‘Glass Sword: Kneel or Bleed’ by Victoria Aveyard is 2nd in the ‘Red Queen’ YA series

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“Glass Sword” is the sequel to “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard. This second book in the series continues the tale of the powerful silver-blooded people who have basically enslaved those whose blood is red and who lack the super-abilities of those with silver blood. The protagonist is Mare, whose blood runs red although she has abilities that are equal to those of a silver-blooded person.

In this sequel, Mare has escaped from the prison of Maven, the king, who had cruelly betrayed not only her but his half-brother, the older brother who should have been king. Now she, Cal (the true king) and others with her special abilities are trying to locate and save other red-blooded people who have special abilities. It’s a race against Maven, who also has the list of people and is out to kill them before Mare can find them.

This book has the same action-filled pace, the same plethora of characters, the same heartbreak when familiar characters die. But it brings the plot forward beautifully, and those who loved the first book will enjoy this one just as much. There is violence, there is tragedy, there is loyalty beyond reason — all in this one book.

One minor irritant of the second book is that Mare is a character who seems singularly powerful and commanding. She doesn’t have others who advise her — she does it all. But Aveyard does that for a reason, it would seem, as at the end of this second book Mare is caught in a situation from which she cannot escape. Thus, finally, she is helpless to continue to lead the red-blooded fighters. The ending is truly a cliffhanger, and those enamored of the series will be breathlessly waiting for the third book to be released.

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