Glass Sword

- Victoria Aveyard


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?



I flinch. The rag she gives me is clean, but it still smells like blood. I shouldn’t care. I already have blood all over my clothes. The red is mine, of course. The silver belongs to many others.


waste of time:
I was conflicted about even reading Glass Sword after the snooze fest of the uber-predictable Red Queen, and I wish I had listened to that instinct.

Glass Sword may have been predictable, but it’s not my biggest problem with the narrative. Considering it starts immediately after the end of Red Queen, I’m very confused by Mare’s massive personality change. Aveyard managed to take an unlikeable character and make them worse. By the end of Red Queen, Mare was selfish and inconsistent, but I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes authors use the ‘YA’ label as an excuse to make their characters juvenile in the worst ways possible, but I was hoping for some growth and reflection after her actions.

I’m not sure how or when Mare traded in her victim complex for a saviour complex but it. was. terrible. Every single interaction with another person was littered with how important she now considers herself. In her mind, everyone is suddenly afraid of her but considers her a leader and also happens to worship her. It’s a very complicated spectrum of emotions to maintain, but those surrounding her seem to manage. I don’t know what Mare did to start considering herself a leader, but don’t you dare question her because it will only betray the limitations of your own character, not her wildly inconsistent emotions and motivations.

I don’t even want to talk about the dumpster fire that was this plot because I have so many problems with Mare’s character. Like how she explains away any of her limitations without any attempt to develop into a better person (she doesn’t need to learn anything – she’s always been a terrible learner). Or how she openly lies to everyone around her while hating that no one will tell her the whole truth (why won’t anyone just be honest with her?!). Or how she uses all the people in her life without giving anything back (Cal makes her feel loved and wanted, but if he tries to vocalise or engage these emotions, she runs for the hills. Kilorn is honest with his feelings for her, knowing she doesn’t feel the same way and not asking her to – as a side note, this is probably the moment when I felt the most respect for a character in this series, and I was not expecting it. He just asks her to keep being his friend, to trust him to lead his own life, and to not cut him out of her life. So… she cuts him out, starts avoiding him, makes him stay behind and out of danger, and blames it on him and his feelings. I can’t even go into how poorly she treats and uses Shade – leaving him in violent situations as a distraction, using his ability in the most dangerous ways, the emotional blackmail to keep him on her side – it makes me almost violently angry). Probably the worst, though, is how she pretends that she will always give others the choice she wasn’t given. Until someone’s choice goes against her needs, then her story changes very quickly. Just once I want the protagonist who stands by their morals no matter how poorly it affects their goals and doesn’t waiver from the aspects that make them an actual human being. Would someone please give me a noble character to believe in.

I could keep going down this rabbit hole, but I’m not sure I’d be able to climb back out into the real world. Mare ruined this series for me. I don’t think I have to say it, but I will not be reading the rest of the series. I looked up the synopses of the next two books, and it only confirmed the waste of time it would be to commit to a series that could not commit to anything, be it genre, plot, or character.



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