Book Review: “Glass Sword” by Victoria Aveyard

Rating: 3.5/5

“Trouble is all we seem to find.” ~Mare Barrow, Glass Sword


glass sword
Image Source: Amazon

I read Glass Sword’s prequel, Red Queen, a few weeks ago and loved it. Young adult dystopian fiction never fails to enrapture me, and Red Queen was no exception. I liked Red Queen much more than mainstream dystopian series like The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner trilogies; I thought the former was more magical and engaging.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Glass Sword. Excited would be an understatement to describe how I felt when I got my hands on this book; I was absolutely elated and thrilled, so thrilled that I finished this 440-page-read in a day. After finishing it, though, I was disappointed. I loved the ending – Aveyard knows how to wrap up a story well, keeping readers anxiously waiting for the release of the next novel in the series. The beginning was also written pretty well. The greater part of the novel, however, was less than mediocre. The plot was dull, which surprised me, as Red Queen kept me on my toes from the first page to the last. Glass Sword, on the other hand, lacked breathtaking twists and was much too predictable for me. Events were repetitive, and although several new characters were introduced, none were memorable.

The protagonist, Mare Barrow, displayed a complete lack of development. After finishing Red Queen, she seemed like a promising character, with twice the potential of Katniss Everdeen and Tris Prior combined. Glass Sword crushed my hopes. Mare is ridiculously childish in this novel, often receding to temper tantrums in times of stress. Not to mention, her trust issues are peeving. Yes, she learned the hard way that “Anyone can betray anyone” in Red Queen, but her inability to place faith in her family and closest friends is aggravating. She can’t even trust herself, as she constantly lies and breaks her own promises. Mare weakly dangles on the line between protagonist and anti-heroine in Glass Sword, not quite the hero that wins readers over or the villain readers can despise. In fact, I realized I don’t care for Mare at all, except for pitying her here and there; rather, I found myself attracted to minor characters like Julian and Shade Barrow, but never discovering much about them since Aveyard focuses on Mare and only Mare. Had Aveyard alternated between the perspectives of Mare and another character – preferably Cal because he has a cloud of mystery surrounding him at all times – this novel could have been a lot stronger, in my opinion.

Nevertheless, I’m still avidly waiting for King’s Cage, the third book in the series, since I enjoyed the first book so much. I’m hoping that Aveyard manages to salvage what is left of Mare Barrow, and that King’s Cage does not disappoint, as Glass Sword was a bit of a let-down for a Red Queen fan like me.



29 thoughts on “Book Review: “Glass Sword” by Victoria Aveyard

  1. I’ve heard the same thing about this book, that’s why I was so reluctant to pick up this series in the first place but nonetheless I’m reading Red Queen now and I am really liking it so far. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could not even finish it, it disappointed me so much. I am glad I am not the only one felt this way. It truly is sad, because Red Queen was such a suspenseful and beautiful beginning…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve heard SO many mixed reviews of Glass Sword! I read Red Queen back when it came out and I didn’t really like it all that much. Might just be because I’m not a big fantasy reader but I didn’t really like Mare and didn’t think she was very memorable. Also, I found that the whole idea of Red Queen was a lot like a whole bunch of fantasy books I’ve read put together. The twist at the end did surprise me and that is the only reason for me wanting to pick up the second book. I’m quite reluctant though.

    Great review though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, and fantasy isn’t a genre I’m familiar with, too. I completely agree that most dystopian novels these days seem to have the same overarching themes. I loved the twist at the end of Red Queen, too, and even though Glass Sword wasn’t strong, its ending makes me want more. Aveyard really knows how to pull off a great ending! Thanks for commenting 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I’m not a big fan of dystopian because of that. Maybe ill give it a try. See if my library has it. Then I won’t be annoyed if I don’t like it because I didn’t pay money for it haha. No problem!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. There are few series that I will follow, regardless of genre, but from the reviews on RQ, this one sounded like a worthy exception. RQ has been on my TBR list for awhile so, even though reviews are lukewarm for GS, I’ll still likely give them a go…relying on the library for #2, however!

    I have to be careful about reading too much whilst writing my own works-in-progress, but absolutely consume books once I’m finished!

    I DO love the civer on Glass Sword, though!

    Great reviews & comments…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely loved hearing your point of view on this book, but I have to say, I’m sitting on the opposite end of the spectrum!
    I just finished Glass Sword yesterday (writing my review within the following hour, BECAUSE MY EMOTIONS NEEDED TO BE LET OUT), and I was enthralled by Mare’s character. I hated her with furry, much like you did, but I thought it put an exciting and much needed twist on the book… Review’s only coming Tuesday though, so I’ll avoid saying much more.
    Can’t wait to hear your review for King’s Cage, only 179 more days to go!

    Liked by 1 person

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