My love for the Vampire Academy series rapidly sealed Richelle Mead as an autobuy author for me, and when I heard that The Glittering Court was a mixture of fantasy and boarding school antics, I was all over that pre-order book.
As soon as we heard about The Glittering Court, Llinos from the Lilac Linnet and I decided to do a buddy read, so this post will be a mix of my review and some review questions that both Llinos and I will be answering in our respective blog posts. If you want to read Llinos’ post, you can find it here.
We’re introduced to Adelaide (though, not her real name at the start of the book), a countess struggling to come to terms with the loss of her family’s wealth and trying to find a wealthy suitor who isn’t boring and creepy.
Spying an opportunity, she runs away to join The Glittering Court in the hope of finding a better life, and being able to marry for love rather than business. Of course, being a book an all, it isn’t that simple and she ends up forging her way down a winding road full of cunning, stunning dresses, treachery and romance to try and get freedom for herself and the one she loves.
If the synopsis sounds a little exhausting and all over the place, that’s because it’s exactly what the book is like. Heck, I needed a rest after reading this book. The Glittering Court is definitely more like an adventure novel than a romance novel in that respect, and I love it. Who loves exciting fantasy adventure romance novels? Kel loves orange soda! Wait, that’s something else.
Richelle Mead has done an absolutely cracking job of the world building. Here’s a list of some of the few places we spend time in:
- The fancy (but not too fancy) home of a countess.
- A ship on a rough ocean.
- Cape Triumph; a new city, supposedly full of savages and scary men.
- A very fancy house in Cape Triumph, full of maids turned ladies eager to be exactly what a rich man is looking for.
- A shack at the foothill of mountains in the wilderness.
And all of them are so well written that you can feel the wind on your face as you gaze up at mountains, and the hustle and bustle of a port.
The character development is just as thorough also. Adelaide undergoes a lot of transformation throughout the book and even though none of us have been in her position, it’s hard not to relate to her.
- Who doesn’t want to be free to make their own choices?
- Who doesn’t want to find someone who is interested in them for more than their looks?
Most of the secondary characters are pretty well developed too. Some of them you fall head over heels in love with, and some of them are creepy and make your skin crawl – nice and diverse, that. I feel that perhaps we could have got to know some of the other girls who are part of The Glittering Court a little more – for example, one girl is quickly painted as a bit malicious and nasty, but I don’t think we ever really see her full potential and I think she could have caused us a lot of stress if we had. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
I mentioned above that the plot is more like an adventure novel; the pace is pretty full-on, there are no dull moments, and it’s full of so many twists and turns. On top of that, the romance is just as exciting – hello, sexual tension.
From looking at Goodreads reviews, I’ve seen some comparisons to The Selection, and I can definitely see where they’re coming from; a group of girls in a house competing to be exactly what men want, and a main character who doesn’t really want to play ball. Also, pretty dresses. That’s kind of where the comparisons to The Selection series end to me.
I know it probably sounds like they’re similar, but when I was reading it I didn’t think about The Selection at all, so it’s not like it’s a rehash of it. For starters, The Glittering Court is a bit darker, more detailed, and pretty much completely different.
I’m not going to say much more because I don’t want to spoil it, so let’s move onto the buddy read questions.