The Glittering Court

(The Glittering Court #1, By: Richelle Mead)


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…

Published April 2016 by Razorbill


**Note: Thank you to Penguin Young Readers for providing me a complimentary copy of THE GLITTERING COURT by Richelle Mead in exchange for my honest review.**

I gave this book 2 stars. The premise was promising, but I found that the pacing was off and the characters ultimately fell flat. While I enjoyed the relationships enough to finish the story, many aspects of the book simply missed its potential. 

Sadly, the slow pace of this book, combined with its length made it quite a dull read. The timeline was too drawn out, and the action ultimately needed to be condensed in order to stay intriguing. The book spanned a long amount of time (over a year), making it impossible for the author to keep the reader in the present moment with the characters for long enough. In almost every chapter, the plot would jump over several weeks at a time, making the reader miss out on day to day connection building with the characters. In addition to the time span, the dialog and internal monologue of the main character, Adelaide, just didn't work for me. While there were glimpses of humor and wit, everything was overly stated (her emotions, the conclusions she came to, her dilemmas etc) and the drama felt forced. 

While the characters themselves didn't fully click for me, my favorite part of this story was watching the relationships blossom and build (both friendships as well as romances). The relationships were intriguing and ultimately helped me get through this book and enjoy pieces of it. Despite the romance being predictable, it still had cute moments that kept me around.

Finally, I found the world to be a bit confusing. The book is classified as fantasy, yet it read much more like historical fiction. The initial world felt heavily based in old Europe (1800s) followed by the new world heavily based in newly colonized America; they simply had new names. So, as classified as fantasy, the world was extremely flimsy. Additionally, there were constant contradictions between the historical setting (the way they dressed, the technology of the world, and the etiquette) and the often modern language/phrases, making the time frame of the story unclear.

Overall, I enjoyed the idea of this book (especially as a huge fan of The Selection Series) and found the cover to be beautiful, but was left disappointed and wishing for more out of it. I do like that this series follows a new main character with each book, and shows a fresh perspective. I will be curious to read the other books (the third book is coming out in June) and see if I connect more with those main characters. 




Have you read this book? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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