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The Shattered Court

(The Four Arts #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  2,722 ratings  ·  403 reviews
First in a new fantasy series from the author of the Novels of the Half-Light City.

Entangled in a court ruled by tradition and intrigue, a young witch must come to terms with newfound power and desire—and a choice between loyalty and survival.…

The royal witches of Anglion have bowed to tradition for centuries. If a woman of royal blood manifests powers, she is immediately
Paperback, 313 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Roc
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Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

Let me tell you a story, *whispers* you might have heard it before:

Once upon a time a princess was widowed young. She returned to the palace from her husband's estate, and she took a handsome guard for a lover, b/c she was no longer innocent of the ways between a man and a woman. It was a secret easily kept, b/c outside of the bedroom, Handsome Guard was a stone who presented a disinterested front as implacable as a mountain. But in private . . . *waggles eyebrows*

Faye, la Patata
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: witches, adult, fantasy
Let it be known that if you thought this was a YA Fantasy, turn around now because this is better suited for adult audiences. Unless graphic sex scenes don't bother you, then you have nothing to fear... well, at least, in that aspect. There were many other factors in this book that I thought were far more concerning than what happens between a male thingy and a female thingy.

First of all, what the fucking hell - was there even a plot in this book?! It was 300 pages of sex, magic, witches and pse
I liked the story, BUT after 200 pages it started to feel like NOTHING happened nor WILL happen.

Finally at the end, we got something, but otherwise, it was just slow and suspicion building.

As for the relationships.
Cam&Sophie: Some pluses for no keeping secrets (view spoiler)
Eloisa: Do not trust her at all. (view spoiler)
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Shattered Court by M.J. Scott
Book One of the Four Arts series
Publisher: Roc
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Rating: 5 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Summary (from Goodreads):

Entangled in a court ruled by tradition and intrigue, a young witch must come to terms with newfound power and desire—and a choice between loyalty and survival.…

The royal witches of Anglion have bowed to
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life

2.5 Stars

I have to admit that I am a little disappointed with this book. I think that this book had so much potential. I was excited to read this book and on the surface it appeared that it had everything - magic, witches, and a royal court just to get started. This book ended up having a lot of problems that overshadowed all of the things that I liked in the story.

I went into this book thinking that it was a YA novel and I was very wrong. Th
Rashika (is tired)
Actual Rating 3.5

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

The Shattered Court is a book that would have totally escaped my notice where it not for Nick. I am so glad she mentioned it to me because otherwise I would not have found this wonderfulness. I will begin by saying that this isn’t the best thing I’ve ever read, far from it, but at the same time, it just works. It may not be incredibly original but it is so much fun to read and I do like that the author has made it her own s
nick (the infinite limits of love)

Okay, first things first. I wanted to read The Shattered Court, because the gorgeous cover just lured me in. Plus, I'm already a big fan of YA fantasy, so I thought it was time I devoted some time to more adult fantasy too. The Shattered Court turned out to be an exceptional read that I had quite the hard time putting down.

M.J Scott's world building in The Shattered Court was on point. She blended together magic and royalty drama and crafted a strong fantasy story, that was engaging in many ways
Althea Ann
Feb 28, 2015 rated it liked it
'The Shattered Court' is a fantasy romance which manages to nicely balance the 'romance' content with the other elements of the plot.

Lady Sophie is handmaiden to Princess Eloisa. Soon, on her 21st birthday, Sophie will find out if she has inherited the Earth Magic that will give her a place as a Royal Witch, with the strict duties in Temple and marriage that the position entails.

However, when Eloisa sends Sophie out on a shopping trip with her bodyguard (and lover) Cameron Mackenzie, disaster st
Sarah Mac

Twice I've tried to get into this, & twice I've failed. It took me awhile to understand what was putting me off, but this second attempt has offered a revelation. My issue isn't (entirely) the cliched storyline. It isn't (necessarily) the hamfisted, deus-ex-machina plot contrivances. It isn't (theoretically) the unholy mash of YA & adult romance therein.

No, my issue is how the book sounds EXACTLY like boring, bland, & tired Urban Fantasy. It's supposed to be romantic High Fantasy, right?
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this one on NetGalley and wondered about it, but once I saw my friend Alyssa from The Eater of Books's review for it, I knew I had to read this one, and it didn't disappoint!

I found the world building fascinating, even if we are left with many more questions about the history of the kingdoms and why in Anglion there are such restrictions on what kind of magic can be used and by whom. It's not that information is simply kept from us, it's that almost no one in the kingdom know the reasons b
Feb 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Alright, I am torn about this one. On one hand I liked it. It had such potential in the main characters and world-building.

Sophia and Cameron are both sensible and resourceful, not prone to melodrama, and they operate as a pair of equals from the very beginning. I always enjoy such character traits immensely.

The world-building starts quite formulaic, with Anglion as a prototype of England, and Illwya as France, but towards the end it develops into something tantalizingly lovely.

And therein lies
Jane Stewart
I enjoyed it, but on hindsight I wish I would have waited until the sequel is out and read them together.

Sophia is going to have some unexpected and unusual magic abilities. But we won’t know about them until the second book. There are a couple of hints in this book, but this book is mostly setting things up. At times I was waiting for the plot to take off.

At the end, someone attempts to murder Sophia but she gets away. Story to be continued. It wasn’t a bad cliffhanger because some things were
Re-read January 2018

The new one is finally out, yay! This is still just super nice and enjoyable.

Original Review

Ohhh, I was into this. This might be one of those comparisons that only make sense to me, but it reminded me of Sharon Shinn. It gave me the same kind of comfortable feeling. Just . . . pinged with me on some level.

That said, it's very much a first book in a series, so it's not really a complete story. But I like the world and the main characters a lot and I'm eager to read more by the
Oct 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has spoilers. Please read the spoilers and not the book.

The book begins with a vignette of Lady Sophie Kendall (whose name is so L.A. high school that if you Google it, there are 12,000 Instagram profiles before you see anything about this book). She is bored by her lessons on how to be a proper young lady. All she wants is to go play in the sun. What a freaking bummer! In two days the whole castle is throwing a party for her 21st birthday, at which time she will find out if she has
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it

Mon avis en Français

My English review

I had read some novels in the paranormal romance series by MJ Scott, but when she has announced the release of a brand new series, with a different note, I admit that I was intrigued. A kind of historical mix, added to that some intrigues of the court, witches and power, a mix that we can only appreciate.

Lady Sophia is an innocent girl, frightened because about her future. She is a heir to the throne even if a far one, and she is waiting to see if her wi
Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

The Shattered Court ended up being a difficult book for me. What appeared to be a YA/NA type of fantasy romance (just look at that cover!) instead read much more like the graphic sex fantasy books of the late 1970s/early 1980s (Sharon Green's Jalav series comes to mind). But the slow pacing, passive ingenue heroine, bodice ripper romance aspects, and lack of development in both characters and plot made this more than
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
I've had this title on my shelf for awhile, but on vacation, I was at a loss for what to read, and I remembered seeing an author recommend this on Twitter awhile back. And lo and behold, it was available through the Audible Romance Package. It was quite intriguing -- enough so that I was dying to get my hands on the second book, only to realize that there was no audio available for it and that my library doesn't own the ebook -- but I had hoped for a fiercer heroine. However, I think that may ch ...more
Lady Sophia Kendall is days away from coming into her power. As a noble born woman, and thirty-second in line for the throne, Sophia is a powerful commodity and will become even more of one if her magical abilities are strong. Before Sophia can be carefully initiated as a royal witch, Sophia is forced to flee the city with Lieutenant Cameron Mackenzie, who happens to be accompanying her in the city when the capital is attacked. Suddenly Sophia finds herself an unbound witch, more powerful than s ...more
Maybe at some other time it would have been different but on a lazy, rainy afternoon, The Shattered Court was just what the doctored ordered.


* The court intrigue. Court politics and plots are always interesting to read about and M.J. Scott did a good job here. I was never sure what are the royals or the nobles scheming. And there is also the church with it’s personals goals that meddles additionally.

* The world building is not overwhelming. Sometimes I want to dive in head first in an ex
Stephanie  G
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Lady Sophia Kendall will soon turn twenty-one. As a woman in Anglion and a royal heir she may manifest magic powers. Her worth is based on how powerful she might be. If strong powers do manifest the crown will send her off to the most beneficial marriage—or so everyone thought. On the eve of her birthday she’s sent into town with a royal body guard by the name of Cameron McKenzie. While in town the castle is attacked and Cameron sets off with Sophia through portals as far as they can ge
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: lovers of paranormal historical romance
The Shattered Court wasn't bad but not very original either. First half of the book I was bored to death with how slow things were, this is the case when more action would've made this book a better read. First half of the book was also rushed, it lacked explanations and development between MC, at one point I really wanted to DNF this one. But surprisingly the second half was way better.

What really saved this book is relationship between Sophie and Cameron - our MC. Yes, I didn't like how they

Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
I thought this was YA and I was WRONG O_O
Nope nope nope. I was expecting an enchanting historical fiction/fantasy novel but instead I got sex and sorcery.
Jessica (a GREAT read)
I received this eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

The Shattered Court is my first book by M.J. Scott and it was a delightful read filled with mysticism and magic! I truly enjoyed the magical aspects of the story, though they weren't at the front and center of things like I had hoped. But it was still an enjoyable read!

The world that Scott has created here is pure fantasy. It's a time of castles, princesses, warring
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on my blog: A Book Obsession..

I have to admit that I'm sometimes leery of straight fantasy books due to the world building bogging things down. There's just typically too much to learn with all the very different world "rules" than ours from the start that I quickly lose interest. However, I really enjoyed M.J.'s Half Light series, so when I saw this new series, I knew I'd be giving it a try. I'm really glad that I did, and in fact I enjoyed this one so much it makes me
Lanie (Lanies Book Thoughts)
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
First off, it's Sophie not Sophia. Unlike most of the other ladies around the castle this young woman prefers her moms version of her name. She misses home and her family. She's not really cut out to be a dutiful wife to some old guy in court. What twenty-one year old would be though? Besides, the marriage drama, there's the whole "coming into power" birthday bash to be excited about. Yay..not. My power will never be mine, I am bound to protect this city. Her friends aren't really her friends, a ...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

THE SHATTERED COURT was one of those books that drew me in with a gorgeous cover, and was left to live up to expectations. Luckily, though not without issues, THE SHATTERED COURT was an enjoyable fantasy novel, set in a world very similar to historical England with the twist of magic to make it more interesting.

Though Sophie was an interesting character, what I would have liked to see if more agency on her part in the beginning of the book. As it progr
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Listed as fantasy, but perhaps should have been listed as sexual fantasy.

The novel has royal witches, portals, and magic, and these elements could have carried an interesting fantasy novel. Instead the novel reads like the plot just makes opportunity for sexual encounters. Most are short, but a couple are waaaayyy too long and detailed, and none were needed at all..unless that is why you are reading the book.

I love fantasy, but my preference is for high adventure, so this novel didn't work for
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this book. I was expecting tons of action and courtly intrigue and what I got was... Not that. It wasn't an unpleasant read, but I found myself skipping a lot towards the end. It was so tedious at times, I almost gave up entirely. I enjoyed Sophie for the most part, but Cameron felt really dull. I'd compare him to a cardboard cutout of a really well flushed-out love interest. He has the looks, but nothing else. As for the plot, well, there were so many things going on at onc ...more
L.R.W. Lee
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a good start to a new series. I think I downloaded it from a freebie promo the author ran. I'm used to reading YA and I have to say this had three fairly explicit sex scenes that put me a bit on edge. Nothing bad, but just more explicit than I'm used to. An illicit sex act becomes the central conflict around which everything then revolves. So, if you can overlook that, you will probably enjoy this book as the world and characters are well developed. I'll probably read the next ...more
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M.J Scott is a RITA® Award nominated author. She is an unrepentant bookworm. Luckily she grew up in a family that fed her a properly varied diet of books and these days is surrounded by people who are understanding of her story addiction. When not wrestling one of her own stories to the ground, she can generally be found reading someone else’s. Her other distractions include yarn, cat butlering, d ...more

Other books in the series

The Four Arts (3 books)
  • The Forbidden Heir (The Four Arts, #2)
  • The Unbound Queen (The Four Arts, #3)

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