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The Shattered Court: A Novel of the Four Arts Mass Market Paperback – April 28, 2015
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Praise for the Novels of the Half-Light City
“Had me hooked from the very first page.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Keri Arthur
“[A] fantastic tale of love, betrayal, hope, and sacrifice.”—National Bestselling Author Devon Monk
“This is one urban fantasy series that I will continue to come back to.…Fans of authors Christina Henry of the Madeline Black series and Keri Arthur of the Dark Angels series will love the Half-Light City series.”—Seeing Night Book Reviews
About the Author
M. J. Scott is an unrepentant bookworm. Luckily she grew up in a family that fed her a properly varied diet of books and these days is surrounded by people who are understanding of her story addiction. When not wrestling one of her own stories to the ground, she can generally be found reading someone else’s. Her other distractions include yarn, cat butlering, dark chocolate and fabric. She is the author of the Half-Light City novels: Shadow Kin, Blood Kin, and Iron Kin, and Fire Kin.She lives in Melbourne, Australia.
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Top Customer Reviews
The main characters (Sophie and Cameron) were a little one-dimensional, but never boring or disingenuous. Sophie in particular is a refreshing change from the current spate of damsels-in-distress. While she does actually rely on Cameron for rescue, she is also self-possessed and never succumbs to the trope fits of fainting or hysterics that so many authors rely on as female characters' response to conflict. And later in the book she proves herself capable and valuable not only for what she can do, but who she is. There are a few minor characters who were very interesting in their own right (their backstories and motivations are obscure without being vague) and I hope to see more of them in the rest of the series.
While the plot never takes any truly unexpected twists, it also didn't have an entirely predictable ending. And while the conclusion is clearly setting up the next book, it wasn't a cliffhanger that left me feeling unsatisfied. Altogether, The Shattered Court was a quick, entertaining read, and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Again, the book seems to set up some allegory about organized religion trying to control female power and sexuality, but it's not very effective. That doesn't mean that it's not an enjoyable book, just that it won't be wining any awards for social commentary.
Women are (magically) stronger than men, though some of their power is traditionally devoted to keeping their husbands healthy. This is mentioned but is not a major part of the story, mostly because Sofia is immune to the marriage binding. I'm not really sure what the author is trying to say about gender, but it doesn't strike me as particularly sexist. Sofia has an arranged marriage, but that alone doesn't make the book problematic. It bothers me that a book like Outlander can be wildly successful, despite being full of romanticized rape and abuse, and a book like this gets thrown under the bus for being sexist. It's a courtly romance: there are ballgowns, there are arranged marriages between people who are already in love (which is definitely not "historically accurate" or realistic.) Doesn't bother me.
On a sour note, the sex scenes are ridiculous. It's all mind blowing nonsense from the day the lovebirds meet. I understand that this is a fantasy and the sex is idealized, but it is over the top unrealistic. I would very much like to see authors acknowledge that sex can be awkward, painful, and scary for the inexperienced. That doesn't mean that you are not in love or that your relationship won't work. It just leaves room for growth and learning.
I read samples from many books before I chose this one. I chose it because it just works. The beginning doesn't bog you down with erroneous details and set-up-- the story on the whole is not that complicated, but it is well built and kept me engaged. I recommend reading the sample and then making a decision.
At the end, someone attempts to murder Sophia but she gets away. Story to be continued. It wasn’t a bad cliffhanger because some things were resolved. But a lot was started and not resolved. Two powerful characters could be Sophia’s enemies, we aren’t sure. The story is more about fantasy and magic than romance, but there is some romance and a happy ending regarding the romance.
Think Regency England in a Fantasy world. A lot of titles and court intrigue. Women are property to be married off. They wear corsets. Transportation is via horseback and portals. Fighting is done with swords, guns, and magic.
This is not YA due to the sex scenes.
I believe the plan is for two books in the series, not more.
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Story length: 313 pages. Swearing language: mild. Sexual language: moderate. Number of sex scenes: 4. Setting: unknown time in the past in the country called Anglion. Copyright: 2015. Genre: fantasy with a little romance.