The Glittering Court
By: Richelle Mead
Published: April 5, 2016 by Razorbill
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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…
Let me just preface this by saying I’m a HUGE Richelle Mead fan; I absolutely love her Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series. However, this book just wasn’t her best.
The entire premise of the book was a bit ridiculous: a group of girls are groomed to act like noblewomen and then sent to the new world to be sold to as wives to wealthy men.
Instead of a typical trilogy, Mead is releasing 3 companion books, each with a focus on one girl. This instalment was about a countess, Adelaide, who chose to be part of the “Glittering Court” and be sold to a man in order to escape an arranged marriage. Yeah… that did not seem incredibly logical to me, either. She wanted to escape a marriage to someone she didn’t like at home, by traveling across the ocean in order to be sold as chattle to stranger thousands of miles from home? Okay.
Throughout the book we get hints of what the other 2 main girls, Mira and Tamsin, are doing. To be honest, their mysterious goings on appeared to be much more exciting than Adelaide’s. I understand that Mead left plot holes in order to intrigue the reader as to what Mira and Tamsin were doing while Adelaide was dealing with her boy-issues, but the result was very frustrating. I couldn’t help but feel that what they were doing was so much more exciting than the main plot.
I think this book might have been more successful if Mead had chosen to interweave the three narratives instead of separating them into three separate books. Then again, despite not loving the book, she did pique my interest about Mira’s and Tamsin’s stories. So, maybe her approach wasn’t wholly a mistake.