(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Also by this author: Midnight Jewel
Published by Penguin Young Readers Group on April 5th 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
A dazzling, romantic fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds fromRichelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of "Vampire Academy." "Brilliant and original, Mead s new series starts off with a bang and will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very end." "School Library Journal" Big and sweeping, spanning 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 later, 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. . . ."
The Glittering Court is a book I have been looking forward to for a while. I have loved Richelle Mead’s stories since I cracked the cover of the first Vampire Academy book and once I read the summary of this book I knew I needed to have this in my hands.
The main character, the Countess of Rothford, is facing a future she isn’t completely on board with. While she has a title and pedigree, she and her grandmother don’t have the means to do anything other than seriously consider the first good offer she gets for marriage. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, that means considering her cousin who happens to be the exact opposite of everything she wants for herself. As their household is downsizing, Elizabeth meets Cedric Thorn, the son of the proprietor of the Glittering Court and immediately she decides what she needs to do and her life changes completely.
Elizabeth takes on the identity of her maid and going forward is Adelaide, a former ladies maid on her way to becoming an upper-class marriage in the new world. See, the Glittering Court trains young ladies on all of the areas of etiquette and high society to transform them into women fit for marriage to the wealthy in the New World.
As Adelaide embraces her new life, she becomes friends with two other girls. Tamsin is ambitious and motivated while Mira is quiet. All three of these characters have secrets but despite that, they build a friendship that allows them to be able to count on each other. There are definitely some bumps for them all along the way and their secrets definitely create issues but I loved how despite all of that, when they really needed help, they were able to count on each other.
Adelaide does her best to stay in the middle of the pack during her training. As a former lady, she definitely has knowledge and experience that will help her stand out but because she is trying to hide, she knows she can’t come out on top. That is, until she finds out something about Cedric that influences her to rethink what she needs to do. Since he helped her escape, she feels she owes him and the only way she knows of how to do that is to be the top ranked girl (the Diamond) and get him a big commission.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this story was the historical feel. It felt like a combination of Victorian and new frontier to me with the class structure and nobility and then add to that the voyage across the ocean to the New World along with the conflict with the native people for land and that is where my head went.
One of the things Mead always does well (in my opinion) is the swoony stuff. As Adelaide is planning to marry a wealthy man, what began as a friendship with Cedric, eventually becomes something more which is dangerous for both of them. When something happens that forces them to admit their feelings, the story shifts and puts them both in danger. Despite that, the way their relationship develops was great and I loved the way things progressed because…kissing and stuff is always good.
I absolutely didn’t get even close to talking about all the other pieces that tie this book together which means I didn’t give anything away. There are bad guys, great friends, adventure and action, and a story that will have you wondering what is going to happen next. Definitely consider checking this book out when you can. I can’t wait to add a finished copy of this to my library!
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!