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Court of Fives

(Court of Fives #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  7,472 ratings  ·  1,113 reviews
On the Fives court, everyone is equal.

And everyone is dangerous.

Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s b
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Kate Elliott There is no swearing.

There is some flirting, holding hands, and a kiss.…more
There is no swearing.

There is some flirting, holding hands, and a kiss.(less)
Tdrmay13 I think it would be a good choice for a book club of this combination. It was interesting and more on the clean side. Limited chance of discomfort in …moreI think it would be a good choice for a book club of this combination. It was interesting and more on the clean side. Limited chance of discomfort in a group of mixed ages and genders.(less)

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
DNF at 30%. "But Khanh, how can you give such a low rating when you've barely given the book a chance?" Because I've read enough crap YA to tell when a book is beyond redemption. I almost abandoned it after the second chapter, but was in a forgiving mood, and hung on a little longer. I should have stopped then.

In a faux-Roman whatever world where people speak in dialogue as natural as Yankee imitating Ye Olde English in King Arthur's Court, there lives a family. Sorta. Jessamy lives with her hug
Emily May
Aug 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, 2015
Court of Fives is sold as a high fantasy, but reads much more like a loosely-plotted YA dystopia, complete with a national competition and actions that make no sense.

There was never a point when I got sucked into the story. The characters all feel flat as crepes (minus the delicious fillings) and I simply cannot understand what Jessamy's fucking problem is. I do not get why she is so caught up in her own self-centred need to enter the Fives (multilevel competition, blah blah, haven't heard that
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
99c Kindle sale, July 2, 2020, for this first book in a YA fantasy series. Review first posted on

Kate Elliott vaults into the YA fantasy game field with Court of Fives, which the author aptly describes as “Little Women meets American Ninja Warrior in a setting inspired by Greco-Roman Egypt.” This three-pronged description calls out three of the most noteworthy aspects of Court of Fives: the subtle references to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, accentuating the importa
Gail Carriger
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Kate Elliott manages to combine everything I love best in a YA novel. Jes is a killer protagonist: tough, capable, but also lost in her upbringing and faced with impossible choices that test her character and her beliefs. Her family dynamic is genius. The love and combativeness between sisters is touching and realistic. The story is tight and tidy, comprised of rings within rings twisting and matching to one another. It's rich with detail, but plot is tied back to description in a way that makes ...more
Ann Aguirre
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to be asked to blurb this gorgeous novel. There are books that make you think and books that make you feel.

This one is a rare bird; it is both.

And I devoured it in one greedy, glorious go. Part of me regrets that. I should have savored it, and there are SO MANY questions.

This is everything YA fantasy could possibly be. If you think the blurb sounds intriguing, the book is so much more. It's achingly lovely, heartbreaking, lushly imagined and beautifully wrought. I feel unworthy
Mogsy (MMOGC)
2 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

While it’s true that I have not read many books by Kate Elliott, I still feel pretty confident when I say this is not her best. I’m disappointed because I badly, desperately wanted to like this one, but ultimately it just wasn’t for me.

First, a quick summary of the premise to set the stage for my points below. Our protagonist is a girl named Jessamy. She and her three sisters are raised in a household by their Patron fathe
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
My new favorite trend is high fantasy authors tackling YA. Mercedes Lackey dazzled me with her Hunter series, and now Kate Elliott has done the same with Court of Fives. High fantasy usually requires more expansive world building, back history, and longevity. These authors are so proficient at tackling these elements on a large scale that their YAs seems so much more robust than competitive titles. On the flipside though, YAs tends to require faster pacing and a more prominent love story – somet ...more
Oct 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The synopsis does a fair job of describing the book but it doesn’t do the intricate relationships and layers at play in the novel any justice. For instance, the synopsis doesn’t mention that Jessamy is one of four sisters, Maraya, Bettany (Jessamy’s twin,) and Amaya, all of whom are complex individuals with their own lives and story arcs. The synopsis also doesn’t mention Jessamy’s mother who is one of the more interesting, non-antagonistic, parents in the YA genre. The synopsis most certainly d ...more
Erica Ravenclaw
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bea15-swag

*bumping cause I reviewed this super early and today is released day!*

No spoilers and colorful language abound! I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 photo anigif_enhanced-12358-1409842616-26_zpsb45669ca.gif

Yes. Oh, hell yes. YA has a new gold standard, and it was woven by Kate Elliot.

Here is how she did it:

Take every trope and tangled mess of cliches and throw them out the window. Replace them with a strong female protagonist, guided by love of family, an unquenchable desire to cultivate sense of self, and
Jodi Meadows
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well. THAT'S some worldbuilding. ...more
Nov 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
You know what? This was actually a DNF at about 92%, but I will be DAMNED if I throw away a week-long slog through this book with nothing to show for it. So I'm marking it as read and it's going towards my reading challenge. I put in seven days' hard graft and I deserve to get something out of it.

This book was terrible, and the thing is that I went into it blind; if I'd known it was based on Little Women I'd have never gone near it. I tried reading Little Women once, and it nearly killed me. Th
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book I picked up in order to try out Kate Elliott and Renay recommended this one to me. It's a great start point with Elliott's work, and it's encouraged me to try out more of her books for sure!

The story inside feels a little but like the Hunger Games at times becuase the world we follow revolves largely around two types of people, Patrons (rich, wealthy etc.) and Commoners (poor, mistreated etc.) who are constantly at odds, but all fascinated by the Fives games.
We follow a family th
Aug 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

---- Charlotte Brontë

Kate Elliott, an award-winning American YA author, pens her new book, Court of Fives which is the first book in the Court of Fives trilogy, that tells the story of a young teenager, belonging from two different caste that divides her own world, is trying to find herself as well as trying to find her way through all those indifference set by the ruler of her world, by participating in
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like most here, I wasn't sure whether to give this novel a try. The premise sounded really interesting, with its greco-roman style of world, but the negatives put forward did cause me to ponder. As my score shows, I did like it, with some reservations.

As expected, the setting Elliott portrays is compelling, with its complex structure, presenting a society made of two 'races', one having conquered the other, and the typical resulting social inequalities. The plot also shows there are more faction
Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
Initial thoughts: This book was a pleasant surprise. I honestly had no idea what to expect, and I found myself intrigued by the Fives competition. Many slow moments and confusing/lacking world-building definitely ducked down my enjoyment level for this book. This series has great potential though!

Read the full review @ A Perfection Called Books

The first think I noticed about this book is its connections to An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. If you liked that one, then you might enjoy Court o
Sherwood Smith
Jan 07, 2015 added it
Shelves: fantasy
Copy provided by the publisher.

In order to discuss this book I have to get sort of spoilery. I try to avoid specifics, but I do talk about the general outline of the book.

So, Court of Fives. It would be hard to find anyone less interested in sports than I am. But when I heard that Kate Elliott was writing a YA, and that it was a cross between teen gladiators and Little Women, I knew I had to read it.

And I was not disappointed—in fact, the book grabbed me hard in spite of the sports at the cente
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-read, audiobook
This is one of those books with very divided reviews posted here on Goodreads I'm coming down on the side of those who enjoyed this creative YA fantasy about family relationships, race, colonialism, and secrets.

There are some excellent reviews that go into a great deal of detail about the story and the things people liked or not about it, which I'm not going to repeat here. For me, I liked the overt way race was made a key part of the story. The main character is a young woman who, although she
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
Book One of the Court of Fives series
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott begins a new trilogy with her debut young adult novel, weaving an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
DNF at about 40%

I really did not want to DNF yet another book. I struggled through this one and... started to slumber after a few chapters. Two days like this and I am done.

This is how it should be.
This is what I live for.

All MC cares about is playing a game. She is selfish.
Just once I want to run a real trial and pretend to be a different girl with a different life.

I push her away and jump up to pace. Frustration burns right through me. “How do you think I feel, training for years without ever

Aug 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There should be a Netflix for books so you can get ALL TEH BOOKZZZ at one go!
May 03, 2015 marked it as dnf-didn-t-care-for-skimmed-through
DNF @ 45%

I just can't. I've been attempting to read this book for 7 days now. In those 7 days I've finished 2 other books. I keep trying to pick this back up and get sucked in, but it's just not holding my interest. I read about 20 pages today and came across a character that I couldn't even remember...that's how uninterested I've become!! That's when I knew that I wouldn't finish it. I partially skimmed the rest (mainly to see the fates of the MC's families).

This book is about Jessamy, a gi
Jul 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
I got an arc at SDCC last year and had heard a lot of great things, so I was excited to get to it.

It took me a while to get invested. I set it down for days at a time and probably could have walked away completely without getting to the end within a problem.

Jes and Kal are interesting enough characters and I liked him more than her. She's wildly dramatic, but she's smart and strong and has a definite sense between right and wrong. I'm guessing it was those qualities that kept me reading.

Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Kate Elliott is an author who so many people, namely people whom I respect the opinion of, seem to be very fond of. I hung out with her at Worldcon and found her to be a lovely person - funny, smart, laid back, and a blast to be around. I had been under the impression that she wrote female-targeted fantasy - this is fine, but it's generally "not my thing". I can enjoy this style if the writing is good (ie Mary Robinette Kowal, Marie Brennan, etc), however even if it is I tend to not enjoy it muc ...more
Ashley Marie
4.5 stars, and probably my favorite of the trilogy.

Yet another unexpected, highly enjoyable read. The concept of "Little Women + American Ninja Warrior in a Greco-Roman Egypt setting" sounds bonkers until you read it, and it all makes perfect sense. I can also see the Game of Thrones reference some people make - if you like the Sand Snakes and Ellaria Sand, I bet you'll like these sisters and their mother too. I was deeply struck by how much of the book centers on family, and the fact that these
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Hmm. Well, I can see that people are quite divided on this. I devoured it in no time and really enjoyed it, so, um, hmm.
Danielle (Love at First Page)
2.5-3 stars

I am torn on this one, guys! There were some really great moments plus a heroine and romance I liked, but for a good portion of the book I was just bored. I found myself either skimming or lost in thought and not remembering what I had just read. That's never a good sign for me.

One thing you should know up front is that Court of Fives is historical fantasy, very reminiscent of Ancient Greece with gods and goddesses, fallen empires and scheming kings and queens, religious undertones a
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. Thanks Little, Brown Books!

I haven’t read any of Kate Elliot’s other books, but I’m very tempted to start them! This is probably one of my favorite fantasy reads this month. However awesome the world-building is, the characters are also so relatable and deal with problems that we can relate to in modern times.

In this book we not only deal with the social hierarchy which leave prominent lines between what our characters can or can’
Rashika (is tired)
Actual Rating 3.5

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Court of Fives was kind of disappointing. The blurb had me excited but the book itself wasn’t nearly as exciting as I had thought it would be.

I imagined that this would be a politically tense book and there would be high stakes but I never felt that way. Sure the MC is ripped away from her family by a conspiring lord but I never felt as though there were hidden motives everywhere or any sort of mystery that one usually gets
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Re-read (12/05/2018): Ah! This book is just as great as when I first read it a long time ago. The Fives are still so fun and remain my favorite parts of the book. I love the family bonds in here and the connection Jessamy has with her sisters. I think some parts might have been a bit different or elaborated on - like the ending scene or some of the scenes with Kalliarkos - but I like what was done.

Now I'm off to complete the rest of the series!

Early Pre-Release Review.

I was fortunate enough to r
1 star. This book is literally Hunger Games meets Little Women, with a few Ancient Egyptian vibes. And it is so. boring.

Although the "Court of Fives" in this novel was a competition the participants actually wanted to be a part of, it felt so much like the Hunger Games, it was nauseating. Not only did it seem unoriginal, but it was so bloody confusing.

The romance. *awkward body-shiver of cringe* So cliche and completely without chemistry. I can't even remember the name of the love in
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As a child in rural Oregon, Kate Elliott made up stories because she longed to escape to a world of lurid adventure fiction. She now writes fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction, often with a romantic edge. She currently lives in Hawaii, where she paddles outrigger canoes and spoils her schnauzer.

Other books in the series

Court of Fives (3 books)
  • Poisoned Blade (Court of Fives, #2)
  • Buried Heart (Court of Fives, #3)

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