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Glass Sword and King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard

I don't know what it is about the Red Queen series. I avoided the first book because too many people liked it and that was just a huge turn off for me. Finally, after my boss and niece twisted my arm, I read it and I loved it. Although Glass Sword was already out, I started the first few pages and decided that I didn't want to read it. When King's Cage was released in February, I finally read both of them back to back, and again, I was left wondering why I waited so long. Especially since I had to refresh myself with what happened in Red Queen.

(Source: Kelsey Darling)
Glass Sword picks up right where Red Queen left off. Mare has teamed up with the rebel forces, although she keeps them at arms length, as she does with everyone else, to save as many people as possible and to find others like her-red blood, silver ability.

There is obvious tension between Mare, Cal, and Kilorn as the whole love triangle plays out. I'm totally over love triangles. Either give me something super messy, like in He's Just Not That Into You, or give me plain and simple, two people, no needless broken heart.

(Source: Giphy)
We meet a lot of new people as the troupe finds the newbloods; some are pretty cool, some suck. The thing that's difficult here is that Maven is also hunting down the newbloods; but instead of taking them captive, or bringing them to his side, he's slaughtering all of them. Prepare for extreme blood shed and tears. If the scene with the baby doesn't make you cry, your heart is colder than mine.

"The fabric is sticky and I tug, revealing what lies beneath. After a numb second, I realize what I'm looking at.
I fall backward, scrambling, gasping, almost screaming. Tears fall faster than I ever thought they could. Farley is the first to my side, her arms surrounding me, holing me stead. 'What is it? Mare, what-'
She stops short, choking on the words...
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. The message is disgustingly clear. The Marchers are dead too.
One tiny fist, clawed with the stiffness of death, holds the tiniest device. An alarm...
I realize I'm standing over the baby, staring. There were no babies on Julian's list, no children below the age of three. This was not a newblood, not according to our records or any Maven might possess. The child was murdered simply because she was here. For nothing." (pp. 274-275)

(Source: Giphy)
In the end, they raid a prison where Red's and Silvers alike are being held prisoner. With the help of a new blood, Cameron (who has yet to grow on me), many are saved, Queen Elara is killed, as well as Shade. Shade's death has an impact on more than just Mare and their family, as we learn in King's Cage.

"We don't say anything. It's too hard. The whistling air goes straight through me, and I wish for warmth. I wish for comfortable heat. But Cal is not here. My brother is dead, and Cal cannot find it in his stubborn heart to watch us bury him." (p. 423)

However, just when you think it can't get any more upsetting or depressing and nothing else bad can happen, a raid goes wrong. To protect the lives of the Scarlet Guard and the newbloods, Mare gives herself over to Maven and the book ends. Luckily, I didn't have to wait a whole year.

After Maven makes a big deal about collaring Mare and showing the public that she is on the side of the Silver's, and essentially his property, he drops her in a room and leaves her alone. This is almost more torment than anything else she had imagined. She throws tantrums, thinking that will bring him to her, but nothing. Mare is kept in a chamber made of silent stone and constantly guarded. Between Maven ignoring her and the weight of the silver stone, Mare quickly becomes Girl, Interrupted. 

(Source: Giphy)
When Mare least expects it, she has a visitor, the last person she expected-Evangeline. Mare is brought to a sort of court where it is decided that Samson Merandus will "interrogate" Mare. However, the court provides Mare with much needed information, and after Samson butchers her mind, Mare is slowly given more "privileges," where Mare learns more and more and begins to plot her chance to escape.

The first half of the book is told through alternating points of view of Mare and Cameron; about halfway through the book, we also get to read from Evangeline's point of view, which was probably my favorite. In Cameron's first chapter, we learn that Farley is pregnant with Shade's child.

"I frown at her appearance. Despite the table hiding her stomach, her condition has begun to show. Her face and fingers look swollen. Not to mention the three plates piled with food scrapes." (p. 44)

(Source: Giphy)
Cameron's main prerogative is to find her brother, however, she isn't having much luck convincing everyone that they should go save the kids in the Choke. They have logistical reason, but Cameron just wants to save her brother.

Also, we learn from Cameron that Cal has become a bit reckless in his decisions and is easily angered. This is understandable, seeing as his girl is being held captive by his baby brother. However, his decisions lead to the death of beloved newblood, Nanny, when he goes rouge.

When Evangeline's POV enters, we already know that Silver's have split a couple different ways. You have the Silver's who will follow Maven, those who feel Cal is still the rightful heir, and those who have realized that the Silver's have been treating the Red's horribly and they need to do something about this quick because the Red's out number the Silver's. 

A plot line that I didn't see was the Evangeline has low key relationship with Elane of House Haven. Elane has married Ptolemus so that her and Elane will not be separated. As long as Evangeline marries someone from the Calor family line, that's all that matters to her father.

Evangeline turns out to not be as horrible as Mare believes. In one of the final battles, Evangeline helps Mare escape as long as Mare promises not to kill Ptolemus. This is a hard promise, seeing that Ptolemus killed Shade, but Mare does what she must to survive.

However, there is always a wild card, and in this story, that wild card is Lady Wren, Cal's grandmother, and she wants her grandson on the thrown, not the boy king that doesn't deserve the thrown. Cal has been in secret cahoots with Lady Wren, who has been in secret cahoots with House Samos. Between the Scarlet Guard, the Silvers supporting Samos, and Lady Wren's army, they are able to take Corvium.

(Source: Giphy)
In the end, the three parties have joined together to decide who is going to lead this new group of Silver's and Red's and it ends in the greatest betrayal since Maven's in Red Queen.

"Father is almost gleeful as he explains, and I hold my breath...
'The Kingdom of the Rift will stand in sovereignty after Maven is removed. The kings of steel will reign for generations. With allowances made for my Red citizens, of course. I have no intention of creating a slave state like the one Norta is.'
Mare looks far from convinced, but holds her tongue.
'Of course, Norta will need a king of her own.'
Her eyes widen. Horror bleeds through her, and she whips her head to Cal, looking for answers. He seems just as taken aback as she fumes. The lightning girl is easier to read than the pages of a children's book.
Anabel rises from her seat to stand proudly. Her lined face beams as she turns to Cal, putting a hand to his cheek. He's too shocked to react to her touch. ' My grandson is the rightful king of Norta, and the throne belongs to him...'
'No one thought to consult me,' the prince hisses, pushing his grandmother away. His eyes burn. He has perfected the art of glaring at a dozen people at once. 'You mean to make me a king-without my consent?'
Anabel has no fear of flame and seizes his face again. 'We're not making you anything. We're simply helping you be what you are...
He has no answer. Say no. Say no. Say no.
But I already see the tug. The lure. Power seduces all, and it makes us blind. Cal is not immune to it...
'Long live Tiberius the Seventh,' Anabel says.
The chamber echoes the sentiment. (pp. 499-501)

For not the first time, Cal chose power over Mare, effectively screwing over everyone.

(Source: Giphy)


Glass Sword
Rating: 9/10

King's Cage
Rating: 10/10

Genres
Series: Red Queen

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