The Glittering Court #1
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Source: Purchased Hardcover
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
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 Mire. 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 complications 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...
I've not read anything from Mead that I didn't love. I may not have been completely won over with Bloodlines but I ended up adoring that series. *sigh*Adrian*sigh* The Glittering Court won me over in the same way Vampire Academy did. I was immediately immersed in this new world - both historical and fantastical in origin. And Mead also had me entirely invested in Adelaide's life, as well as the other characters. desperate to know what was going to happen and whether everything would work out.
A few other things that made The Glittering Court a pleasure to read:
- The parallels between Mead's fictional world of Osfrid and historical England as well as current geographical climes.
- The parallels between the class divisions in Osfird and those of today.
- The parallels between the religious persecution being suffered in Osfrid and the persecution suffered by many today, whether religious or otherwise.
The world building was glorious. From the regency-era feel of Osfrid to the frontier feel of Adoria to the gritty, desolate feel of a mining camp, I was able to see it all, feel it all in my mind. Mead took on quite the endeavor when creating this fantasy world set in the past, and she managed with aplomb. Even the idea of training lower class girls to step into marriage in the world of the nouveau riche was clever.
At about 2/3 through, I realized there was a familiar feel where the religion was concerned but that didn't affect my enjoyment. There were also a few things that were predictable but they didn't detract from the story either.
In the end, I was simply impressed with the story and Mead's ability to weave together all these threads and elements to convey a brilliant story. I'm eager for more!