The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Read By: Kristen Sieh
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Length: 13 hours and 1 minute
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…
You guys… THIS! BOOK! I know that I read the synopsis for this at some point (it was on my TBR list so of course I did), but to be perfectly honest I totally forgot what it was about. I went into this book completely blind and I loved it! I had no expectations and enjoyed the story as it unfolded. It kind of made me want sudden book amnesia about everything on my TBR list. Anyways… moving along…
The Glittering Court sounds like a really fun boarding school experience! I would totally sign up to get educated, improve my etiquette, and wear pretty stuff! I was concerned that the arranged marriage and “selling of woman” ideas were going to bother me, but they didn’t. There wasn’t anything sleazy about it and it reminded me quite a bit of The Selection.
I also enjoyed the pace that this book moved. The timeframe of the book spans more than a year, but I never felt like things weren’t being explained enough or were being too quickly covered. The author did a fantastic job of spending just enough time, and giving just enough detail, about everything to keep it relevant, keep the reader informed, build the world, but not get too sucked in.
Now, let’s talk about the setting. OH MAN! It was great that we were being introduced to the New World right along with Adelaide. I felt that that gave us a unique view on the setting of the story without the author having to just descriptively write to all of the details. We were able to learn about Adoria through Adelaide’s eyes as well. As a slight side note, I definitely think Adoria is similar to Skagway, Alaska (google it and see if you agree!), so maybe that helped to build the world in my mind too. It had a bit of a Wild West gold rush kind of feel, too (which Alaska also has).
Along with the awesome setting came equally, if not more, awesome characters! The characters were so elaborately built, given backgrounds and personalities that made them relatable and fun to read about. By the end of the book, I felt as though I knew the characters personally, that they were people I knew from real life. I also had very strong feelings, good and bad, about each of the characters, which had me sooooo invested in the overall story. THE EMOTIONS I FELT, PEOPLE… GAHHHH! I was all over the place. I laughed, I cheered, I cried, I freaked the hell out… it was so consuming and I was so devoted to the characters and their lives!
Though I was left with some open ended questions (mostly around Tamsin and Mira), I’m still very happy with the ending of this book. It wasn’t too cliff-hangy, but was just cliff-hangy enough. Does that even make sense? I don’t know. I don’t care. JUST READ THIS BOOK!
Have you read any of Mead’s other books? In my opinion, this one is one of her best (though admittedly I haven’t read Bloodlines yet). What do you think?