Glass Sword Review: I’m Kind of a Big Deal

June 18, 2016 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 2 stars, Books, Reviews

Glass Sword Review: I’m Kind of a Big DealGlass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Published by Hachette Australia on February 9th 2016
Source: Publisher
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Science Fiction
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson
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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.

I’m not entirely sure what happened here, but Glass Sword felt very different to Red Queen. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lot of angst in the romance and it still feels like it’s based off Xmen, Hunger Games and Red Rising. While Red Queen built up to it’s peak and had some great twists in the end, Glass Sword was just long-winded and boring.

There were times when it felt incredibly forced – when Mare talks about her hair drying or what colour the roof was, you know you’re grasping at a plot. All the way through, Glass Sword was incredibly frustrating to read and I felt like pulling my hair out at how slow it was.

While she does goes through a lot more character development, her self-talk really annoyed me. She constantly talks about how special she is and how important she is to the cause. That lightning girl, that powerful girl who needs to achieve things by herself, the girl who is underpinning the revolution, it’s all in Mare’s head. She becomes quite an unlikable anti-hero throughout the book and I felt very detached from her as a believable character.


Most of the novel is devoted to Mare and Cal’s angsty conversations with one another and her reminiscing about the past. While their romance seems to have happened as a matter of circumstance, I hated how they constantly judged each other, did not confide in each other and and held things against each other. This is not a healthy relationship guys, nor will it ever will be, with Maven between them.

There’s more world building here compared to Red Queen, as we find out more about the newbloods and witness the world beyond the palace. It was interesting seeing the Silvers join her crusade, and the interaction between the reds and the silvers. Meeting different people with powers was fascinating, but soon it became a repetitive blur of faces with very limited character development. Everyone in Mare’s crew felt flat and one-dimensional, from Cal and his conflict, to Spade and his protectiveness, and Farrah and her disdain. I can’t say I cared about these characters, especially with Mare’s judgemental point of view inflating her importance above them.

If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.


There were times when I thought Glass Sword had potential, particularly with the sci-fi/fantasy mashup, but with the slow pacing and the frustration with Mare’s character, it just fell flat for me. It’s a shame that the excitement has already fizzled out for this series after Red Queen, and I don’t think I’ll continue with it.

Rating: 2 out of 5


Thanks to Hachette Australia for sending me a review copy of the book! 

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Tiktok@happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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35 responses to “Glass Sword Review: I’m Kind of a Big Deal

  1. brettmichaelorr

    In a strange way, I'm almost glad you didn't like Glass Sword – just because it confirms my own thoughts about the book. I can't say I'll be racing out to read King's Cage…I want to see how the series ends but wow, Glass Sword shattered (no pun intended) my faith in the series.

    Great review, completely agreed with all of your points!
    My recent post Review – A Gathering of Shadows

  2. I hated this book so so much!! Mare was bland in the last book, but in this book she turned into a cold, unfeeling monster which Aveyard played off as a feeble attempt to show character growth. There were few and sparse action sequences that were mildly confusing as well as more clichés and angst-ridden romance that I did not care for. This book was trying too hard to live up to its hype and failed miserably I'm afraid. Great review!! <3 <3

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

    • I know, it was just so divergent from the previous book especially with Mare\’s personality, then she tried to make her into an anti-hero and it was just frustrating. There definitely wasn\’t much action happening either! Thank you Rach!

  3. THIS. YES, YES, YES. I completely agree with everything you've said here Jeann. Mare was such an irritating protagonist and I disliked how arrogant and selfish she was. She seemed to think the world only revolved around her, you know? It's a shame, because the plot definitely had potential. 🙁 Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

  4. I'm so sorry to hear you didn't enjoy that book. I felt the same way about it, what a disappointment after Red Queen, it has so much potential, but it's really Mare's character that let me down, and made that book so, so hard to get through. I'm still curious about how everything ends, but I don't know if I'll have the courage to read another book like that, ahah. Great review ! 🙂
    My recent post Souvenirs from across the world : Hidden Gems From France

    • Thanks Marie, it definitely had lots of potential to be awesome but unfortunately this one was so lacking as a follow up! I don't think I'll follow the series anymore. I know what you mean though, sometimes the curiousity wins!

  5. I felt the same way about this one Jeann and was disappointed after loving Red Queen. It was just stretched too thin and Mere was annoying with her indecision. Complaining about how special she was but still wanting to be at the centre of the action. I think the absence of Maven really hurt the storyline too, it needed a bit of spark in there. I worry about the rest of the series though as I've heard it's supposed to be a five book series. If book two was a whole lot of filler is doesn't bode well for the remaining installments. Great review Jeann and sorry you couldn't have enjoyed this more.
    My recent post The Leaving

    • Oh man, it was so slow and draggy throughout and Mare was just so annoying talking about how special snowflakey she was! I wanted to slap her throughout the book. I missed Maven so much lol he's so much more interesting than the boring Cal. 5 books?! Now that is stretching it IMO.

  6. This is very sad because I've been wanting to read Red Queen, but now I don't really have motivation to because of Glass Sword. Maybe I'll still try out the series? But I've seen so many 2 star reviews for thissssss.

    I admit that I skimmed your review so I wouldn't be spoiled. But I'm sad that this didn't work out for you. I hope your next read is better Jeann!

    • Yeah, so many people loved it so much! That's why I'm always wary of debut starts of the series, because sometimes the following books can be so lacking *cough DIVERGENT*. Thank you lovely!

  7. lekeishathebooknerd

    I have been afraid to read this because there aren't many 4&5 star reviews like Red Queen has. I enjoyed Red Queen, but this sequel hasn't been a priority; which is saying something. I bought it months ago and can't bring myself to read it. Thanks for this review! I think I'll wait, but will get to it eventually.
    My recent post Stacking the Shelves #81

    • Yeah, Red Queen lots of people seemed to buy into the hype but this one is so lacking in comparison. Fair enough Lekeisha, I'm keen to hear your thoughts once you do read it!

  8. Grace @ RebelMommyBB

    I actually DNFed this one early one. I just wasn't feeling it at all. Seems like I may have made the right decision. It is a shame because I enjoyed Red Queen quite a bit. Great review!
    My recent post Weekly Rewind ~ 6.19.16

    • I'm definitely not surprised by that Grace, it was just so slooow and draggy and not much happened in the book at all. Definitely a shame!

  9. I really loved Red Queen, but the reviews for this one have been so off-putting. It honestly sounds like a mess and I think I'm done with the series unless I hear that book 3 is amazing.
    The romance definitely sounds incredibly unhealthy, especially if they are judging each other and aren't fully confiding in each other. Ugh. I'm so disappointed.
    Sorry this wasn't a great read for you, Jeann! 🙁
    My recent post The Weekly Recap #195

    • Yeah, I wasn't too enthusiastic to read this one but I had to cross it off my list somehow. Even if book 3 is amazing, this one is so slow going it's such a drag! Yeah the romance, I was just like what the hell. It took such a different direction!

  10. I had total meh thoughts about this one too Jeann. :\ Sorry this didn't work out for you as well!

    I'm definitely following the series, but not with high expectations LMAO. Too bad it's getting an extra book…

  11. I'm afraid I'll be giving this series a pass. Red Queen gave me a lot of Red Rising vibes so I thought I'd wait until the sequel to see if I should give it a chance and with all the mixed-negative reviews I've read I definitely feel like I'd have a lot of issues with the series.

    To start, I am not a fan of those "special" one characters that end up thinking they're holier than thou and the relationship between Mare and Cal definitely sounds toxic and I am not a fan of people putting each other down and calling it love.

    It's always sad to see a series that had so much potential fall flat so I'm sorry this one didn't deliver.
    My recent post Review: The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

    • Yeah, I absolutely LOVED Red Rising so coming into this one I could definitely see the similarities and how it paled in comparison. People who are so special really annoy me definitely and the relationship just wasn't right you know?

  12. I've seen similar things said about this book, and it makes me really, incredibly sad. Red Queen was my favorite book that I read last month, and I bought Glass Sword last week, and I have been eager to start reading, but with the way my reading habits have been so precarious (I can tell I am on the verge of slipping into a slump), I'm kinda scared to pick this one up now. Great review, though. I'm sorry this disappointed you so much. I can't believe Mare's ego has become so inflated. That's extremely frustrating. Thanks for the review!
    My recent post Lefty's Lowdown: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

    • That's such a shame Lefty! If you really enjoyed Red Queen, it's a shame that this one isn't motivating you to read it. Mare was just so annoying throughout it!

    • Oh man, everyone was so frustrated about this one and I could see why! Yeah, this one was just sooo slow and draggy. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if it was half it's length.

  13. Alice

    Aw Jeann, I'm so sorry you didn't really enjoy this one at all. 🙁 That's such a shame! I actually haven't started this series yet but from what I've heard it's been getting either amazing reviews or meh reviews so you're definitely not alone in the way you feel about this! I mean, urgh, if you don't care for the characters at all, and if the MC has a super judgey, self-importance outlook, it's going to be a strugle to enjoy it. Lovely review though! 🙂 <3

  14. Rachel Lightwood

    I'm sorry to hear this one wasn't for you, Jeann! I haven't picked this one up yet. I might soon.. maybe? But I've only heard negative/disappointed things about this so I'm kind of nervous. I wasn't even a big fan of Red Queen in the first place so who knows what I'll think of this one. Maybe it's just setting up for an explosive third book? Great review, Jeann.
    My recent post {Mirror, Mirror} SuperFruit, Scythes & Sobbing Over Civil War

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