The Glittering Court buddy read with The Lilac Linnet | A winding road of cunning, pretty dresses & romance to freedom

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead, a review

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.

 


Who would you recommend The Glittering Court to?
Anyone who loves adventure novels, main characters who refuse to give up, and the idea of a mash-up of fancy dresses and frontier life.
 
Who is your favourite character?
My favourite character has to be our main character, Adelaide, because of her refusal to give up and her determination to get the freedom she wants. Whether it’s freedom from an arranged marriage, or the freedom to love the person she wants, she would rather go down in flames than have someone else tell her what to do with her life.
 
What are your thoughts on the world building and religious aspects of the novel?
The world building was rich and so detailed, without it feeling really heavy handed, which I think takes some serious skill. The same goes for the religious aspects, and it was interesting to read about how people of other religions thought of each other and their practices – I guess a lot of their prejudice and thoughts are relevant in modern line.
 
What annoyed you about the book?
Hmmm, this one actually took a lot of thinking about because I didn’t really have any qualms. I think that if there was anything that was a teeny bit annoying, it would be the lack of development of the other girls in The Glittering Court. It is a pretty detailed book as it is, but I think that getting to know some more of the girls, aside from passing mention of their name, would have been nice.
 
What do you think of the novel’s portrayal of women?
The Glittering Court is obviously influenced by Elizabethan times and I think the portrayal of women is definitely in line with what was expected of women, and how they were treated at the time. Women were property to be sold for the highest bidder to further their families wealth; they didn’t get things like freedom or choices.
 
Are you excited about the rest of the series?
I cannot wait to read the rest of the series, for reasons I will not mention because SPOILERS!
 
Favourite quote
This was the easiest question, because as soon as I read this line I was like “YES!”. It’s the sweetest and smushiest line I’ve read in a book in a while, and it just feels so me all over. In fact, my expression was kinda like this:
Big Bang Theory Sheldon dominos
 I will take your hand and lie with you in the groves, under the light of the moon. I will build a life with you upon this green earth. I will walk by your side for so long as the sun continues to rise. The Glittering Court.
SEE WHAT I MEAN?! It’s just so…so, so…I don’t even know.
 
 
The Lilac Linnet review of The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Don’t forget, you can read Llinos’ review of The Glittering Court by clicking on the image above.
The Glittering Court review rating - loved it

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The Glittering Court Book Cover The Glittering Court
The Glittering Court
Richelle Mead
Romance, young adult, fantasy,
eBook

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…

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  • Loved reading your perspective, Rosie. I wish we’d learnt more about Clara! I thought she was going to have a big role when we first met her and I was disappointed that she stayed in the background.

    • Yeah, I thought the same thing too. I thought she was going to be a huge pain throughout the book and blackmail Adelaide, but nope.

  • carlyvanwatts

    This sounds like an interesting novel! I love it when an author can really build a rich, diverse world that really draws you in 🙂 xx

    • Me too, though it always makes me a little upset that the world isn’t real.

  • Amy

    I’ve been wanting to read this, so it’s nice to know that you liked it! Thank you for sharing ♥
    Amy xx

    Little Moon Dragon

  • I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!! I’m a bit of a black sheep for this one and got severely befuddled about the motives. Eeeeek. 😂 But the cover is still gorgeous and it WAS very unique! I can safely say I’ve never read a book quite like this. 😛 (I mean, it sort of had those Selection vibes, but only for premise. Not for execution of the story!)

    • Yeah, I would have liked it to be a bit more selectiony in that there was a bit more competitiveness and we got to know the other girls a little more.

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