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The Glittering Court Hardcover – April 5, 2016
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From School Library Journal
—School Library Connection, starred review
"With a full cast of bold and original characters, Mead does a superb job of building a world that teens will be excited to enter into and disappointed to leave. The plot is intricately woven, and the ending promises future installments from other characters’ points of view. Brilliant and original, Mead’s new series starts off with a bang and will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very end."
—School Library Journal
"The emphasis on romance, dresses, and intrigue will appeal to fans of Kiera Cass."
—Voice of Youth Advocates
“In a refreshing change to the romance formula...there is a strong feminist element in Adelaide’s narration, and more than meets the eye in terms of plot, character development, and substantive thought."
"An enjoyable fish-out-of-water tale that plays gritty frontier adventure against the finery of the Glittering Court."
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Lexile measure : HL750L
- Item Weight : 1.4 pounds
- Hardcover : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1595148418
- ISBN-13 : 978-1595148414
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 1.25 x 9.31 inches
- Publisher : Razorbill; 1st edition (April 5, 2016)
- Reading level : 12 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #519,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Okay, so I’ll be honest, from the books description, I wasn’t sure I was going to like The Glittering Court. All of the comparisons to The Selection had me weary, because I really didn’t like that book very much. The early reviews weren’t looking all that good either. (But really, they were mostly complaining that this is labeled a fantasy, when it’s really not. It’s a fantasy world, but contains no fantasy elements like magic or dragons.) But you know what? I took a leap and preordered. On April 5, release day, I dove right in and ended up staying up until two am the night of April 7th finishing. #WorthIt
THIS BOOK IS AMAZING! Never again will I ever doubt Richelle Mead’s storytelling abilities. I will read anything and everything she writes.
If the TV shows 'Reign' and 'When Calls The Heart' had a baby, it would be 'The Glittering Court'.
When the young Countess of Rothford is forced into an engagement with her “itchy” cousin, she panics. Taking a risky leap, she assumes the identity of her maid, Adelaide, and takes her place in The Glittering Court. The Glittering Court is basically a finishing school for young women of the lower castes. For a year they are trained to behave like noble women, and eventually are to be sent overseas to Adoria to wed the wealthy men who have made their fortunes in the new world.
The first half of the book takes place in the finishing school of The Glittering Court. Adelaide makes friends with her roommates, Tamsin and Mira, and ends up with an enemy in mean girl Clara. You’d think this school would be easy for her, considering she already excels at everything they’re teaching. However, in order to keep her true identity a secret, she has to purposely fail to avoid attention, which is sometimes easier said than done.
Along the way, the only person who knows her true identity is Cedric, the son of the man who co-owns The Glittering Court. Their relationship is tenuous at first, if she is caught they’ll both be in trouble. Big trouble. But along the way they become friends as well as partners in crime. Adelaide and Cedric partake in some not so legal activities, but as a reader I couldn’t help rooting for them, hoping they’d pull it off!
The second half of the book takes place in Adoria, the new world. Think of it as the wild frontier of America. Everything is new and dusty, men are staking their claim of land in search of gold, and taming the wild frontier.
As much as I love everything about the nobility, it was the second half of the book that won me over. Seeing Adelaide so out of her element in Adoria was great. And Cedric, poor pampered Cedric, such a good sport with where life leads him!
“Don’t you know that I’d lie with you in groves, under the light of the moon? That I’d defy the laws of gods and men for you?”
The romance was the best part of this book. It’s obvious from the beginning that Adelaide and Cedric are meant to be. I spent the whole book with my fingers crossed, hoping they could find a way to be together.
And the ending! Oh my, the ending! I can’t say much, except it opens the doors for the next books in this series, which I’ve heard will follow the same time line, but in the POV of Adelaide’s friends, Mira and Tamsin.
“You need to stop this. Stop . . . Um, being a heretic.”
“It’s not something I can just stop being. It’s part of me.”
“They could kill you if you’re caught!”
Richelle also explores many themes in the book, weaving them seamlessly into a beautiful story I couldn’t put down. There’s the yearning for true love, and changing your fate to make your own destiny; religious persecution; friendship and betrayal; etc.
Something that is very common in books these days, especially YA, is to end on a cliffhanger and keep the audience waiting for the next book. This book could have ended any number of times, but it didn’t. Richelle Mead chose to keep the story going until the actual end of Adelaide’s adventure. Having that true ending helped (a bit) with my P.B.D. (Post Book Depression) upon finishing.
This book is 100% worth the read. So much so that even though I already purchased the Kindle edition, I’m going to be buying the hardback as well to have Richelle sign when she’s in town next month.
THE GLITTERING COURT by Richelle Mead is the first book in a YA fantasy series. It has mild language and makes mention of sexual situations. It may be appropriate for anyone 13+.
As a part of nobility, Elizabeth hates her life. Everything is decided for her including her upcoming nuptials. When an opportunity presents itself, she impersonates Adelaide, one of her maid servants. She is whisked off to The Glittering Court where she will learn to be a noble woman in order to marry a wealthy man of her choosing. Now she must continue the façade of a servant to avoid returning to her prior life. As Adelaide, she makes friends, falls in love and attempts to make a life in a new world.
I am a big fan of Richelle Mead. Her Vampire Academy series is one of the best I have read. I did not feel the same affection for this book. The story seemed to be all over the place. The book’s title and cover were misleading in that the Glittering Court was only a portion of the book. It was actually just a means to end. The people she meets remain with her throughout the book but the Court is not the focus. I think that was a miss by Mead. The best parts of the book took place before and during Adelaide’s time at the Court and while meeting her suitors. I would have liked that to be the true story instead of departing to other lands and other plotlines.
I give this book 2 stars. I do not intend to continue the series, which is a shame. I think Mead is a gifted writer and I had hoped to fall in love with this book.
The Glittering Court follows Adelaide as she flees from a life of entrapment and undesirable marriages and follows a more interesting prospect into a foreign land. She poses as a lady's "help" and, thanks to her beauty, is accepted into the Glittering Court to become one of the jewels. She has to hide her knowledge and pretend to be a common girl with no true lady-like skills in order to blend in, but slips up--especially when it comes to falling for the enigmatic, exitable, and kind-hearted Cedric, who's supposed to be helping to upsell her to the highest bidder.
I'm not really a fan of the "glitz, glamor, pretty dresses" type of story, though it can be done well and I'm always down for a fresh perspective. I like how Mead tackled this one--it's definitely about dresses and finery, but more important, it's about Adelaide's journey from a somewhat pampered young woman to abject poverty to finding her way along with her love. I was pleasantly surprised by her "wild west" journey in the latter half, and it actually blended in very well due to Adelaide's curious and stubborn nature.
One thing that I couldn't quite get over, despite understanding the premise, is that for being her close friends, Adelaide doesn't do much with Tamsin or Mira. I know their stories come in later books, from their perspectives, and the mysteries are left open and I AM deathly curious, enough that I'm buying the next novel as soon as I can. I think the friendships could have been explored a little better. In VA, Richelle Mead explored the friendship between Rose and Lissa in the first book incredibly well. Bloodlines, she kind of dropped the ball as the series went on, but Sydney's friendships still had a solid outline. So missing out on more friendship moments is the only reason I couldn't completely be enthralled like I typically am with her work.
It sure as hell won't stop me from buying the next book, though!
Top reviews from other countries
It started as a Selection type book but all the girls would end up married and they were just competing to be the top girl and hoping the main character doesn't get found out blah blah. And you're having fun because you're like "it's just building" and a cute little forbidden romance builds (Cedric forever).
Then they're finally on the boat and mc falls out with best friend and you're wondering why they were even friends anyway. Once the bidding starts it's all quite interesting and you know that mc and Cedric want to be together but Cedric then you remember Cedric is a heretic going on about his beliefs all the time and that he can die any minute.
Then the Selection part ends and what do we get? Gold panning. I kid you not. Cedric rides for a total of 8 hours a day to pick mc up to gold pan together in a river and then drop her off to live with some children. What is happening? And because MC has been pretending to be someone called Adelaide, you're 300 pages in and you actually have no idea what her real name is, and you're not sure Cedric knows either even though he knows she's not Adelaide...
So basically this book swaps genres and themes about 10 times. It starts off with Selection-like features, then we get a western, frontier type section, then we get a freedom of religion storyline, and finally a "Native American-like culture take back their land".
The next books are the same story told from the point of view of boring old Mira and annoying Tamsin. Definitely will not be reading those for lack of appeal and lack of Cedric, the reason to read this book.
Such a great book, so glad I pre-ordered it!