Fantasy, Young Adults
Red Queen, Book # 2
February 9th 2016
April 27, 2020 April 30, 2020
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?
The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.
About the book
Glass Sword is the sequel to Red Queen, the second book of the homonymous series and begins immediately after the end of the previous book. In this world there is a division, those who have silver blood, therefore they have powers and they are the privileged ones and those who have red blood, those who are worth nothing because they haven’t “evolved” to such an extent as to have silver blood. Mare, a red, after the events of the first book, managed to escape from King Maven, with Cal and the Scarlet Guard. They take refuge on the island of Naercey, but when they arrive on the island they find the king’s army waiting for them. After a battle between Cal, Maven and Mare (a phenomenal scene), the rebels manage to escape and take refuge in Tuck, another island in the hands of the rebels. Mare just wants to find the “New Bloods”, people who like her have red blood, but also have powers like the Silvers.
Here we will see the journey the girl and her team make to build the army to try and defeat Maven.
What I think
I must say that I liked the beginning, but not so much after the halfway. Too slow, too repetitive and too predictable. Honestly, I don’t even know how to summarise this book because not much happens (and writing the summary at the beginning was a pain because I didn’t know what to say). I don’t think I will continue with the series. First of all, the map is missing. As usual I don’t know if it’s an ebook problem or not, but visualising where the places mentioned are, is natural in a fantastic world. Norta from the name would seem to be in the north, but it isn’t quite so… above Norda there are other territories so you can’t even guess where the places mentioned are by their names.
Second, the main character is unbearable. And I will explain why later.
And third, the ending… just no.
In the plot (not in this book but somewhere) they say that the readers of Game of thrones (or The Chronicles of Ice and Fire, because this is the exact name of the saga and not Game of thrones… called ASOIAF from now on) will not remain disappointed. But can we stop using Martin and his genius to advertise other books especially when they are not even in the same target age group? Not only this is for young adults who are afraid of doing everything except for kissing all the brothers in a family (and ASOIAF is for adults), but the action is not on par. Maybe the intrigues are similar if you really squeeze the concept, but they aren’t comparable. Please stop.
Now let’s summarise a bit the characters I mentioned in the first review, but that for consistency I summarise a little here, at least the main ones.
Mare is the protagonist, the Red Queen (which as a name made sense in the first book, I don’t know if it will still make sense at the end of the series) she has the power of electricity, but who is a Red and therefore an anomaly. She is a 17 year old girl and finds herself catapulted into the world of the Silvers by chance. As said, here, she is hideous, especially in the end. I liked her in the first book, but she got a lot worse here. There are characters who are well built, in which the fact of being martyrs and therefore having no affections is built so that we can sympathise with them and that even the people around them understand their way of being, in fact, martyrs. But Mare is not this type of character because she has nothing to justify her attitude. Another thing that bothered me is that Mare says about a 15-year-old new blood “I hate kids” when she’s 17 and it’s not that different in age or attitude. And it is a problem that I have often seen in books for young adults that talks of children under 18, but who speak and behave like adults (it also happened in Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom) when in reality it isn’t like that. So following her thoughts, she practically “hates” herself because, dear Mare, you are also a little girl. (But she thinks she is above everyone and that’s also why I don’t like her.)
Cal… I don’t know how to define him. I don’t even know how the author wants to define him. Anyway, he is one of Norta’s two princes, the major and heir to the throne. Due to the events of the first book he finds himself running away (or rather he is “kidnapped” by the rebels) because his brother and current king accuses him of having killed his father. Cal has the power of fire.
Maven is Cal’s younger half-brother (same father, different mothers) and thanks to a great plot twist from the first book he finds himself king. He isn’t very present in the second book, but the few times he is present I would have liked him to kill Mare, and this tells you everything. Here we don’t see a lot of his powers and I honestly don’t even remember what it is.
Kilorn is Mare’s childhood friend and we can leave him out of this description because he is a useless character (I hated him in the first book and I still can’t stand him).
I think there is an underlying problem that made me give 2 stars, besides the one already mentioned: the genre. Is it a fantasy? A dystopian? or even a science fiction? Because the author draws from all three genres but in the end doesn’t create a world suitable for all three genres. Regardless of the fact that I don’t like science fiction and technology in fantasy (and in the first book it wasn’t as present as in the second, where we spent 90% of the time on a jet), but it takes elements from the three genre that make no sense together. There are super-fantastic jets and war machines, but the reds do jobs that existed in the Middle Ages? Even energy doesn’t exist since reds use batteries when they have them, but jets can fly in the sky.
I liked the book for the most part, at least two thirds of it, but then it was a big disappointment. The fact that Mare and her gang have to look for the new bloods for pages and pages is boring and therefore I couldn’t give a similar rating to the first one, but then the finale made me just scream and bye bye stars.
I will not continue with the series.