Sunday, 10 April 2016

Book Review: Glass Sword

GLASS SWORD by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen #2)
2 stars
Verdict: Repetitive prose, slow pace, and lacks plot.
#1 - Red Queen
#3 - King's Cage

In my opinion, this book had two flaws: the story and the way it was written. I wanted to love it as much as I enjoyed book one, but I honestly found it dull.

The story followed a predictable path. Book one ends with Mare and a list of newbloods to recruit. Book two, Mare travels around collecting newbloods. I didn’t need to read GLASS SWORD to know what would happen. It lacked originality, and the author compensated for this with a rather indulgent prose which killed the pace entirely.

Aveyard is the master of tautology; she knows how to say the same thing in so many beautiful ways. If you read a few lines in isolations, it’s easy to gush over the beauty and flow of the writing – it’s a book to quote, and that’s why I’ve given it two stars. Unfortunately, when you put all these sentences together, the narrative becomes repetitive, slow, and downright superfluous.

With that in mind, the predictability of the prose had me rolling my eyes. Mare constantly reminisces about everything we learned in book one – but we know what happened. We’ve read it. If Mare needed to state or declare something, Lady Blonos was called forth first. The amount of times we’re told Cal is a military man and Kilorn is a ‘fish boy’ is excessive compared to the times these bits of information are actually shown to affect the plot.

Because of the way it was written, I found Mare whiny. I know she’s been through a lot, I know she has every right to moan, but we don’t call people whiny until they complain tirelessly about the same, futile point. I started to resent Mare, and that’s not a good feeling to have about a protagonist.

The narrative also skips across time in a way that lacks intimacy. Either months or weeks pass by, I have no idea, but what I do know is things develop without a thought to the details of how, why, and who.

I feel the general plan for the book set it up for failure: recruit too many new characters to flesh out, keep Mare in mourning for everything that once was, and end on a cliff hanger which would have worked much better if it happened as the book’s main conflict. I’m left wondering what the overarching story of this book was, and I’ve decided it doesn’t have one. It’s just a bridge to the next in the series.

So I’m a little disappointed. I wanted the writer to surprise me, to take me on an unexpected adventure, or even throw in some new ideas and new concepts of this world. That didn’t happen. I sincerely hope book three can save this series.

Source: With thanks to the publisher, via