility, and her inability to let herself lean on anyone. That was exactly how Katniss was, and I was worried that it would take away from the story, which it did a little. But it wasn't so much that I couldn't appreciate Mare and all that she was doing and feeling, which I could understand to a certain extent.
You know how some characters say something along the lines of, "I find myself pushing everyone that I love away, even when I don't want too,"? That's the thing that always kills it for me. Tris, Katniss, and Ruby were all like that, and now Mare is turning into that. I just don't understand. If you don't want to push someone away, then don't! Why is that so difficult? You're allowed to lean on someone, it's okay. Yes, there's the possibility that they could be taken from you and obviously that would be heartbreaking, but it's worth the risk if it helps you keep your sanity. Mare alienates herself, causing even more emotional turmoil and pent up frustration, when she could have simply let herself be and trust someone with her emotions and what she's struggling with. Chances are, someone feels the same way.
"I fear being alone more than anything else. So why do I do this? Why do I push away the people I love? What is so very wrong with me?
I don't know.
And I don't know how to make it stop."
*shakes fists at the sky* I DONT UNDERSTAND!
But even with that, Mare manages to shakily keep it together with Cal most of the time, and their chemistry is unfuckingbelievable. It's the strongest relationship I've ever read about, and I would internally scream whenever they would even look at each other. They share such a bloody, raw past, connected by this one person, and it's pure insanity. Seriously, I think them making out would've been too much for me. I would've burst into flames because IT'S TOO HOT. But also so incredibly sad because Cal and Mare need each other. No one else understands what they went through, and even knowing Mare kind of stabbed Cal in the back and he said some nasty shit to her, it made their relationship that much more powerful. They did their worst to each other, and yet they still find comfort in being near each other. I'm seriously getting goosebumps just thinking about.
AND YET... a part of my heart still belongs to Maven.
Don't give me that look! You're probably thinking, "What the hell Mariah, Maven is sadistic and cruel and childish and blah blah blah", Yeah, I know. SORRY NOT SORRY, BECAUSE I LIKE MY MEN A LITTLE EVIL. And c'mon, it's so obvious that his mother is pulling the strings and he still cares for Mare. There's something going on there. I don't care what anyone says, I will stand behind Maven just like I did with Warner. We have two whole books! You never know what can happen, especially with Victoria Aveyard writing it. She's the queen at plot twists.
Her writing is also insanely beautiful. It's progressed so much from RED QUEEN, and I'm already sweating just thinking about trying to narrow down my quotes for this review to just four. Or maybe five. Or maybe all of them. GLASS SWORD, though at times filled with funny, light-hearted scenes, was overall so heartbreakingly sad and raw and alluring that you can't help but be sucked in. You want to feel all the pain, simply because it's captivating. I couldn't flip through the pages fast enough, or sticky-note the passages that took my breath away without needing to keep reading.
The plot line was steady, with equal amounts action and resting scenes, which was a relief because I almost had a heart attack during every fight scene. Kilorn, Shade, and Farley were fantastic, lending a dynamic view to every argument, and adding some kick-assery to ever page.
But, since I was so wonderfully spoiled for the ending (yes, I'm looking at you, girl I follow on Instagram who posted a fucking video of the last page) I knew what was going to happen. So that obviously took away some shock, plus I thought it happened way too quickly. Things were going just fine, and then BOOM shit hits the fan and it ends. And the epilogue was short and didn't give much insight to what was going to happen in the next installment, or even what was going on at that moment in general. It was a little confusing. But I understand why Aveyard did it, in the long-haul (hint: it's to torture us readers).
Okay, this review is ridiculously long, but I have one more thing I want to say. I'm not sure if every copy had this, or it's just the ones from Target (since they always seem to have special edition's with deleted scenes or something like that), but did anyone else read the alternate chapters? And can anyone else explain to me WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON? I understand that some scenes can have small changes, and that the publishing company wanted to give the readers a small glimpse into a different version of the ending of RED QUEEN and the beginning of this book, but to change the entire storyline?? It's fucked me up, and I'm hoping Aveyard responds to my tweet because I have sooo many questions.
Okay, phew! I'm done, I swear. I highly suggest reading this if you enjoyed Red Queen (obviously), and hope this is the push anyone needs if they weren't too thrilled with it but want to know what happens with Mare and her Scarlett Guard *shoves you savagely into a bookstore and forces you to buy GLASS SWORD*.
"There are smuggled shipments coming in from all over. Piedmont, the Lakelands, other places, too. And haven't you seen any soldiers down here? Their uniforms?"
He shakes is head. "No. Not since that red-eyed bastard marched me in yesterday."
"They call him the Colonel, and he's Farley's father."
"I'd feel sorry for her, but my family's indefinitely worse."
"I nudged Cal, directing him away from the brutal vision of us. He goes willingly, following Shade and Crane through the swirling crowd. I resist the urge to hold on to him, to try and take a bit of weight off his shoulders. No matter how much I 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."
"I am not remarkable looking. Brown hair, brown eyes, brown skin. Bruised, bone weary, small, and hungry. Red blood and a red temper. I should not frighten anyone, but the banshee is certainly afraid of me. He knows what power hums beneath my bruises. He knows the lightening girl."
"By now, I should know better than to lie. But a lie is what they need to carry on, and if my deceit saves even one of them, it is worth the cost of my soul."
"If I could speak, I would tel Cal that I'm sorry, that I love him, that I need him. But the wind and the drop steal my breath away. I have no more words. His touch is achingly familiar, one hand at my neck, imploring me to look at him. Like me, he can't speak. But I hear his apology all the same, and he understands mine. We see nothing but each other. Not the lights of the Corium on the horizon, the sound rising up to meet us, or the fate we're about to find. There is nothing but his eyes. Even in darkness, they glow."
at 1:17:00 PM