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… (via Goodreads)
You’ll remember from when I reviewed Soundless a few weeks ago that Richelle Mead’s books either hit it big with me or they’re very meh, which Soundless was. Mead’s latest novel, The Glittering Court, came out to some mixed reviews, so I was worried that it might be disappointing.
Fortunately, it gave me exactly what I wanted from it – a fluffy romance, girls getting ready for a great new adventure and fabulous female friendship. I absolutely loved The Glittering Court, even if it was a little predictable.
You could tell where things were going to end up throughout the story, but I was absolutely okay with it. I’ll admit that it was a little bit of a slow starter, but once you get about a third of the way into it, it really picks up and starts to become great.
I loved the world building that went into Osfrid, a British Empire copycat, and Adoria, a Colonial America copycat land. I loved the intrigue that went into the religious mess that’s going on in both countries. I love the possibilities there are for the next book. I love that most of the girls in the Glittering Court broke basically every rule that there was for them, even though they all needed to be there for their own reasons
I loved the different characters that we got to know, though I really want to know more about Mira and Tamsin. I really want to know more about Mira – she’s very mysterious but any woman that can work a crossbow that well has captured my heart. As for Tamsin, I absolutely cannot wait to see what changes await her. That girl can do anything she sets her mind to. Their friendships with each other just made me happy, and I can’t wait to see where they go next.
I won’t spoil anything, but the pure joy that you see Elizabeth/Adelaide express when someone returns just made my heart smile. Pure emotions like that aren’t something you usually get to read about with female friendships, but they’re just so important.
I will note that there is an attempted sexual assault in this novel, by a truly scummy character who disguises himself better than I expected. I also really don’t love the cover – if you’re gonna have the main character talk about how her hair is golden brown, not brown, you should have that on the cover. That’s really just a quibble, though.
I really just can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed this book. I cannot wait for the next one to come out, whenever Mead finishes it! Needless to say, I rated this one five stars and I will definitely be buying it as soon as I have disposable income again!