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Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Shattered Court by M. J. Scott

I'm not a big fan of M. J. Scott's Half Light City series but she's completely won me over with THE SHATTERED COURT.  It's a compelling story and the start of what looks to be a truly engaging series. It's been a while since I've read a book that captured my attention as thoroughly as THE SHATTERED COURT has. The characters and mythology are so very interesting and Scott's done a marvellous job with them!

As always, mythology is a big thing for me and Scott has created a very strong setting for this series. Witches are an accepted part of the world, but their magic is highly constrained, at least in Anglion. It's a societal decision, though, restricting royal witches to "safe" magic, under strict oversight and magical bonds. And marriage, since the Crown marries royal witches off to nobles, depending on how strong their magic is. Outside of Anglion, witches are allowed to practice more than just earth magic, but these kingdoms are regarded as dangerous by Anglion leaders and citizenry. I love the subtext you can read into the story if you choose, much like the Hunger Games trilogy; you can, however, thoroughly enjoy the story without thinking about the real-word parallels. :)

The protagonist of THE SHATTERED COURT is Lady Sophia Kendall, thirty-second in line to the throne and handmaiden to the princess. She is a rather unassuming young woman in many ways - anxious about whether or not she'll come into her magic, and who'll she marry as a result. She's only a few days away from her birthday, the day when she'll discover if she has magic, but the usual ceremony gets cast aside when Anglion comes under attack. She is forced on the run, her only protection a member of the royal guard named Lieutenant Cameron Mackenzie. Sophia comes into her magic when she's on the run, which means she doesn't participate in the usual rites, and this is where it gets interesting. Sophia is outside of society's rules and has magic unlike other women in the kingdom. It doesn't make anyone happy, not even Sophia, who finds herself with questions and suspicions plaguing her. Religious and political leaders view her as a threat but she also finds herself with abilities denied other witches by the rituals they usually participate in. Sophia is forced to grow into her new role and her journey through this discovery, and through her new relationships with members of court, is what propels THE SHATTERED COURT forward. Her relationship with Cameron is particularly interesting because it's instantly intimate but also incredibly distant, but there are other relationships that need to be renegotiated after Sophia comes into her power that are just as compelling.

The book ends a bit abruptly to my mind, but it's not a cliffhanger. There is resolution for Sophia's journey but also set up for the next book in the series, leaving me with a mixture of satisfaction and anticipation.  Scott's writing makes reading THE SHATTERED COURT a dream and I think this is definitely the beginning of a wonderful new series. I'm already looking forward to the next phase of Sophia's journey.


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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2 People left their mark' :

  1. Jenn, I'm glad that you enjoyed this. I did as well. There was a lot of action and I felt that the romance was very good indeed, plus the next book is going to be very good indeed.

    Grace @ Books of Love

  2. I hope you're right, Grace! :)