The Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard
In the anticipated sequel to Red Queen, Mare Barrow, betrayed and used as a pawn in Maven’s quest for the throne, returns with a vengeance. There are other Newbloods like Mare, and she and the vicious Queen Elara have the list. Mare, with the help of the Scarlet Guard and exiled prince Cal, are on a crusade to enlist other Newbloods to overthrow the ruling Silver class and Maven’s wicked empire.
What began as a cross between The Hunger Games and X-Men, has now taken a turn reminiscent of Game of Thrones. Maven and Queen Elara’s presence is constant, whether through haunting notes left for Mare, or sending a child army of Redblood’s to their graves. However, their physical presence is largely absent, creating a menacing omnipresent tone. Ally and friend are not necessarily the same, further fueling Mare’s psychological strife. Mare, who was once a petty thief, is now irrevocably jaded, conflicted, and calculating. As newly christened Lightning Girl, she is riddled with guilt, uncertainty, and inexperience in her new role.
The initial pacing of taut action scenes juxtaposed against psychological perspective feels stilted. Luckily, momentum picks up as Aveyard introduces complex secondary characters. As the narrative changes, the plot catalyzes to stellar proportions. Action and pacing are solid, sprinkled with exciting plot twists, battles, and elements of surprise. Fast-paced and action packed, Glass Sword is compelling and strong, guaranteed to gratify anxious readers of the series and fans of dystopian and fantasy literature.—Audrey Hopkins
Originally published in the February 2016 issue of VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)