by Victoria Aveyard
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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?
When I remember all I’ve done, and what has been done to me. The ice sits where my heart should be, threatening to split me open. My arms curl around my chest, trying to stop the pain. It works a little, letting warmth back into me. But where the ice melts, it leaves only emptiness. An abyss. And I don’t know how to fill it back up.
There are certain series that just ooze greatness and emit an allure that makes them almost impossible to hate. Well, I’m here to assure you…this series isn’t it. I know, right?? How big of an ass am I?? I said the same thing for book one, yet gave it a 4.5. Now, here I am again giving this a 5-a perfect score-and bashing it right out of the gate. Let me make it simple for you: I am a very easy person to please. No, scratch that, I’ve become picky as shit. But in doing so, I’ve narrowed down what works for me-All the way down to the writing, the female lead, the genre, the cheesiness, and, of course, the boys. Most books are one way or another-Good or bad. Epic or lame. Beautiful or meh. Yeah, well….this one is all those things. It’s both good and bad. It is absolutely fucking epic…but has some lame things I wish I could burn away with Cal’s fire (eh, eh????). And while it has some beautifully heart-wrenching, soul-crushing, and butterfly inducing moments….there are many, many moments where I want to stab the main character.
When Cal’s warmth wraps around me, his arms around my shoulders, his head tucked against my neck, I lean into him. I let him protect me, though we swore we wouldn’t do this back in the cells of Tuck. We are nothing more than distractions for each other, and distractions get you killed. But my hands close over his, our fingers lacing, until our bones are woven together. The fire is dying, flames reduced to embers. But Cal is still here. He will never leave me.
THERE!! I FUCKING SAID IT. I have a large issue with the main character, OKAYYYY??? Sue me-I might only have ONE large flaw with this series, and that, my friends, is the lightening girl….aka, a pompous little piece of shit. Okay, hear me out before you get all judgey- I have NEVER hated this girl. Hell, I don’t even hate her now!! But in book one…I was a tad skeptical of her. I mean, I liked her, she was cool and all. But, I saw signs in her that made me wonder what was to come. Like, oh, I don’t know, trusting that conniving little monster who almost-he certainly attempted (something I will NEVER forgive him for, please note)-killed his own brother. Sick bastard. Just…okay, I digress. In this book, she didn’t even start off in middle territory-from page one on, she was a self-righteous little bitch.
Even the faces that haunt me, the faces of the dead, have disappeared. Funny, now that I’m dying, my ghosts decide to leave.
I wish they would come back .
I wish I didn’t have to die alone.
-And no, she doesn’t really die. Chill.
Yeah, sorry not sorry. ANYWAY, I’ll get back to her later-I’d like to actually start off on a nicer note (First I’m sour, then I’m sweet!! Hehe). I was one of the few who found book one to be almost flawless. It had it’s problems, it really, truly did, but I never have been one to rate based on hard facts and originality-If an author can take something that has been done before and make me a die hard fan, then I don’t see the problem. In fact, I ended that book and was so happy…but was like okay, moving on. But as the release for this novel got closer and closer and the ARCs were being given out and I saw that fucking gorgeous cover…I may have began to, oh, I don’t know, long for it’s impending release?? This absolutely shocked me, if I’m being honest. Yeah, I enjoyed it. So, what? I enjoyed a ton of books in 2015. But what made this one so special, ya know??
If I am a sword, I am a sword made of glass, and I feel myself beginning to shatter.
So, ANYWAY, seriously, I have GOT to get on track, February got closer and closer…and I got more and more excited. There are about 5 releases this month, most of them ends of series that are absolute favorites that I adore, and I didn’t really have this one ranked-in fact, it was maybe even last on my list. And then…and then. I began thinking about Cal. I began reminiscing and reliving all the best moments where I fell head over heels for him and all his loyalty. I began to mention him to friends. I began to talk…and talk…and talk…and obsess about how he’d do literally anything for Mare, even put himself in the most danger possible, just to keep her safe, even after everything….. and all of a sudden it became my most anticipated release. Any book that can do that to me, even after I had it pegged differently in my mind…is a winner in my eyes.
I fear being alone more than anything else. So why do I do this? Why do I push away the people I love? What is so very wrong with me?
I don’t know.
And I don’t know how to make it stop.
So, again, what’s so special about this book besides my main man, Cal?? Well, aside from him, because he really is my biggest obsession with this series, there is actually a lot that attracts me to these books. For one, there is always action. Two, they are always running for their lives. Three, the battles are actually super hardcore and the author doesn’t shy away from terrible things happening, even torture, even to main characters. And, ya know, I just can’t not be attracted to that stupid love triangle that plays with my very soul even after I’ve long since fallen asleep. And probably my favorite thing of all, besides Cal (Didn’t we COVER this??), is the absolute unabashed way the author writes cliffhangers at the end of these books.
Do you guys even understand how hard it is for cliffhangers to make me cackle in glee?? I remember the good old days (‘Wish we could turn back time, to the good old daaa-aaaaaays’) when every little cliffhanger shocked and excited me. Now, when I see people say, THAT ENDING THOUGH, I roll my eyes and say, yeah, okay. Well…thus are the perils of being a peril whore-Eventually, you run out of shocking and mind-blowing moments of ultimate destruction, devastation, and general mayhem. And hey, they don’t always have to be huge explosions or screaming declarations of last minute pleas to the ones our characters never admitted they loved. Sometimes subtlety is much more satisfying, consuming…and bone chilling.
The girl I see is both familiar and foreign, Mare, Mareena, the lightening girl, the Red Queen, and no one at all. She does not look afraid. She looks carved of stone, with severe features, hair braided tight to her head, and a tangle of scars on her neck. She is not seventeen, but ageless, Silver but not, Red but not, human-but not. A banner of View Spoiler »the Red Guard « Hide Spoiler, a face on a wanted poster, a prince’s downfall, a thief…a killer. A doll who can take any from but her own.
I’d love to say this subtle little dagger to the heart is only because of something between Cal and Mare, oh boy oh boy wouldn’t I….but I can’t say. Well, Chelsea, why even bring it up, then?? I’ll tell you why: This ending was so good, so subtlety satisfying and all consuming (hahahah see, just like I said above), that I would be angry at myself if I didn’t bring it up. I can’t even begin to explain how perfect it was. It was so damn good that it didn’t have to go out with a bang…a whimper sufficed. And my whole point in all this??? Not since my Golden Son ARC in December 2014 has there been a cliffhanger that effected me at all…until now. Glass Sword’s ending made me so happy that I can’t even recognize myself….I’m an annoying old turd.
But like my brother, I too have a crutch. Mine is not metal. It is flesh and fire and bronze eyes. If only I could cast him away. If only I was strong enough to let the prince go and do what he would with his vengeance. To die or live as he saw fit. But I need him. And I can’t find the strength to let him go.
*Sly look* And would you like to know whyyyyyy I am being so colorfully annoying? I can tellllll you in one. Simple. Word. It starts with C…and ends with al. What does that spell? CAL CAL CAL CAL CAL CAL CALLLLLLL!!! That’s right, my lovelies. Hundreds and hundreds of pages of Cal moments, looks, and caresses. Protectiveness, loyalty, and longing for the lightening girl he used to know are abundant and seeped onto every single page, and I couldn’t be happier. This guy, this beautiful beautiful boy that stole my heart last summer was the same as he always was…er….or not-He was even better.
What began as Cal’s breakdown has become mine. One dark night I spilled my secrets to him, on a road thick with summer heat. I was the girl who tried to steal his money then. Now, winter looms, and I’m the girl who stole his life.
DARK. TORTURED. LONELY. HELL BENT ON VENGEANCE. And most of all…broken and sad. My poor boy went through hell in the last story. He never had his mother-she was murdered long ago, but he lost two of the most important people in his life in the blink of an eye-His father and his brother.
My fingers find his lips, stopping him from saying the words. They cause him so much pain. In that instant, I glimpse a man with no drive but vengeance, and no heart but the one I broke for him. Another monster, waiting to take true form.
One to death, the other to an evil hidden under the perfect disguise. And where did it all start??? It started the moment he met Mare and invited her into the castle. I mean…I can’t even. Why does this little tidbit excite me so?? She, the girl he (loves??) has fallen for, is the reason for his misery. And yet, this whole story, we see how much he is willing to do for her, how he is still willing to risk it all, willing to stand beside her….even as she begins (*Scoffs* When wasn’t she?) to turn into a monster right before his eyes. It kills him to see her this way, to see her falling apart and ripping at the seams in the face of danger and losing more and more friends and family. My soldier, my beautiful broken boy….he’s falling apart. But he never stops relying on his military skills, intelligence, and heart to keep him afloat, even as the darkness begins creeping in at the edges. Oh….and his loyalty….did I mention it never falters??
And we share an alliance-an uneasy one forged in blood and betrayal. We are connected, we are united-against Maven, against all who deceived us, against the world about to tear itself apart.
Even with all this beautiful win, that’s not to say I didn’t get annoyed. Mare’s constant back and forth and longing for the old Maven (WAH, cry me a fucking river) and her smacking Cal, my dear soldier, repeatedly in the face was enough to make anybody crazy. I grew tired of her constant use of lightening girl to refer to herself, her misplaced sense of self-worth, and, like I said, how she treated Cal. She thought she was the most important thing on the planet, and eventually that began to grate. Even with all of this being said and my constant repeat of the word ‘even’ and ‘constant’ (did you notice how many times I used these??), I do still like her. I don’t believe for a second that three boys would be into her, the nasty little skank, but I don’t hate her-Far from it. She has her issues…but she is the reason this story exists-and her and Cal together? They please me…they make me very, very happy. I can deal with some idiosyncrasies (like self-importance and NOT ADMITTING TO CAL THAT SHE HAS ALWAYS LOVED HIM) if she learns from her mistakes and grows as a person…and that ending…the one right before the end end?? Ahhh. I might die happy.
But still, somehow, I feel a pull to him. I remember the burdened boy who gave me a silver coin when I was nothing. With that one gesture he changed my future, and destroyed his own.
So, you know, there is so much more I could ramble on about (I bet I helped so much with your decision to read the book, yeah?? ALL DEM FACTS!), but I grow tired now that the fangirl has been extracted from every one of my pores. It’s clear I fell hard for this story, and it’s clear as to why. I even wanted to throw in that Kilorn, a character I wanted to kill in the last book (haha), became someone I really liked. Filled with angst and broken hearts and action-packed sequences, there is much more to love in this book than even the first. I did really love the first, and it might even be my favorite, even if my ratings don’t reflect it, but there was just something special about this book that took my breath away. I don’t know. I’m a sucker for a forbidden and tortured romance…but what does everyone else think??? I need to hear what people are thinking! I NEED TO GUSH! Argh!
The door swings inward as the first soldier rounds the corner, but my thoughts are only of Cal.
It seems princes make be blind.
Me too, bitch. Me too.
CAL!!!!!! I will ALWAYS LOVE YOU!!!! AGH! EPIC EPIC EPIC. Can I keep him??? Please???