Monday, May 16, 2016

Book Review: The Glittering Court

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Released: April 5th. 2016
Read: April 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Borrowed, hardcover, 416 pages

Description from Goodreads:
Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.
Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.
When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.
But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

This book was certainly not what I expected. It started in one spot, and ended in another. Staring it, it was almost like a historical version of the Selection, with the main character very similar to America Singer. Both were headstrong and independent, wanting a better life for themselves. So Elizabeth (later Adelaide) decides to take her maids place in a finishing school, and is TOTALLY prepared to be sold of like an object. Hmm. That doesn't sound like America to me. I had many issues with this novel, among them the patriarchal (almost sexist) undertone to the plot and the school she attends. Also, it started as this "princess" story and ended up in the wild west. Yes, the wild west. She ends up panning for gold in the "New World". Not even kidding. The plot felt forced, and rushed. Starting it, I would never have guessed that it would end up there.. Another is the love interest, Cedric. He was a two-dimensional at best. Mead tried to make him less so, by revealing his "dark secret". I won't spoil, but it was not juicy in the least. It's kinda boring, and really didn't make him a better character. Lastly, I'd like to point out that this is billed as "fantasy". THERE IS NO FANTASY! Part of the appeal for me was this supposed fantastical element, but there was literally none! I have no idea who labeled this book, but they did wrong. Not sure how someone could make a mistake like that. All in all, this book had high expectations, and sadly it didn't meet them.

Favorite Quote:
“Do you think my being someone else's wife will change anything? Don't you know that I'd lie with you in the groves, under the light of the moon? That I'd defy the laws of gods and men for you?”
― Richelle Mead

Rating: 5/10 Stars

Recommended for people who enjoy: romance, frontier lands, "The Selection"

Happy Reading,

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