Title: The Glittering Court
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: The Glittering Court #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Razorbill-Penguin Teen
Pub Date: April 5, 2016
My Copy: Hardcover that I have in my collection.
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… (less)
I totally found myself loving this story and book so very much. This book was a treasure trove of delights that only Richelle Mead could bring us. What I like about this book is that sometimes one has to let go of the lives they knew to embrace something completely new.
What was interesting is that we have a countess who has a title, but no money, so that leaves, Elizabeth our Countess in quite the bind. Her grandmother offers her a solution. She will marry one of her cousins who quite frankly doesn’t do anything to her, except inspire dread. We get a lot of history about their lineage, etc. This history is important to understand because later on things happen in the book that will make reference to this.
I kind of found it sad that she would be letting go a lot of her own household staff. While doing it she meets a man who will change her life, Cedric Thorn. Cedric Thorn is the son of Jasper. Jasper procures young women who come from very unfortunate circumstances, and they educate them in all manners of subjects from history, etiquette, and other things as well. So that they can make good matches and catch husbands. It’s in some ways a business arrangement as well. These women are in some ways are almost like prostitutes some would say, but they really are not. They are made to be a good companion for their husbands. Their husbands pay a very high fee for the woman of the Glittering Court.
So of course Elizabeth takes Adelaide aside and sends Adelaide to another place and she takes Adelaide’s place at the Glittering Court. Things get very interesting. She meets other young women who come from very different backgrounds than her. Elizabeth now Adelaide makes two friends, Tasmin and Mira who become very important to her. During the training, which I found interesting, but at times could be a little tedious was interesting to see.
Things get more interesting as she meets many young potential men when Jasper decides to go to Adoria and during the very bad ship voyage, he loses one vessel which contained half his girls and because of an argument between Adelaide (Elizabeth) and Tasmin, Tasmin was on the other both that got demolished by the sea, and we all think things happen to these women. Needless to say, while in Adoria, the New World, someone recognizes her and tries to blackmail her into getting married to her son. This is where things go horribly wrong for Adelaide and Cedric. Cedric and Adelaide become very close, maybe even closer than they should. Of course something happens one night that shatters everything for the two of them. The guy, Warren Doyle and his mother are furious and think the Glittering Court is nothing more than a sham. So Cedric and Adelaide are banished to what is considered a wasteland looking for gold, so that they can pay back Warren for what he considers an embarrassment.
When they are in the wilderness, we learn that there are some native tribes and that Cedric and Adelaide/Elizabeth have very different beliefs in their religion. Not to mention they have to do some very hard labor. Things happen that no one can expect. Warren is out for revenge as he feels that Adelaide/Elizabeth should have been his. After several very weird accidents things happen so fast in this book, it’s like I didn’t see that coming. Oh man, that was certainly not what I thought would happen. I totally enjoyed the surprises that happen. Plus the fact that Adelaide/Elizabeth and Cedric got married in secret really was well done. We also learn that Warren has done some really nefarious things.
The twists were done in a way that only Richelle Mead could have done. The ending was totally unexpected, but a good ending overall which lead to some questions. I can’t wait to see which Glittering Court girl is next to get her story. A solid beginning for what looks like a great series.