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Monday, April 18, 2016

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

When I think about Richelle Mead, I think about her Vampire Academy series. The Glittering Court couldn't be more different than her breakout series but these new characters and new settings are as colourful and imaginative. Richelle Mead is really on to something with this series because I was hooked right from the beginning, despite a few lulls here and there.

In a parallel universe that is very similar to ours, the setting is a Victorian-like era that could almost be Britain trying to colonize the New World with its hopeful emigrants. We are introduced to the protagonist that we come to know as Adelaide as she is being pawned off in marriage to some distant cousin of hers. As the Countess of Rutherford, her heritage means a lot but with very little money left in her name, her grandmother is desperate to have her married to someone wealthy and as soon as possible. The Countess is very unhappy with the match so she becomes determined to write her own destiny. She steals her maid's identity and signs up to be a part of the Glittering Court, where impoverished girls are schooled for a year on how to become noble ladies. Their destination is in the New World, where they can hopefully marry a man who has made his fortune in this New World, and hopefully become a part of the new nobility.

Obviously Adelaide doesn't need to be schooled, but she plays the innocent and "learns" as the others do. Her goal was to simply go through her education and not raise any suspicions about her past, but circumstances change and she's crowned the top girl, the diamond of her class. She's not sure what her future holds, but for her, creating her own destiny is better than any rushed wedding to a man she can help but loathe. In the Glittering Court, she makes two new friends whom she doesn't trust entirely with her secret but would trust with everything else. The only person who knows her secret is Cedric, one of her guardians whom will get a commission from her bride price when she marries in the New World. They form a strong bond, especially when Adelaide learns his damaging and dark secret.

Richelle Mead was able to weave religion, politics and romance in this well rounded book. It has everything a historical romance might have, including a scandalous lady and a strong untitled hero. Together, Adelaide and Cedric embark on an adventure with very little money in their name but are determined to do anything for love. The Glittering Court is the complete opposite of her vampire novels, so readers expecting fantasy and magic will be disappointed. There are absolutely no supernatural elements in this book but since historical romances are one of my guilty pleasures, I was pleasantly surprised with this new series. It thought it was very well written, had great characters with noble values and dreams and I thought was daring when it came to religious freedoms. I just wish the author would have expanded a little bit more on the feminist front and given the girls a stronger voice when it came to making their own choices. However, I think Adelaide's friends, Mira and Tasmin, will expand on that theme in future books, especially with Mira's secrets and Tasmin's strong will. Mead has given Adelaide a great conclusion but has set up Mira and Tasmin's stories wonderfully.

stephsig moon

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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1 Person left their mark:

  1. Oh, this sounds really exciting! I was iffy to read more Richelle Mead books after not enjoying the spin-off to the Vampire Academy series, which is the series that I really enjoyed from her. But now, I think this one is worth the chance. Thanks for the review!

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