Title: The Glittering Court
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: 2016 by Penguin Random House Australia
Goodreads rating: 3.43
My Rating: 2.5
To escape an arranged marriage, Adelaide, an Osfridian countess, must pose as a servant and join the Glittering Court – a school for designed to transform impoverished girls into upper class ladies. 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.
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 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 review contains some spoilers.
Thoughts on The Glittering Court…
- Richelle Mead has a gift for storytelling, throwing plot twists in exactly where they are needed, writing clever dialogue and setting a good pace throughout her novels. The Glittering Court is no exception and well-written in these respects.
- The history of this new world is a fascinating retelling of the American frontier, set in an alternate universe. I enjoyed the descriptions of both Osfridian and Adorian society, but would have liked more detail.
- There will be two more books focusing secondary characters Mira and Tasmin. I could tell that both of these characters were getting into their own adventures behind the scenes, so I am really looking forward to reading their books.
- Lady Elizabeth Witmore, Countess of Rothford, wants to escape her gilded cage and unappealing betrothal. So…. she poses as a maid (Adelaide) to join the glittering court, where common girls are turned into noblewomen… and sold into marriages?! Did I miss something here? Elizabeth’s plan makes no sense.
- Elizabeth/Adelaide abandons her impoverished grandmother, occasionally thinking of her, but never for more than a few lines.
- Women are treated appallingly in this story, bought, sold and frequently referred to as ‘goods’. Adelaide’s love interest continues to plan her arranged marriage even after they have confessed their feelings for each other.
- Mead’s heroines are usually gutsy and defiant in the face of oppressive social norms, but she seems to have made the assumption that young adults require more conventional heroines. I think Mead is underestimating young people in this respect.
- The story wraps up too quickly, with a very convenient outing of the villain and barely any description of the fallout.
Overall: I was swept away by the twists and turns in this novel, but ultimately found the characters and the world lacking substance.
What did you think of The Glittering Court?
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