Thursday, April 7, 2016

Review - The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead @RichelleMead @RazorbillBooks @FirstToRead

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Penguin Group - Razorbill
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Date Read: April 3, 2016

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23014597-what-doesn-t-kill-her

My Review

This was fantasy?  I would hardly call this fantasy.  The books does take place in an imaginary place but that is as far as the fantasy goes.  I really thought that it read more like a historical romance than anything else.  Except it wasn't as good as most historical romances that I have read.  I found this one really pretty easy to put down.  I thought it was an okay story in the end but that is really about it.  My three star rating is really pretty generous.

This book really seemed to have its roots in historical romance.  Adelaide, as she is called for most of the story, is a countess.  She is being pushed into an arranged marriage for financial reasons.  (Hmm...I think I have read that one before).  She poses as her servant to escape the marriage and to join the Glittering Court.  The Glittering Court trains women to act more like upper class ladies so they can be sold enter an advantageous marriage.  There is talk of pretty dresses, balls, chaperones, and dances.

I pretty much guessed how things would work out for Adelaide early in the book.  I didn't figure out exactly how things would happen but there wasn't really any huge surprises in the story either.  I liked Adelaide well enough but I really didn't feel much of a connection to her either.  She didn't make a lot of sense to me in a lot of ways.  She fled an arranged marriage....to join a group that would help her enter a marriage with a wealthy man.  Wait, isn't that why she fled in the first place? 

I did have a lot of hope at the beginning of the book.  I liked that she didn't just do as everyone told her and she seemed somewhat smart about remaining undetected until she decided not to.  The boat ride to then new world was pretty exciting and I was looking forward to more action once the group made it to the new world but I was disappointed for the most part.  I liked the book a lot better during the parts when she was away from the city and proper society. 

I do think that this book will appeal to a lot of people.  I think that my teenage daughter will probably love it.  I just couldn't make myself care all that much about anything going on in this story.  I did think it had a lot of potential but it fell flat for me.  I am really undecided about whether I will read future installments in this series.  Time will tell.
 
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Penguin Group - Razorbill via Penguin First to Read for the purpose of providing an honest review.
About the Author
Malcolm Smith Photography

RICHELLE MEAD is the #1 New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Vampire Academy series and its spin-off series, Bloodlines. Originally from Michigan, she now lives in Seattle, Washington.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

30 comments:

  1. my thoughts resonate with yours, I do wonder why go all the trouble, unless the guy is a serial killer?

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    1. I would have love to see her leave for a completely different fate. No serial killers in this one. :)

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  2. Oh boo. I was totally interested in this but doesn't sound like it would be for me. Great review!

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    1. I do think that a lot of people will love this book. It just wasn't the kind of story that will be better than okay for me.

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  3. Bummer. Hearing some good things about this one. Though everyone has mentioned the lack of fantasy in this supposed fantasy read. I find that disheartening. I guess a new world/country is enough to be categorized as fantasy. But despite all that, I will still give it a try. I love Mead's previous fantasy and paranormal reads, so it's a given that I gotta read at least book 1! Nice honest review!

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    1. I haven't read a lot of this author. I enjoyed Soundless which a lot of people didn't care for but haven't read any of her other work. You should definitely try this one.

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  4. A bit disappointing. This one wasn't on my must read list, but I am curious about it. Not so much anymore. I think I would have liked more fantasy.

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    1. More fantasy would have been a big plus for me. You may enjoy it though.

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  5. I was looking forward to this one, but since the reviews have been pouring in, my interest is waning. I'll probably have to grab it from the library one day, because I just can't see myself spending money on it. Great review!

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    1. Some people are loving this one but I think it would be one I would try to read from the library if possible.

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  6. Reads more like historical romance? I do love that genre but from the blurb I assumed it was fantasy. That wouldn't have bothered me too much except you say it wasn't a very good historical romance either. And even though it seemed like an interesting plot, you said you had it figured out early on. Not so sure I still want to pick this up. Sorry you didn't enjoy it as much. Thanks for your honest review though :)

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    1. I kept being reminded of historical romance throughout the book. The setting could have easily been changed to England with the new world being in America without changing much at all.

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  7. Yeah this definitely sounds more like historical romance (and not one that would appeal to me) than fantasy. That's too bad as I love the concept in the blurb. I think I'll pass on it. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I like historical romance but with a little more heat and less of a focus on pretty dresses.

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  8. I don't think this one was ever billed as fantasy! It's set in a made-up world, but there are no fantastical or paranormal elements. I looked at it as historical/fantasy, some kind of hybrid that is really unique. It sucks that so many readers like you went into this one hoping for fae or something and were disappointed - but I don't recall the publisher ever specifically billing this one as fantasy.

    In any case, I adored this book! I love that it is a standalone and the next two books are companion novels - much easier on my heart (I hate waiting, and cliffhangers, and all of that nonsense! lol).

    Anyway, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this book more, Carole! Great review. :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. According to the early descriptions this was being billed as fantasy. On NetGalley and Edelweiss the description of this books starts with the following quote:

      A dazzling, romantic new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.

      I wasn't looking for any particular kind of fantasy or anything and wasn't disappointed because there wasn't any fae in the book. It just didn't feel like the fantasy that I had seen in the description.

      I am so happy that you loved this book, Alyssa! As I said in my review, I do think that it will appeal to a lot of readers. I thought it was okay. A three star rating is still a good rating for me. I am pretty sure that I am not the target audience for this one.

      Thanks, Alyssa!

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  9. It is always a disappointment when a story falls flat!!! That is the worst feeling while reading.

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    1. I wish that I had been pulled into a story a little more. I could set this one aside at any point.

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  10. I've heard so many mixed reviews about this one... It seems most people either love it or hate it... Glad to see you didn't hate it but I hope your next one's better!!

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    1. It was really okay for me. There were parts that were better than others but in the end it is not a book that will stay with me.

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  11. I noticed reviews aren't so good since this book came out, but I still can't wait to read it and I hope I will like it.

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    1. I hope that you love it when you get a chance to read it. I really do think it will appeal to a lot of readers.

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  12. I've heard some not-so-good things about all of Richelle Mead's non-Vampire Academy books. I'm still going to give these a try, but maybe expecting the worst will make them a little better? Thanks for sharing your review!

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    1. I really liked Soundless and I still need to read all of her other books. I am not giving up yet! I hope you have better luck with this one.

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  13. Sorry you didn't enjoy this book.Thanks for being honest about how the story didn't meet your expectations. I'm looking for a new read. What are some of your favorite fantasy books? :)

    Quite a Novel Idea

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    1. I loved Uprooted by Naomi Novik, The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins was good, Abercrombie's Shattered Sea trilogy is great as well. I also have enjoyed the Dresden Files. I am sure that there are more that I am not thinking of right now but it is a start. Thanks for asking!

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  14. Ahh no, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this book all that much! I didn't know much about it since I hadn't even read the synopsis until your review (which is great by the way!) but I do still want to read it - I'll go in wary with open eyes thinking more historical romance than fantasy. I enjoy both so we'll have to see :)
    Enchanted by YA

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    1. I hope you love it once you get a chance to read it. I thought it was okay in the end. Thanks, Anna!

      Carole @ Carole's Random Life

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  15. I still have yet to read this author, even though I have an ARC of Soundless sitting on my TBR shelf. And I want to read this one. Even with your comments about it not being fantasy, it still sounds like one I want to try. Great review!

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    1. I really enjoyed Soundless although a lot of people didn't agree with me. I think a lot of readers will enjoy this one much more than I did. I hope you love it.

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