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I Belong


Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

The Glittering CourtTitleThe Glittering Court

AuthorRichelle Mead

Genre: YA High Fantasy

Series: The Glittering Court

Publication Date: April 5, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages

ISBN-10: 1595148418 (Razorbill/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-1595148414 (Razorbill/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin

Synopsis:

For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea.

After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself—even though she’s falling in love with him.

Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide’s ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn’t leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else’s property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths.

Quick & Dirty: A novel that dazzles like the name! Enjoyable book with minor flaws.

Opening Sentence: I never planned to steal somebody else’s life.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Adelaide is forced into a political marriage thanks to her high-born families failing funds. To escape, she runs away to the glittering court. It gives beautiful lower class women the chance to train for a chance to set off to the newly colonized land of Adoria, where wealthy men need wives. She naturally excels thanks to her upbringing, but cannot stop the attraction simmering between herself and Cedric, the son of the glittering court’s proprietor. Can a wealthy man wanting to marry her, her own past, or a forbidden religion keep them apart?

I’ve read some of Mead’s work before, including her whole Bloodlines and Vampire Academy series, as well as Soundless, her most recent standalone. My favorite was probably Bloodlines because the characters were strong, the humor was evident, and the action was intense. Those are some of my favorite books to this day. However, Soundless ended up being a little bit of a letdown to me; while it was still an interesting book with a unique premise, I didn’t feel it lived up to the high expectations her first series created. That being said, I went into this with an open mind, excited to see what it had to offer. While the plotline sounded somewhat like Cass’s novels, we all know from experience how well Richelle Mead can create a beautiful high fantasy world, and I was excited to see the story transform. In the end, I’m satisfied saying that this book was better than her most recent standalone but cannot live up to the Vampire Academy nor Bloodlines series.

Adelaide, the main character, grew on me a lot during the course of the book. In the beginning, she was admittedly very arrogant, very entitled, and definitely spoiled. She was born into a rich family with fading resources and was being forced into a marriage. Though she’s always expected to marry politically, she makes a spur-of-the-moment decision and escapes into the glittering court. She attempts to not attract suspicion and remain in the middle of the competition, but her learned talents make her stand out. As the novel progresses, she evolves into a more open minded person who is able to hold her own, very unlike the girl who needed a whole group of servants to dress her in the morning.

As for the romance, I found it decent, although nothing can live up to Rose and Dmitri or Adrian and Sydney. I liked Cedric and his character, and especially as their relationship progressed I appreciated the side of him that was witty and humorous. There was a couple of his one-liners that made me laugh, and the banter between him and Adelaide was so much fun. They had their fair share of challenges, but they stayed solid throughout. I loved that there was no need for a love triangle or instant love to make the romance interesting, as many novels these days feel the need to add.

Altogether, I did really like this novel. It had a seductive blend of luxury and adventure that kept me hooked, and the characters were as unique and intriguing as all of Mead’s works have been. The novel did tend to drag towards the beginning, but once life in Adoria started, the action became more prominent. There are still unanswered questions for the next novel. I think if she wanted to, Mead could have put the story into one novel, but chose to expand the world she created so that there are bigger issues that an unwanted marriage for her characters. The forbidden religion part was interesting but only seemed to serve the purpose of making certain characters more unattainable. I enjoyed this novel!

Notable Scene:

“Don’t be so dramatic.”

“I’m not! I’m being sane. I can’t believe you accepted that offer without consulting me.”

“Well, it was certainly hard choosing between that and many other offers.” She met my glare levelly. “Yes, dear, you’re not the only one who can be pert. You are, however, the only one who can save us from eventual ruin.”

The Glittering Court:

1. The Glittering Court

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FTC Advisory: Razorbill/Penguin provided me with a copy of The Glittering Court. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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