The Glittering Court written by Richelle Mead
Published by: Razorbill on April 5, 2016
Review Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Romance
Plot: Being a countess should rock. Nice clothes, pimp house, servants attending to your every whim. Sounds sweet, huh? Unless your parents are dead, your estate is bankrupt, and your grandmother wants you to marry an unattractive distant cousin with bad skin. The solution? Flee to a new country via a mail order bride company called The Glittering Court.
Review: I want to start out by saying that respect Richelle Mead as an author. She has a knack for building a massive fan base and her writing style is extremely palatable. However, I was personally skeptical about The Glittering Court. Truth be told, Vampire Academy wasn’t a series I clicked with, and the movies made me cringe. It just never did it for me, and while I respect her craft, she hasn’t been an author that I follow… Until now.
For me, The Glittering Court wasn’t one of those books with groundbreaking characters or plots riddled with soul searching. This was a guilty pleasure read through and through. Rather, it’s a light romance with and abundance of swoon-worthy moments that will elicit the occasional cry of “ooohhh, girrrrl”. Mead manages to give readers enough sexual tension to get the heart racing, but keeps it mild enough to merit a YA label. Sure, some might cringe at the idea of impoverished girls being lured away from a life of servitude only to be primped and pimped, but Adelaide and Cedric’s story adds enough sincerity to counter any creepiness. I also really liked that Mead weaves in enough drama and suspense to keep the romance from overwhelming everything else. Ultimately, I found it wildly entertaining, but I do feel that you need to be aware of a few things before picking it up.
First, it’s genre listings are slightly off in relation to the actual content of the book. It’s tagged as a “Fantasy”, but in all actuality it reads more like a historical romance. If you are looking for mystical beings or magic, you won’t find any of that here, and the only real “fantasy” rests in the names she uses for world building. The easiest way I can explain this is that it feels like Osfrid (where Adelaide comes form) is loosely based on English high society. Adoria (where she flees to) sounds like Mead took the colonization and western expansion of the United States and popped it on the East Coast. That’s about as fantastical as it gets. Fans of her previous works might feel a pang of regret about her sharp deviation from her works before, but I liked it, and feel it might bring in a lot of new readers for her.
The other thing to be aware of is that Mead skirts answering a few questions about the girls. Some might be annoyed by this (I know I was), but I have a sneaking suspicion that subsequent books will be less about continuing Adelaide and Cedric saga, and more about characters such as Mira and Tamrin. Regardless, I’ll probably read them all. Bring on the swoons!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Who Should Snag It: Anyone who loves steamy, Elizabethan romance or Mead’s previous works should add this to their TBR stack.
*I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*