I bought this book, this is not a sponsored review. This is 100% my honest opinion.
The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Series: The Glittering Court #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Edition: First, Hardcover
Summary from the Publisher:
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.
I found this book super enjoyable! Especially our protagonist: Lady Elizabeth the Countess of Rothford aka Adelaide Bailey. She’s an aristocrat who doesn’t want to marry her boring cousin; who dreams of a freer life, and one who does so with sass.
“I gave him a demure smile, not deferential enough to diminish my superior rank but enough to make him think his charm had flustered me.” (pg 3)
I barely made a dent in the book, and I’m already smitten with Miss Adelaide. She reminds me of one of my favorite fiction characters, Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy. Also created by Richelle. Of course, with a lot less angst.
I would also like to point out that our hero, Cedric Thorn, has red hair. I repeat, HE IS A GINGER. I love that, I’m not a redhead, but I always feel sad that male gingers are usually painted as ugly, or in the worse case evil. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” as the saying goes. I try not to judge.
There are two other important characters: Tasmin and Mira. Tasmin and Adelaide are from Osfrid, which is the equivalent of England, while Mira is Sirminican, which is basically their Spain. They travel to Adoria, which is based on the United States.
Fun Fact: when I went to the book signing, I asked Richelle how she came up with the names for the countries. She said she tried to use syllables that sounded like it was from the country it was based on.
Anyway, I loved Mira! She is the strong independent type, and a warrior.
“Mira watched him dash away, her eyes smoldering with anger. ‘Men get to do everything.'” (pg 145)
I think that sums her up nicely. As for Tasmin, she is a fireball. She is a commoner, and she is determined to find a good husband–and a better life. In the beginning, we follow these three girls as they train to be sold as wives to the “new nobility.” However, it’s when they travel to Adoria that they get separated, and the story focuses more on just Adelaide. I’m not sure how Tasmin and Mira’s stories will pan out, but I think that Adelaide’s tale is more focused around love. So I would recommend this book to people who like romance, and strong female characters. Adelaide is definitely someone who makes her own destiny.
Overall Rating: 4.6 hearts
DISCUSSION: SPOILERS WILL OCCUR, CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
I want to keep this blog rated at PG, so I will mostly review YA fiction, with the occasional exception. That being said, when I want a quick read, I usually read historical romance novels. Yes, the Harlequin kind.
It’s my guilty pleasure okay. I feel like The Glittering Court is a much longer, PG-13 romance novel. Which isn’t a bad thing, but for those who hate romance novels, I’d skip this one.
“After years of virtue lectures, I’d always wondered how silly girls could give theirs up. Now, I understood.” Adelaide making out with Cedric (pg 209).
For those who read Vampire Academy, this is nothing like it. Earlier I referenced Rose, but their sass is all they have in common. AND Rose is much more in-your-face about it, while Adelaide is much more subtle.
I wont lie, but The Glittering Court did not have me sitting on the edge of my chair the whole time. It was cute, worth reading, it just wasn’t angst-y. (which is what I loved about Vampire Academy) I liked Adelaide, but her character was like very other historical romance heroine ever. A Lady who dreams about love, adventure, etc. However, what sets this story apart is that Cedric is not some controlling, or brooding lord who whisks her off her feet. He is actually a heretic.
He believes in a religion that is similar, albeit different from their main religion, which I would compare to Catholicism. Adelaide risks her life to save him from being caught, and they of course eventually fall in love. Oh, and Cedric was the one who introduced Adelaide to the Glittering court, so he feels responsible for her. Hence, he keeps trying to introduce her men, while fighting off his feelings for her and I’m over here like:
Then, after they get caught in a compromising situation, he confesses his true feelings for her, and tells his father he will pay for her. Then, they become gold miners. Gold miners AND PIONEERS. I mean, what even? I get that they’re in love and everything, but pioneers? Living in a shack, in the middle of the woods? No thanks. I never thought this book would flow in that direction, but to each their own.
Anyway, this is the first book in a three part series. Each book is retelling of the same plot from a different point of view. Mira is next, and while Adelaide left me questioning her life decisions; I’m SO SO SO excited for Mira. She experienced terrible things in her country, and she fought for the innocent. I JUST HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. Where exactly did she sneak off to all those nights in Adoria? Who could her love line be with? Will she even have a love line? Personally I would love to see a strong female character be a strong female character without a man completing her (although I am a sucker for romance, so I’m fine either way).
Furthermore, I have many, many, many questions for Tasmin. Does anyone else think she was sexually assaulted when her shipped got blown away? I mean, Richelle alluded to that being the case, but it could have been some thing else. Am I reading to deep into it? I guess I’ll just have to wait to find out…
Anyway, I really would recommend this book (despite my complaining). It was so lovely! What do you guys think? Did you like Adelaide the most, or are you more excited for one of the other girls books? Let me know!