A while ago (sorry, guys, I’m a procrastinator), I finished Richelle Mead’s newest novel, The Glittering Court, and it was awesome! In case you don’t already know, Mead is one of my all-time favorite authors. And if you do already know, you’re probably like “my gosh, D, shut up about Richelle Mead already” 😀 Sorry, friends, no can do! She consistently creates riveting worlds and characters and TGC was no exception. (And have you ever been to one of her book signings? She’s hilarious and witty without even trying.)
TGC is technically the first in a trilogy, but actually reads as a stand-alone novel. What? How does that even work??? Have I peaked your interest? Then read on 🙂
YA Fiction = adventure, romance, and intrigue… I’m also just now realizing (literally as I’m typing this) that TGC didn’t have any magic or overly-fantastical elements in it. And I’m honestly shocked that I liked a book sans-magic this much. Look guys, I’m growing and broadening my horizons! 😀 Yay, me!
Anyone who enjoys YA! And by now we are most likely well aware that the age range of YA fans is broad. It’s just so darn good!
Adelaide, an Osfridian countess of noble blood, feels trapped in her life, full of high expectations and arranged marriages. When fate seemingly intervenes, she makes the risky and haphazard decision to impersonate her maidservant and join the Glittering Court – an enterprise geared towards rigorously training young women of common and working-class upbringing in the ways of the upper-class so that they may secure marriage contracts with wealthy settlers in Adoria, the New World. With the help of Cedric Thorn, the son of the Court’s proprietor, Adelaide attempts to keep her identity a secret, navigate the unanticipated challenges of the Glittering Court, and even make a few friends. What she didn’t expect was her complicated relationship with Cedric, who has some dangerous secrets of his own. As their journey takes them from the Glittering Court’s posh accommodations to a new land and life in Adoria, Adelaide and Cedric must try their best to aid one another in accomplishing their goals without revealing either of their secrets.
Richelle Mead has created an intriguing new universe akin to our own history of New World colonialism. Readers are introduced to Osfrid, Adoria, and, of course, the Glittering Court – which is basically a finishing/boarding school for girls. We see vastly different settings as we follow the characters through their new lives; from cobblestones and ancient architecture to close quarters on the raging sea to dirt roads and harsh landscapes. Mead definitely knows how to keep things interesting 😉
Mead gives us a range of dynamic characters – intelligent, charming, resourceful, witty, spunky, mischievous, adventurous, conniving, spiteful, the list goes on. And one thing becomes evident very quickly: everyone has secrets. (Dun-dun-DUUUUN!)
Also, can I just say, “Cedric Thorn”? How COOL a name is that???
What I Liked
I loved the story development! This was well put-together with intricately crafted puzzle pieces. As I mentioned above, this is the first release of a trilogy, but reads as a stand alone novel; which means – what, at first glance, seem like plot holes and vague or incomplete allusions are actually hints at the future story lines of the next two books. It was a great setup and I had a lot of fun trying to guess who’s in whose plot line 😛
I liked the smooth transitions between settings and the subtle shift in atmospheres that Mead is so good excellent at creating. The small time lapses were on point and kept the story going at a good pace.
I also enjoyed the relationships – both romantic and platonic.
What I Liked a Little Less
I wasn’t as into this story’s romantic relationship as much as I was/am with Mead’s other books (Team Dimitri + Team Adrian FOREVER…and ever and ever and ever), but that’s an unfair comparison. We only see this romance blossom in one book as opposed to the six books each in VA and Bloodlines, so they’re widely different…But I had to say it anyway.
Overall, I’d give The Glittering Court 4/5 stars! I’m looking forward to the next two books 🙂
P.S. My spoilery review of TGC will be coming soon!