Buy This Book Buy This Series
Other books by Victoria Aveyard
Other books you may enjoy

“I see you as you could become, no longer the lightning, but the storm. The storm that will swallow the world entire,” Jon. –Glass Sword

Glass Sword

Red Queen #2

by Victoria Aveyard
AR Test

At A Glance
Interest Level

Reading Level
Number of Pages

Mare, Cal, and the members of the Scarlet Guard are ready to regroup and find a way to fight back against the newly crowned King Maven. No matter how strong Mare and Cal may be, they cannot fight against a legion of Silver warriors alone. They need stronger allies to help the Scarlet Guard’s rebellion.

Mare’s only option is to find the newbloods, a group of Reds with powerful abilities like their Silver rulers. They are scattered throughout the Kingdom of Norta. They are the key to creating an army that can stand against Maven’s legions and level out the playing field.

Yet, Maven won’t just let Mare do as she pleases. For every newblood she saves, Maven imprisons or kills two more. With Maven breathing down her neck, Mare begins to feel the pressure of transitioning into a leader for the Scarlet Guard. Her relationships become strained. Her decisions are questioned at every turn. Worst of all, Maven haunts her every step. Will Mare be able to overcome Maven’s manipulations and create an army of newbloods? Or will the pressure shatter her?

Glass Sword is an underwhelming sequel to the first book in Aveyard’s Red Queen series. Whereas the first book had political intrigue between the Silvers in the royal court and a daring espionage mission by Captain Farley of the Scarlet Guard, the second book doesn’t have any of that. Instead, the book focuses on exploring how Mare comes to terms with her actions from both the past and present. While there are plenty of missions into different parts of Norta to find newbloods, very few of these missions feel truly dangerous to Mare and her friends.

The story is weighed down mainly by Mare’s growing unlikable characteristics. Away from the immediate danger of Maven and his Silver underlings, Mare is forced to find a new role for herself as a leader of the Scarlet Guard. However, this only makes Mare more selfish. She prioritizes her own life over others, and she is willing to sacrifice anyone but herself. In the end, Mare gets a wake-up call from Cal, the former crown prince, and Kilorn, her best friend. This forces her to examine herself; ultimately, she sacrifices herself for them when Maven captures them.

Betrayal is once again a main theme as Mare finds herself betrayed many times over the course of the story. Another major theme is about turning into a monster; Mare changes from a girl trying to save lives into someone willing to murder and throw lives away whenever she sees fit. The action scenes, in which Mare and her friends infiltrate cities and towns, are fun, interesting, and help to move the story along. The introduction of the newbloods is also a plus since their new, unique abilities and the growing cast of characters add more layers. Overall, Glass Sword is a sequel that introduces fun, new elements to the already interesting world of Norta. Yet the story is bogged down by the unlikable main character and the many predictable moments where she falls into obvious traps. Nonetheless, Glass Sword sets up the backdrop for the next book in the series, King’s Cage.

Sexual Content

  • Mare changes her clothes in front of Kilorn, her childhood friend. Mare thinks, “He shouldn’t blush, having seen me in various stages of undress for many summers, but his cheeks redden anyway.”
  • On Tuck, the Scarlet Guard’s island, Mare finds out Kilorn has been flirting with another girl. “To think, he’s been spending his time flirting while I’ve been unconscious and Shade lies wounded and bleeding.”
  • Mare has an ongoing romance with Cal. When she brushes his arm, “Cal smells like blood, his skin is ice, and I tell myself I don’t want to taste him ever again.” Mare tries to convince herself not to love Cal. Mare thinks, “I must freeze my heart to the one person who insists on setting it ablaze.” Later, she kisses him “because I am weak, I press my lips to his, searching for something to make me stop running, to make me forget.”
  • At one point, Mare and Cal start sleeping in the same bed together. “From that day on, his bedchamber becomes ours. It is a wordless agreement, giving both of us something to hold on to.”
  • Gisa, Mare’s younger sister, has a crush on Kilorn. Mare watches as “He listens intently, and she bites her lip, pleased by his attention. I guess her little crush hasn’t gone away just yet.”
  • Kilorn quotes Maven’s public speech when he confronts Mare about her relationship with Cal. He says, “‘Mare Barrow seduced the prince into killing the king.’ It’s shocking to know he’s half right.”
  • When Kilorn and Mare have an emotional discussion, Mare thinks, “A friendly marriage to the fish boy with green eyes, children we could love, a poor stilt home. It seemed like a dream back then, an impossibility. And it still is. It always will be. I do not love Kilorn, not the way he wants me to.”


  • While discussing his younger brother, King Maven, Cal says, “Maven will still kill you. In a cell or on the battlefield, he won’t let any of us live.”
  • Mare and her brother, Shade, are running for their lives from an army when Mare realizes “a bullet meant for me catches him in the meat of his upper arm, while another strafes his leg.”
  • After seeing three bodies crushed by debris, Mare thinks, “It isn’t hard to let people die when their deaths give life to someone else.”
  • Before she’s put in a cell, Farley, a member of the Scarlet Guard, fights back. Farley “slams the [guard] into the passage wall, crushing his neck between her elbow and the window of another cell.”
  • Mare remembers when she killed a Silver. “Ryker Rhambos, electrocuted on the sand of the arena, reduced to nothing more than his blackened flesh.”
  • Mare remembers the Scarlet Guard attacking the royal ball. Mare says, “The Scarlet Guard kills children. The Scarlet Guard must be destroyed.”
  • While looking for more newbloods, Mare discovers a dead baby in a tavern. “In the basket is a baby, no more than a few days old. Dead. And not from abandonment or neglect. The rag is dyed in its blood.”
  • Mare punches a younger girl who talks back to her. “When my fist collides with her jaw, I expect to see sparks spread over her skin. There’s nothing but my bruised knuckles.”

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None


  • Someone calls Nix, a newblood, “that Silver bastard.”
  • Cal calls the Colonel, a leader of the Scarlet Guard, a “sack of scum.”
  • Mare tells Kilorn, “I’m sorry you can’t stop being an ass for two minutes so you can see exactly what’s going on here.” Right after that she says, “You heard what the Colonel called me. A thing. A freak.”
  • Gareth, a newblood, calls someone “the Silk Bitch.”


  • Silvers are people with silver blood and supernatural abilities. There are many abilities, including controlling fire, manipulating metal, mind control, etc.
  • Newbloods are Reds with supernatural abilities. Mare explains, “Newbloods are born with the mutation that enables our own…abilities.”
  • When Mare meets Nix, a newblood, she thinks, “Stoneskin echoes in my head, but this man is no such thing. His skin is ruddy and smooth, not gray or stony. It is simply impenetrable.”
  • Stoneskins, a type of Silver, have super strength and skin that resembles stone.
  • Magnetrons are a type of Silver that can manipulate metal. For example, before a building collapses on Mare and Cal, “Gravity and fire made the structure fall, but the might of magnetrons stop it from shielding us.”
  • Mare’s brother, Shade, a fellow newblood, can teleport. Nix says, “Two days ago, around midnight, Shade popped up on the porch. I mean actually popped.”
  • Mare can manipulate and create lightning and electricity. Mare’s lightning “is more powerful than any magnetron, any green warden, any gun. It is everywhere.”
  • One young boy, Luther, is a newblood with the ability to steal life. For example, “he takes the fern by the stem, holding it in his small fist. And slowly, the fern curls beneath his touch, turning black, folding into itself—dying.”
  • Another newblood can shapeshift. For example, “an old woman who has everyone call her Nanny, seems to be able to change her physical appearance. She gave us all quite the fright when she decided to waltz through the camp disguised as Queen Elara.”
  • Harrick, another newblood, can create images out of thin air. “He can create illusions, mirages, make people see what isn’t there. And he has hidden us all in plain sight, making us invisible in our empty cart.”
  • One newblood can manipulate gravity. Mare thinks, “Gareth manipulated the forces of gravity holding me to the earth. If we had been standing in the open, I probably would have ended up in the clouds.”

Spiritual Content

  • None

by Jonathan Planman

Other books by Victoria Aveyard
Other books you may enjoy

“I see you as you could become, no longer the lightning, but the storm. The storm that will swallow the world entire,” Jon. –Glass Sword

Latest Reviews