As a huge fan of fantasy, when I read young adult author Victoria Aveyard’s debut novel Red Queen, I had to know what happened next. In Aveyard’s novel Glass Sword, a young woman is accidentally thrown into a world of glittering jewels and magical powers in a futuristic take on the future of the United States.
Mare Barrow, the young woman, discovers she has powers of her own, even though she shouldn’t thanks to the color of her blood. This futuristic world, a somewhat steampunk view of how the United States turned after people gained powers such as creating electricity or exploding things with the touch of a finger, is a lot like what happened in history during the segregation of whites and blacks.
The story, though, takes a turn in this second novel by Aveyard as Mare and her compatriots learn more about what the royals are doing to keep the red-blooded oppressed.
I loved how relateable this novel was. This novel, which delves more into the lives of the oppressed through the little rescues Mare and the others perform, shows just how different people feel and, yet, can come together as one when they want to follow a similar cause. It’s also a great expansion to the first in the series of four novels Aveyard plans to publish with Mare, Cal and Maven as the main characters.
While I enjoy Aveyard’s writing, what I don’t like is how repetitive she can be. She uses colorful words to describe Mare’s surroundings, the clothing, the people she meets, but sometimes words like blood, red, silver and silk are used too much. When you use words too much, the magical effect they have on the imagination wears off, and they are no longer beautiful descriptive words, but words like to, from, with or and.
But, despite the annoyance of her words, Aveyard is very good at what she does. Her pacing of the story was nicely done, and the horror within the novel was perfectly written for those with malleable minds. She made it seem just horrific enough for a young adult without making it R-rated.
Overall, I love these novels. They are imaginative, researched and fully built while still maintaining a fresh, powerful take on oppression and the X-Men style of powers. I can’t wait to see what comes from Aveyard in her two following novels and any new stories she comes up with in the future.
Red Queen and Glass Sword, the first two novels in the Red Queen four-novel series by American author Victoria Aveyard, can be found in stores at Barnes and Noble, or online at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com, as well as other locations.