Now I am a HUGE fan of glitter, so I expected to enjoy The Glittering Court. Unfortunately it a) had no real glitter which is hugely sad because it’d be great to utilise as a weapon, and b) it was slower than an uncaffeinated snail working in a peanut butter factory. Which is to say I was bored and felt like napping. And confused? Yes. I was confused. It’s like The Selection meets the Wild West…which is a weird combination. Plus it’s a fantasy…but a very confusing fantasy, because I seriously didn’t understand the world.
It should’ve had a map. That would’ve solved a LOT of problems, sheesh.
A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE STORY
- Meet Adelaide, the Countess of a bankrupt estate. Her grandma is marrying her off to some duke dude with compulsive itching and a lot of money.
- Adelaide: “I REFUSE TO MARRY A MAN I HAVEN’T MET.”
- Adelaide: *runs away to enter a competition to marry a man she’s never met*
- YOU LOST ME THERE, BOB.
- So Adelaide dashes off to this “finishing school” that turns bedraggled girls into proper lades and then — WAIT FOR IT — sends them off to the “New World” to be sold to prospective rich husbands. I assume it was attempting a “dowry” vibe. But dude. They were sold.
- Adelaide accomplishes this with help of THE DASHING CEDRIC THORN. He probably helped her because she’s beautiful. Or maybe he likes her hair. I don’t know. But he keeps her secret and ergo is the love interest.
- I accidentally forgot to ship them because I didn’t care.
- Also because I was disappointed that NO ONE WAS THROWING GLITTER.
- OH. And Cedric is also into this cult religion.
- Luckily Adelaide isn’t put off by that. UNFORTUNATELY I AM. #disturbed
- Then it spins away from jewels and pretty gowns and Victorian tea parties to THE WILD WILD WEST. Gold mines and “savages” (except the “savages” are Scottish-ish with tartan kilts? But also American? So? Um yeah) and pioneer things.
- I AM OFFICIALLY BEFUDDLED.
Basically I was very bewildered. I felt like the book didn’t know what it was. Fantasy? Religious cult story? Wild west? A bookish version of the Bachelor?????? On top of that, it had many different countries and races and they all BLURRED together from the lack of world building.
Plus I just don’t understand why Adelaide did this. SHE BASICALLY RAN AWAY FROM MARRIAGE TO MARRIAGE. Wut.
The story is, also, 100% sexist. I mean, I kind of get it? It reads like a period drama, so historically — women are only thought of us as needing to be pretty and pleasing for their dude. Most of the dudes are dumb brutes. Etc. Etc. But it didn’t resolve any of that particularly? Adelaide never fought against it. So isn’t that condoning it?
“Mister Thorn has made it all sound very lovely,” she replied. “But I kind of feel like some trinket being bought and sold.”
“Women always feel that way,” I said.
It also didn’t feel very YA. With it mostly being about marriage and acting “proper”, it tooootally didn’t come across as YA to me. Adelaide acted like she was in her 20s. But that saying — period books aren’t my THING. So! Remember reviews are subjective!
For me, it didn’t work out. It was super slow and I’m not a period drama fan…plus Adelaide was one apple short of a pie with her logic. ERGO “LACK OF LOGIC”. But if you like forbidden romance and finishing schools and duchesses and pretty dresses — YOU MIGHT LIKE THIS! BEST OF LUCK TO YOU!
(Still sad about the missed opportunity for glitter bombs, also….)
(And seriously, I think the cover is pretty…but her eyes ARE SO INTENSE. I had to turn it over when I wasn’t reading because she was JUDGING ME.)
THANK YOU TO PENGUIN AUSTRALIA FOR THE REVIEW-COPY. The Glittering Court (#1) by Richelle Mead was published April, 2016.
To escape an arranged marriage, Adelaide, an Osfridian countess, must pose as a servant and join the Glittering Court—a school 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 managers 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 later, 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 . . .