Title: The Glittering Court
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: The Glittering Court Trilogy
Date Started: October 18
Date Finished: October 21
Format: Hardcover from my own shelf
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…
When I saw Mead promoting this book on her Twitter I was a little curious. I love reading books that have to deal with regency and ladies of high birth masquerading and figuring out that their something more than their title, and I also love Mead’s writing. I added it to my reading list and my friend – who’s also a huge Mead fan – got to it before I did. She ended up not liking it all too much, and I was a little nervous. I gave it a go anyway and I can see what’s going on. The Glittering Court starts out with Adelaide – real name Lady Elizabeth – masquerading to get out of her old life and horrible marriage contract, but then quickly shifts to her life at this school to become a part of The Glittering Court. At the same time, she’s trying to get Cedric enough money to get away from his father’s business. Through all of this, of course, the two fall for each other even though the stakes are against them. On the other side there’s a lot of religious stuff thrown in that I really wanted to skim through, but it does have a lot to do with the overall plot to the novel.
Which leads to one of my few complaints: there were too many subplots going on in this novel. Between Adelaide’s story, you also had to deal with her helping out Cedric, trying to help her friends Tamsin and Mira, and figuring out these two different religious groups that differ from the norm. My head was spinning by the time I reached the Cape. Then when Adelaide started feeling things towards Cedric, I kind of wanted to throw my hands up in annoyance. I knew that something was going to happen between those two as soon as he showed up on the page. What’s the fun in a normal romance in YA, when you can have the one where the person is someone you can’t have? Save me.
Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. If it wasn’t for the religious things and the little Warren Doyle subplot this might have been a really good read. This is book one of a series, where supposedly the novels can be standalone, and as of not I have book 2 on my reading list, but we’ll see if I actually read it.
Bookshelf worthy? All that glitters is not gold.