WARNING: SPOILER ALELRT!!
If you haven't read Red Queen yet, but plan to, do not read this blog post!!
As you may have guessed from the above spoiler alert, I've just finished reading the second book in Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen trilogy, Glass Sword. The novel pickes up right where Red Queen leaves off with Mare waking up in her brother Shade's arms. Originally presumed dead, it turns out Shade has actually been on the run, discovering that he too has powers and is being hunted down as a result. Shade has joined the Red Guard's upper rankings and Mare and Cal quickly join him. However, their help is not reaidly accepted by those who still see Mare as a silver pawn, and Cal as the silver king. Mare, however, has no time for the Red Guard's distrust and quickly sets in motion her new plan of rescuing others like herself, that are now in danger of being hunted by King Maven. Just because Maven's turned against Mare, doesn't make him any less in love with her, and his quest to capture her and those like her becomes a personal vendetta, leaving Mare to question her own feelings and reasoning.
While different, Glass Sword lives up to expectations, giving us much more than many readers bargained for. However, some readers that loved Red Queen have come away saying that Glass Sword was a disappointment. While I don't agree, I have a theory as to why this happens and it all has to do with Mare's character changes. While in the first book she was still fiesty and took care of herself and those around her, she was still unsure of herself and dependent on Cal, Maven, and others to feel confident. However, in Glass Sword, she becomes a completely take-charge, make no apologies kind of person. Through the plot, we can see how this is a necessary development in her character, but reader's who really liked the romance dynamic in book 1 may be turned off by this development. While she still needs the support of Cal and others to defeat King Maven, she doesn't need them to pat her on the back every ten minutes either. As far as a relationship, she can take it or leave it. And if it affects her mission, she's leaving it.
As you can imagine, this does a little bit of damage to the love story angle of the plot. Now, all couples have to go through tourmoil, but Mare and Cal are going through a lot. It's no wonder that they aren't able to have a loving relationship. By the end of the novel, it seems that they really can't stand each other, and while that might be a little disappointing to some readers, it really sets us up for a wonderful third installment. I can tell you one thing, I'll be pre-ordering King's Cage and counting down for it's Feb. 7th release!