A Review: The Glittering Court – Richelle Mead

The Glittering Court is a 2016 release by author Richelle Mead; most notable for the ‘Vampire Academy’ and ‘Bloodlines’ series. The novel is set way back when, the time isn’t specified but it rarely is in young adult fiction. The Glittering Court recruit ‘common’ ladies and take them to a finishing school of sorts to be polished up and taken to a land across the sea and sold for marriage. A young Countess takes the place of her handmaiden and stows away – antics and incidents ensue.

I can’t say that I hated this book, that would be a lie. In some parts, I found myself thoroughly enjoying myself, yet in others I was very close to just slapping a hand against my forehead in slight despair. The premise isn’t wholly gripping, if this book hadn’t arrived in my Fairyloot, I mostly likely would have never read it. The cover didn’t entice me either, I’ve never been a big fan of actual people on covers, it impacts the mental image I draw in my head (I can’t be the only one).
My overall feeling with this book is; well, I don’t have much of a feeling.
giphyThe characters themselves, my have have been my biggest attraction to this book, I’m a sucker for a strong female lead and I was given one, no argument. I enjoyed her attitude and her sharp tongue. She was lady, a Countess, but when it came down to the nitty gritty, she’d roll her sleeves up and delve right in. I admired that she wasn’t a tomboy, and also that she did struggle, with the lifestyle change, with her secrets, with the dirt under her nails. It made her human and infinitely more relatable. It was refreshing.
Her two female cohorts; Mira and Tamsin – were also strong, forward thinking women that did things for themselves. Yet, they were plot devices, meant to forward the main characters – Adelaide’s – story, rather than truly investing in them and exploring their backgrounds, of which I personally, would have every interest in reading.
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The main romance was predictable. It was obvious, inevitable and cliched, unfortunately. I liked them together, I just, again, wasn’t all that invested in them either.
This book has me conflicted because every character was just a side bit to further the story. And some of them were genuinely interesting to me, but 5 pages later they were gone. Which is a shame as the whole world was briefly mentioned, but once they mentioned it again, I found myself struggling to remember any of the geography. Any of the different races or countries.|

It tried to tackle too much; racism was a high topic; as Adelaide’s best friend Mira was of a different race and although this was mentioned and you were reminded of this frequently, it wasn’t truly explored. Another strong theme was the fear of other religions – the main male protagonist – Cedric – practiced a different, and illegal religion. This was, mostly explained, thankfully, and explored in more depth. I finally understood something wholly, as I was given more than just snippets.

Overall, I had no expectations heading in, therefore I couldn’t say I was entirely disappointed, I was definitely not entirely impressed either. It had promise, it just didn’t follow through. It left a lot of the plot with untethered endings, and that was incredibly frustrating. Hopefully, this book stroke a chord with something, and they had a wonderful time and completely enjoyed it.
If you’ve read The Glittering Court, please, let me know what you think!

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