Published by Penguin Young Readers Group on April 5th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Love & Romance, Fantasy & Magic, Social Themes, Friendship
Reading Challenges: 2016 Dystopia Reading Challenge
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
The Selection meets Reign in this dazzling trilogy of interwoven novels about three girls on a quest for freedom and true love from #1 internationally bestselling author Richelle Mead.
For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they've only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea.
After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself--even though she's falling in love with him.
Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide's ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn't leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else's property. But nothing is as daunting--or as wonderful--as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths.
“Bad things are always going to happen,” my father had told me in his last year. “There’s no way to avoid that. Our control comes in how we face them. Do we let them crush us, making us despondent? Do we face them unflinchingly and endure the pain? Do we outsmart them?”
I’ve been a Richelle Mead fan since Vampire Academy, so of course I was excited for her new series, The Glittering Court. While I did enjoy the book, it didn’t wow me as much as I hoped it would. The story is about Adelaide, who leaves a life of luxury in order to escape an arranged marriage, and travels to the New World as a “mail order” bride. The Glittering Court is a company that provides well-trained wives for wealthy businessman. Men who have the means to marry a high-born lady, but their nouveau riche status keep them from doing so. For a young heiress looking to have control over her life, joining The Glittering Court seems like the perfect plan.
It took me a while to warm up to Adelaide and her friend Tasmin. I found Adelaide a bit annoying, and thought Tasmin was mean. Considering the fact that Adelaide is the main character, my dislike of her made it difficult for me to really get into the story. However, once the story got underway, I began to like Adelaide more and more, and the pacing seemed to move at a steadier pace. While I wasn’t initially head-over-heels for Adelaide, I loved Cedric. Cedric’s family owns and runs The Glittering Court, and he’s getting the opportunity to procure girls for the “season” for the first time. Cedric seemed charming, considerate, and a good catch so I enjoyed every scene he was in.
This new dangerous world Adelaide finds herself in captivated me, and I can’t wait to see how it progresses as the series continues. Like most dystopian novels, there’s a huge rift between the “haves” and “have-nots.” That’s what makes The Glittering Court such an appealing option for working-class women looking to move up in society. The plot reminded me of a a story set in the colonial period, with its descriptions of the New World, emerging government, and problems with the natives. I cold totally see where Mead must have looked to actual history to help create her world.
While I would recommend this book to fans of The Selection, I do maintain that this isn’t the “must-have” book I thought it would be. While entertaining, and probably a good beginning of a new series, The Glittering Court just doesn’t compare to many of the other hot, new titles of 2016. Instead, I would say this is the book to get when you’ve read everything else on your TBR, and want to begin a new series. If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have waited until the series was finished before starting this.