Series: The Glittering Court #1
Genres: Fantasy, young adult
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble
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…
Revised Review 04/15/2016:
Well, I did not see that coming! I did finally finish reading this book and although the beginning was building up to what I thought was going to be very interesting it just really wasn’t. The book took a turn for the anticlimactic. That’s all it became for me. I did continue to enjoy the characters and the relationship between Cedric and Adelaide was nice but the witty dialoguing and humor I found in the first half just died away.
In an extreme effort to not throw out any spoilers I will just say that after reading the entire book I loved the first half and the second half was just ok. There was a good story but can I say anti-climatic again?! Also, some serious eye rolls on the situation Cedric’s optimism put them in and then really on all the secrets that everyone is keeping from us as a reader. I know that there should be cliffhangers but usually cliff hangers are supposed to give you details that make you want to, oh I don’t know hang off the freaking cliff. Not for me, this is a cliff that I am willingly rappelling down as fast as I can go.
Original Review Below:
True Rating is 3.5 stars
This review based on sneak peek sampler I received from NetGalley that includes the first 11 chapters. It is an honest review and the advanced receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
“Bad things are always going to happen,” my father had told me in his last year. “There’s no way to avoid that. Our control comes in how we face them.”
Trying to escape a poorly matched marriage arrangement and spurned on by an overwhelming desire for personal freedom, an Osfridian countess makes a daring choice. Stay and be smothered by her station in life or re-invent herself by joining the glittering court. In order to join, she must take on the identity of her lady-in-waiting and take her place in the glittering court under her contract as “Adelaide.” A business venture, the glittering court was set up for girls of low stations to be sent to a finishing school in a competition setting in order to become the a Lady. The girls who score better have the higher chances of a new life of riches and security. Once the competition is complete, the girls are then sent to the New World of Adoria where they will be sold to the highest bidder.
Set in a fantasy setting (similar to elizabethian/victorian England) complete with aristocracy, class systems, and religions, this book is entertaining. As a woman, the whole being sold to the highest bidder premise bothers me BUT with that said, I really did enjoy the main character. She is direct, witty, and determined. In order for her ruse to work she must keep up appearances; that she is a lowly lady-in-waiting. I believe “improvise” should be her middle name because she constantly has to do just that to keep her countess status secret. Helping her to keep that secret is Cedric, the son of the owner and he also aids in the procurement of girls for the court. He is charming, funny, and full of secrets. I really liked how he developed as a character and the relationship building between him and Adelaide is promising. In addition to Adelaide and Cedric there are great supporting characters that are well developed and a charming addition to the story.
I am waiting with baited breath to see where the story leads. I will finish my review at that time.