Overview (No Spoilers): After severely disliking the Glass Sword’s predecessor, the Red Queen, I went into the second novel of this series with hope that the series could only get better after the dismal start. Unfortunately, this second installment failed spectacularly to redeem the storyline, to the point that I will more than likely not be finishing the Red Queen series, regardless of my typical drive to find out how the story ends. The main protagonist and intended heroine, Mare Barrow continued her selfish ways with every aspect of the story being thrust into an exasperating pattern of tunnel-vision. Every interaction, feeling and decision Mare makes can be alluded to picking petals off a daisy. For example: “I love Cal. Cal is my enemy. I miss Maven. Maven must die. I trust Cal. I can’t trust anyone. Cal only understands me. He is the absolute worst.” This insufferable back and forth occurs not only multiple times a chapter, but can also happen within the same page. This repetitive nature of her internal mantra not only revolves around her complicated love life but is recurring for her feeling regarding leadership, the worth of her life, how people treat her, among many other topics. I did enjoy the addition of the many Newbloods and their corresponding talents, however this was one of the few bright spots for the Glass Sword. Overall, with the overwhelming quantity of similarly premised novels available to choose from, please heed my advice and steer clear of the Red Queen series. The hours spend in agonizing frustration with Mare Barrow will be better spent in the arms of other literary figures.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
- It seemed out of character to me that Mare did not put any special feeling toward the 15 year olds being sent to their death in the front lines. How could there not be a plot brewing to recruit the Newbloods, while simultaneously saving the Dagger Legion. Also, why did they only go on one recruiting mission at a time, as such causing the book to drag during what could be an exciting, action filled segment?
- What is Jon’s end game? What was he doing by Maven’s side?
- Our heroine flirts with being evil as she mercilessly kills the Silvers in the control room despite Cal’s pleas. Cameron was another character that held such promise with her strong willed personality, however she quickly degraded into a headache.
- So in the end Mare is broken and gives in to Maven. I couldn’t believe that the story concluded with her sitting at the foot of Maven’s throne on a leash. Did anyone else have déjà vu of the Empire Strikes Back, i.e., Leia and Jabba the Hutt? Why would Maven release Cal and Kilorn when he had captured everyone? He already had Mare so what bargaining room did she really have?
- Mare is devastated when Shade dies and her family has always been important to her. Why does she continue to leave them without saying goodbye?
- Also, it was obvious from the beginning about Shade and Farley, as well as the impending child from the random comment about Farley being sick and attempting to hide it.
- Of note, in a young adult dystopian novel, when a family member or friend is killed off in the first book, the aforementioned character will likely return, however that same character will be killed/severely injured off by the end of the series in a most tragic manner. After reading the same storyline over and over again, it is time to stop being surprised by this tragic event.