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The Glittering Court Paperback – March 28, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-When the young Countess of Rothford is forced into an unwanted marriage with a despicable distant relative, she runs away and decides to leave the beautiful country of Osfrid behind in search of a new life. She follows a dashing student named Cedric to a place called the Glittering Court, where his family trains ordinary girls to act like nobility, ships them overseas to the New World, and profits from their marriage contracts to up-and-coming young men. It's there that she assumes the identity of her maid, Adelaide Bailey, and does her best to blend in with the other girls. But as she falls in love with Cedric and becomes tangled in a web of secrets and lies, she is cast out of the Glittering Court and forced into a radically different life working the land in search of the gold they desperately need to start a better life together. 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. VERDICT 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.-Candyce Pruitt-Goddard, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WAα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"Southern charm meets My Fair Lady [...] romantics will love this book."
—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."
From the Hardcover edition.
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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.
Cedric comes to Countess of Rothford, Elizabeth’s home to take a lady’s maid, Adelaide to his father’s finishing school, The Glittering Court. There she will be taught the finer things in life with the exception of making a good marriage match in Adoria- a new frontier. Ade doesn’t go, Adelaide does or more specifically Lizzie pretending to be Adelaide.
At the Glittering Court there are many girls, Adelaide tries her best not to stand out. Then she discovers why Cedric needs the commission from her marriage. This prompts her to take all of the tests over again to score the highest scores for the awaiting gentlemen. Their plan was flawless except they didn’t count on falling in love.
Adelaide is a strong-willed opinionated young lady. Instead of embracing a planned future with a cold husband and a controlling mother in law she embraces the unknown. While the Glittering Court did not teach her anything she didn’t already know it did show the reader her character. She fights for the underdog, stands up for what she believes in and hates bullies. Her time in Adoria shows us that she follows her heart. Overall, she is a character the reader can cheer for.
Cedric, the main love interest is charming. He accepts Adelaide for who she is, helps her to escape who she was, and loves her for who she could be. He is a risk taker- one who’s is a helpless romantic. He is open-minded and defends Adelaide with all his might.
The Glittering Court is an entertaining love story. Not exactly what I was expecting yet still held my interest. I did end up more absorbed in Mira’s story than Adalaide’s. I am looking forward to the next two in the series.