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…
Anytime I see a comparison to The Selection in a blurb I usually run away, unless it’s written by Richelle Mead and then I torture myself and try to rid the feeling of having all my dreams crushed by starting my binge watch of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
So yeah, this book didn’t turn out to be good. It’s books like this that really get me fuming as a feminist.
And really make me wonder what publishers thing about their readers.
And this is by Richelle Mead who has created some fantastic lead female characters-I like both Rose and Sydney. I forgot the main character’s name from Soundless which I’m pretty sure is going to happen to Adelaide after I detox from this book.
I am really sad about Richelle Mead, I loved her Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series and I’ve read Succubus Blues and enjoyed it too, but I did not enjoy this much like I didn’t enjoy Soundless. It lacked the trademark Mead voice and instead was something dull and about four years too late in the genre and just bad.
I even think if this book was written four years ago it would’ve been terrible.
I think a lot of the problems are a result of the fact that Mead isn’t embracing her strengths and is more or less trying to recreate other really bad YA novels (cough, The Selection, cough). It was almost as if she had writer’s block and the the publishing company just gave her a loose outline of a book so that she could finish out her contract with or whatever.
Note, I doubt this is what actually happened, but this book lacked heart. It read like mindless other books trying to pimp itself to a female audience who likes pretty dresses and romance, and forgot substance.
Which is a shame.
I am a fan of a dress porn as much as anyone can, but I think anyone can see that dress porn and a cute romance* isn’t going to make a book for me. It needs good character development and a plot would be nice too.
The Glittering Court has neither.
First, the set up is a little fucked up. A girl runs away from an arranged marriage with a distant relative who while banal doesn’t seem horrible (as far as arranged marriages are concerned) for an arranged marriage to a complete stranger done by an organization that is basically a glorified brothel but without the sex because this isn’t adult fiction but young adult-but still sex is going to come in play after marriage, so it is a brothel sort of.
I mean, how fucking stupid is that? I could understand Adelaide using The Glittering Court as an excuse to get to the new land and then bailing on it, but she is totally down on the idea.
I’d like to say that the rest of the book is not near as stupid, but that wouldn’t make me an honest review.
It’s even dumber.
Need a drink?
I’m glad it’s Friday, let me tell you.
Well, it was Friday when I first started drafting it. By the time I finished and edited this review it was Sunday and I’m coming off of a stiff hangover because of this book.
I still can’t get over the fact that this book was by Richelle Mead.
It’s not just because the book is just so different in subject matter, but because the writing itself was just so bland. Even though I had problems with the later Vampire Diaries and to a lesser degree the last Bloodlines book (which was cheesy as hell, but entertaining like a bad Lifetime movie, there was still something interesting about them. They were interesting. There was action. For the dignity of Mead I won’t mention how boring Soundless was (okay, I sort of did). And sadly, The Glittering Court though was just boring and filled with dress porn-Soundless lacked dress porn.
Throughout the reading process, I tried to think objectively. Look at the book as though it was written by someone else and see if I thought it was better. After all, there are lots of books out there in the YA fantasy sphere that shared a similar premises-the aforementioned abomination, The Selection, The Jewel and countless others..
A premises like this is fatally flawed.
I really hate how one dimensional this book and other’s seem to think their intended audience is. I know I discussed the dress porn phenomena in my review of The Jewel but it still annoys me that publishers think this sort of thing can pass it’s audience.
Pretty dresses are nice and all, but teenage girls and women in general are not so entrapped by them that we can look past some pretty insulting things which was The Glittering Court.
Seriously, how the fuck is one ot make sense of this plot? Escape an arrange marriage by basically selling yourself into another worse situation.
It’s just asking your audience to be stupid.
Which is pretty insulting, Richelle Mead.
I’m hoping your publishers forced you to write this shit.
At this point, I don’t know if I’m going to read another Mead book unless the premises truly intrigues me. This has happened to me before with an I used to read all the time, and unfortunately, it looks like it has happened again.
Overall Rating: A DNF a little bit over the 200 page mark. More on the side of F than a subjective it wasn’t for me book.
*Note, I wasn’t a fan of the romance which I really didn’t talk a lot about in this review because I was entrapped with the publisher’s stupidity that I overlook a fatal plot fail because of pretty dresses.