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The Glittering Court

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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…

416 pages, Hardcover

First published April 5, 2016

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About the author

Richelle Mead

94 books66.9k followers
Scorpio Richelle Mead is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington where she works on her three series full-time: Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Vampire Academy.

A life-long reader, Richelle has always loved mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses. She's a self-professed coffee addict and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous.

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Profile Image for Emily May.
1,921 reviews290k followers
April 5, 2016
A fantasy for those who thought The Selection wasn't long enough.
“Winifred, the first girl, would look so lovely in the diamond colouring. Ruby’s the next most precious stone, and that obviously wouldn’t suit you with your hair. So third, as a sapphire, seemed like-“
“Sapphire?” interrupted Tamsin. “Sapphire? Everyone knows green is my best color. Isn’t an emerald rarer than a sapphire?"

Who fucking cares? Because I surely don't.

I'll start with credit where it's due - the beginning of this book is quite enjoyable and it is, in my opinion, more entertaining than The Selection (and much more entertaining than Soundless). Adelaide's narrative is quite amusing, especially in the novel's early stages, and her attempts to impersonate a poor maid make for some comical moments.

This doesn't last for long.

It quickly becomes apparent that Mead has no intention of moving past descriptions of dresses, dances and romance. I keep coming back to her because I loved the early Mead - such immoral entertainment! - but there will have to come a point when she joins the Lauren Oliver box. It’s been a long time since she’s written something I've enjoyed.

The Glittering Court is about a high society girl who steals her maid's identity and becomes Adelaide, one of the chosen girls being brought to the New World, Adoria. In a spin reminiscent of The Selection, she will be paraded in front of wealthy bachelors and compete with her fellow girls to attract the best husband.

However, though drowning in male attention, Adelaide finds herself drawn to one of the Court's proprietors - Cedric Thorn.

With some small exceptions, these girls are all obsessed with dresses that suit their coloring, behavior fit for upper class ladies, and the wealthiest dudes. It's tiring. I don't know about you, but I like my stories with a bit more badassery, action and grit.

The world is inspired by a combination of the Elizabethan and Frontier eras, borrowing heavily from both societies and doing nothing new with them. What's more surprising is the distinct lack of any fantasy elements - this book could just as easily have been marketed as alternate history or dystopian. There is no magic, no mythology, nothing remotely supernatural.

Not only lacking in action and magic, The Glittering Court is extremely tame on several levels. The romance lacks chemistry and Cedric is too nice, polite and forgettable to serve as an enticing love interest. His "dark secret" is also disappointingly lame, not juicy like all dark secrets should be.

As with the direction of the romance, everything else about this book is painfully obvious. Mead tries to build up drama (oh my, what will happen? Can they really be gone forever?) and yet it is dampened by the reader’s surety of the conclusion.

Perhaps an entertaining read for those who like books with lots of fashion and boys.

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April 6, 2016
I should have known from the blurb that this wasn't going to work for me.
The Selection meets Reign in this dazzling trilogy of interwoven novels about three girls on a quest for freedom and true love.
Really. This is my own fault. What did I think this book was going to be? I couldn't bear the aching stupidity of The Selection. Reign, the TV show, was abominably dumb, and more a parade of pretty prom dresses than anything resembling historical fact. And for once, the book was true to the blurb, sadly so. And in fact, this book is more an homage to fashion than a book with an actual plot.
Some of the dresses, particularly the daytime ones, were of purest white, made of delicate fabrics that rivaled those I’d worn in my former life. The evening and ball gowns were radiant confections of velvet and satin, done in gleaming white and glittering silver, embellished with jewels and metallic lace.
This hurts. It really does. Richelle Mead was one of my favorite authors, but her previous few books have done nothing for me (and let's not even mention the bullshittery ending of the Bloodlines series) and I have regretfully knocked her off my favorite author list.

This book is about a noblewoman who runs away to escape an arranged marriage - only she's kind of dumb, because in running away to escape that marriage, she ends up in a place where the "men outnumber women three to one." These men are fucking desperate for pretty wives that they're willing to take servant girls and My Fair Lady them into perfection.
"...the Glittering Court has taken it upon itself to create a cohort of young women willing to transform. We take lovely girls like Ada here, girls of common birth, girls with no family—or maybe too much family—and we train them up to greatness.”
So running away from one marriage into another. Out of the pot and into the fire, as they would say. Not the brightest girl, our Adelaide. Even so, she finds herself the object of desire. The "diamond."
“I don’t want to risk losing her to someone who might woo her with a lot of flash and no substance. I’ll put out a price to make it worth your while for removing her early—one I might not be willing to match if I have to wait. One thousand gold if you do the deal right now.”
Some of the girls near me gasped. There’d never been a sum like that offered in the Glittering Court’s history. It was double my starting fee.
Wow. Much expensive. Very special.

The book is as boring as it sounds. It is 416 excruciating pages full of proper girly training, dressing up, and checking out cute rich guys. I could include quotes, but there are no notable quotes. The writing was dull and uninspired. The setting is left unbuild, it's a pseudo-historical setting with some made-up religious stuff and that's it. No effort is made to give this world a sense of reality. The romance was dull, the love interest completely lackluster. It wasn't even one of those so bad it's good books, it was just plain old boring.
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,255 reviews8,650 followers
December 31, 2016
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

I don't know if I made an assumption based on the title 'THE GLITTERING COURT' and fantasy being listed as the primary genre, or if I saw something somewhere that said "Fae," OR if I just desperately wanted this book to be about Fae, but regardless of what led me to my conclusion, what you need to know is that THE GLITTERING COURT is NOT about Fae.

Not only is it not about Fae, it's one of those weird half-fantasies that've been turning up everywhere the last few years.

I blame Marie Rutkoski . Before The Winner's Curse , this sort of thing was almost unheard of--YES, there are all kinds of subgenres in fantasy, and HOORAY for that. But until recently you could count on ALL of them to have two things:

1. An imaginary world.
2. Some kind of magic system.

BUT.

Half-fantasy only has the imaginary world, and without the magic system, I don't really see the point.

Who cares about topography, if there are no dragons in the valleys or sorcerers in the mountains? Or, you know . . . something?

NOT THIS GIRL.

That's not to say half-fantasies don't frequently have entertaining, clever, and/or complex plots. I enjoyed The Winner's Curse , I've enjoyed another half-dozen I've read since then, and I bloody loved THE GLITTERING COURT.

BUT.

I'm pretty sure the reason I was able to love it was b/c of the two to three weeks between when I read the first third of it in the preview, and when I got the rest of the book--I had time to adjust my expectations.

I had time to get over my initial crankiness at finding a fictional version of England, France, and colonial America masquerading under different names and a mail order bride scheme, when I was expecting a story about things strange and fantastical.

Nnnngh.

Okay, so I'm mostly over the crankiness . . . I don't think I'll ever reach a place where I'll greet half-fantasy with a smile when I'm expecting full-blown fantasy, but the distance helped.

It also helped that I loved the story and the characters.

Adelaide is a flawed but sympathetic heroine. I think there are very few of us who wouldn't at least consider opting for adventure in the New World over an arranged marriage to a suspiciously itchy (*giggle snorts*) cousin, who is as dull as the day is long. Tamsin and Mira are both likable and mysterious, There is tangible chemistry between Adelaide and Cedric, who made me swoon despite his religious fervor (which is HUGE if you know how I feel about structured religion in fantasy--UGH).

The world-building was absolutely incredible.

Adoria and Osfrid were a compelling combination of recognizable aspects from the British Empire and colonial America and twists and variations that were consistently as clever as they were subtle---Mead never fails to amaze me with her intelligence. And if history from that time period isn't your thing, there are PIRATES. If you don't like PIRATES, go away, I don't like you.

*whispers* I'm kidding . . . kind of . . .

My only complaints (aside from the obvious, which I mostly got over), are that the resolution was a bit too nice and neat--there was a LOT of chaos that got resolved by a LOT of coincidence and/or serendipity--and several of the subplots, twists, etc. were transparent, especially

But both of those problems, and any other nit-picky issues I had, can be attributed to the nature of YA, so I mostly gave them a pass.

THE GLITTERING COURT by Richelle Mead is the first installment of her new YA (half-)fantasy series, and it's the first book of its type whose characters, world-building, and story fully compensated for the lack of magic. I loved it. Mead has long been an auto-buy author for me, and this book is why. I will be impatiently waiting for Adelaide's next adventure in this brave new world, b/c with all the seeds planted in this one, it can't help but be brilliant. HIGHLY recommended.

Jessica Signature
Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,333 followers
October 19, 2020
My reaction to me one starring a Richelle Mead book
description


Wow, I almost thought that I would never finish this book. The last five or six chapters took me ages! Which is ridiculous because that's the point when something finally started happening but at that point, I did not care anymore. And when I say that I did not care I mean I was indifferent to anything happening.

Okay, we need to talk.
Are you really trying to tell me that Richelle Mead wrote this? Richelle Mead, who gave us Rose from Vampire Academy? For me, Vampire Academy was one of the first series where the main female character was a serious kick-ass. It was a game-changer for me.
And even Georgina Kincaid from the Succubus series.
And Eugenie from the Dark swan series.

All of them have faults, a lot of them but they do reckless things, they fight and they actually feel like real persons.

But this series? The main character wants to get married? Adelaide runs away from an arranged marriage to be sold in marriage to another guy. She may be a noble lady but she has only her title, so, she needs a guy still with a title but mostly with money. But she does not like the one who was arranged for her and runs away. She runs away in hopes that the guys who will want to pay the fee for her would be what? More exciting, nice, not stingy but clearly still rich enough? What I'm I supposed to take from this story?
(I get lost here a bit at first it's presented that she can choose from anyone who will be willing to pay the asking price for her but as the story progresses it feels more like the one who pays the most will get her.)

So, a chunk of this book is spent on her and the other girls training to be polished little ladies that can be presented to the gentlemen in the colonies wanting to buy the perfect wife. But because they are so polished the guys better to pay the big bucks! The girls are competing to get the highest scores because the higher score the more their asking price will be. Charming I guess.

And then they arrive in the colonies and the story is not a bit less dreadful. Maybe even more because the last spark of my hope for this getting better was crushed.

The moment when the main heroine and her love interest exchange their love yous I was just so confused! How? When?
Cause I definitely did not see any falling in love on the pages prior to that moment. Or any chemistry between them prior to that or for the rest of the book. Which is kind of sad.

My favourite moment is when the heroine and her loved one are thanking the main villain for helping them. Yeah, they did not know that that was the villain at the moment but still, how stupid of them to think that this character would suddenly help them. Especially since neither of Adelaide nor Cedric seemed to think much good about him prior to that. I had such a good laugh and just waited for them to get a reality check. Again, kind of sad.

There were some other subplots about different groups of people and different religions. But that was rather uninteresting and it was hard to keep up with who's who. Especially because there was no real connection to those groups. Someone somewhere in the North, then some running away and yeah. It just did not stick.
As for the religion subplot, it's been done, overdone and beaten dead. With YA books I'm starting to cringe every time I hear/see someone calling someone a heretic. Just enough.


So, here I am, still asking how is it possible that this was written by Richelle Mead. I'm positive that it is worse than the Vampire Academy, Succubus series and the Dark Swan series which makes me wonder whether I outgrew Richelle Mead. But I don't think so because I recently re-read the Dark Swan series and I still liked it.
Is it that Richelle Mead needs some fantasy element in her writing? Maybe.
But still, even without anything fantasy, this did not feel like a Richelle Mead book. It dragged, it was hard to root for any character and where was the chemistry? I mean Rose and Dimitri the chemistry was the third wheel in that relationship! Even Rose and Adrian had more chemistry and they were not end game!
So, yes, we came to this moment when I'm going to do something I would never ever believe I would do. I'm going to rate this 1 star. And while from reviews I do get that Mira's and Tamsin's books might be more interesting, (not that surprising I feel like Clara's book would be better than this), I'm staying away from this series.
Profile Image for Ayesha.
109 reviews337 followers
June 18, 2016

RECIPE:How to make Chocolate Chip cookies!(For real)
INSTRUCTIONS:
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION:
PREPARE dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

I can't decide whether the idea of The Glittering Court is more ridiculous or this review. GO FIGURE.

But still if you want to read this, You'll need this, For real.
Profile Image for Angela.
583 reviews1,258 followers
August 14, 2016
The Glitter Court is about a high society lady who steals the identity of her maid and becomes Adelaide. Adelaide is one of the chosen ones who will be taken to the New World. Adelaide of course is a special snowflake and gets tons of male attention. She is however more interested in Cedric.

Though Adelaide has some pretty comical moments while pretending to be who she is not I ultimately found myself wanting more out of her character. I like my women a little more badass and a little less dress obsessed. The Countess is bored with her life and decides after being told she’ll have an arranged marriage that she will take the place of her maid at the Glitter Court… so she can be taught how to be a proper lady and be more appealing to men… so they can bid on who they want to be their next trophy wife…. So I was a little confused as to why she wanted to go??? You wanna leave arranged marriage to go and be set up for another marriage?? 

This book is also being marketed as a “fantasy”; it is not. Also where the story lacks any depth Mead tries to cover it up with more romance. I was expecting a book that has a kickass protagonist set in a high fantasy world…. Because that what the blurb lead me to believe… no what I got was a watery romance set in the 1800s with no world building. Mead introduces us to all these themes like objectifying women and religious persecution but then never deals with them.

AND THAT ENDING…. Ha the ending is my biggest negative. The two main characters have gotten themselves into so big trouble and an unknown character that has NEVER been mentions comes to save the day by giving some bizarre loophole that gets them off the hook. Oh please GTFOOH





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Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
516 reviews34.4k followers
December 2, 2017
This is probably one of the shortest reviews I’ve ever written but I think I really can’t say an awful lot about “The Glittering Court”. I really loved Richelle Mead’s other books but this one was so unlike her. I didn’t feel anything while I read this book and I’m really sorry to say it, but I’m kind of indifferent to all of the characters that were a part of this story.
They were so one-dimensional that I found myself not caring what would happen to them next and I constantly struggled to bring myself to continue to read on. Seriously, if I’d be prone to DNFing books I most certainly would have done it with this one. *lol*
Which makes me so damn sad, because I LOVED and ADORED “Vampire Academy” and “Bloodlines”!

Urgh!! Why Richelle?!! I had such high hopes for this series and I kind of feel let down now. =(

So I guess the main problem I had with “The Glittering Court” was the following:

I didn’t feel sad, I didn’t feel happy or worried. I just didn’t feel at all!!!! Period!

Nothing was fleshed out and everything happened so fast and the main characters were in love and did everything for each other but I wasn’t even persuaded they actually were IN LOVE.
It were grand gestures without substance and it felt like reading: “And they both were so much in love that they would do everything for each other.” I don’t want to read that they’d do everything for each other and I don’t want to read what they did. I want the emotions that move them to do such things!!!! I want to know why they do certain things, what’s their motivation to act the way they do!!! ARGH! I can’t even explain it. *lol*

It’s like you’re reading that someone is eating butter bread. You know how it would taste like, but you can’t really taste it. *LOL* Okay, I think I’ll stop now! Jeez! I’m even talking about butter bread! See what that book did to me?!

So yes, if you want to take the risk to read this book I won’t stop you. Maybe you’ll like it, maybe it’s the perfect book for you and I’m just not a fan of butter bread. ;-P After all tastes differ!!! Quite literally as it seems! XD
Either way, it’s up to you if you want to give it a try or not. All I can say is that it didn’t work out for me! I guess I’ve been as honest as I can be and that’s all you’ll get from me! ;-)

It is what it is!
A book that didn’t move me while I read it, but somehow caused me to rant instead! *lol*

P.S.: I have nothing against butter bread. I actually sometimes like to eat it. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, no butter bread got hurt in the process of writing this review! ;-)
Just in case you worried!! XD
Profile Image for Irena BookDustMagic.
603 reviews472 followers
August 22, 2020
Ladies and gentlemen, I now present you my review in pictures:

This is what The Glittering Court is about:

description

description

description

Only, imagine girls instead of horses.
Girls who are trained to become polite ladies so they could be sold to rich gentlemens who would marry them.
Before you turn upon me because I'm comparing girls to horses, let me say that that was my point: to show you how objectified women in this story were.

This is how happy I was when I started this novel:
description

This is how I felt most of the time while reading:

description

This is my reaction when I think that the same author who wrote this boring piece of literature also wrote my favorite book series of all time (Vampire Academy):

description

After finishing a book:

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I will not continue with the series even though I liked Mira and Tamsin.

...and I thought no book by Richelle Mead can be worse then Soundless. Boy was I wrong!



Before reading:

RICHELLE MEAD HAS A NEW SERIES!!!!
RICHELLE MEAD HAS A NEW SERIES!!!!!
RICHELLE MEAD HAS A NEW SERIES!!!!!!


description

Thank God!
Profile Image for Samantha.
401 reviews16.6k followers
April 11, 2016
*2.5 stars*

I had high hopes for this book and there were some elements I really enjoyed, but mostly, this book was messy.

Firstly, there was too much going on. This story felt like 4 different books thrown into one with parts missing. It was convoluted. That being said, the first third to half I really enjoyed. I adored the characters in this story, and they really shine in the first half.

Secondly, the world building was weak. This is a historical fiction novel that is trying to pass as fantasy, when it should just do what it does best and stay historical fiction. There was no reason to make this a fantasy world. All the places and cultures were just substitutions for ACTUAL places and cultures.

Thirdly, the characters, like I said, were great. I love the protagonist. She's my kind of stubborn and impulsive. I really enjoyed the side characters as well. Keep in mind (because I didn't know this going in) that this is a companion series so each book will be following a different girl from The Glittering Court. So because of that, those side characters don't get super fleshed out because they'll have their own story. Additionally, since the protagonist only has this book, her story felt a bit rushed. The villains in this story were also extremely one note and predictable. The actions of one of the villains later in the story (tw: sexual assault) caused me to lower my rating due to their actions being unnecessary and used for drama, which I'm not okay with in this case.

Lastly, this book has a bad case of deus ex machina. Every time the characters were in a seemingly hopeless situation, they were miraculously saved from it. It happened so often that I started to see it coming from a mile away.

You might get the impression I hated this book. I didn't. It mostly didn't leave much of an impression on me. I didn't care to pick it up when I wasn't reading it, which was why it took so long for me to read it. And I had higher hopes for it, so I was a bit disappointed. But I will continue with the next book in the series because I do enjoy these characters and I want to know more about the side characters and how all of their stories fit together.

Am I doomed to dislike every Richelle Mead book I read? Maybe I just need to read Vampire Academy like I should have in the first place...
Profile Image for Riley.
422 reviews20.5k followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
April 25, 2016
Reasons why this book did not work for me:

1. It is marketed as a fantasy but nothing about this book is fantasy. This would have made so much more sense if it was a historical fiction book because all Richelle Mead did was take places and customs from our world and give them new names.

2. There were so many plot holes and unanswered questions since this is going to be a companion series. The idea of having each book in this series follow a different girl sounds good, but it didn't work for me.

3. The romantic relationship was stale and I didn't care whatsoever if they ended up together or not.

4. There were many cases of deus ex machina and it just seemed like lazy writing.

Funnily enough most of these issues are the same ones I had with Soundless, so maybe outside of Vampire Academy Richelle Mead just isn't for me. I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn't get through it and won't be continuing the series.

*This book was sent to me by Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Rose.
1,854 reviews1,046 followers
April 17, 2016
Initial reaction: *shakes head* One of the few times I'm speechless as one of the authors I hold in high regard wrote one of the most ethnocentric and bigoted pieces of fiction I've read in this genre to date. I'm honestly stunned. Native populations deserve a lot better than this. (As does the GLBT community).

I mean, I know that this book is stand-alone and told from the perspective of different girls in each of the three books, but if your first book starts out with something like this, it's incredibly hard to want to read anything else it has to offer. Not even Mira or Tamsin saved this book for me, and I liked their characters quite a bit.

Full review:

All right, I've had a night to sleep on my thoughts on this, and even now, it still fills me with dread having to write this review because I really like Richelle Mead's works. I loved Vampire Academy (though it took me a while to warm up to it). I even liked what little I've read of the Bloodlines series, and some of her adult urban fantasy works as well. The "Age of X" series had its problems, but I still found it worth following to some extent as well. Which makes me wonder "What the hell happened here?"

To put this into context: I haven't read Kiera Cass's "The Selection" series - and I have no desire to do so for my own reasons. However, when I heard Richelle Mead would explore similar themes in this new series, I thought "Okay, if there's anybody I trust who could make that sort of thing interesting, it would be her. Let's do this!"

Before I get into the ethnocentrism and bigotry in this novel (because it's a long discussion and once I get started on that, I'm going to try to streamline the discussion to make it easier to swallow), I'm going to highlight some of the base problems with this book on a collective note. This really didn't feel like a book written by Richelle Mead to me. I've read a good number of her works and many of them seem to have these respective strengths: strong worldbuilding, well-developed and identifiable characters, palpable tension and conflict, and a strong sense of immersion into the story she's crafted. Usually when I pick up a book by her, I'll expect to settle into the journey and want to be drawn into it and the voice of the character perspective Mead takes on.

This book had little to none of these things.

A restricted young woman from a family of power and high privilege decides she wants more freedom in her life - base description of where this story begins. Elizabeth is a very pampered girl, used to flowing gowns and making replications of art among other things in high society life. Feeling like she's too restricted and wanting the freedom (of all things) to choose the man she wants to marry, she decides to take the place of her maid for an opportunity to go to an elite institution called "The Glittering Court" - special opportunity for housekeepers and common people to be taught manners and given the chance to be sold to the highest bidder of a suitor of their choice. (I don't see how this scenario is much better than the situation she was facing with her grandmother, but I followed it, nonetheless.)

Think of it sort of as a "Prince and the Pauper" scenario, only nowhere near as interesting because the Pauper disappears just as quickly as she comes. So Adelaide (Elizabeth's new identity) assumes her new role with a little help from the Glittering Court recruiter (Cedric Thorn) who decides to keep her identity secret. From there, Adelaide makes "friends" (there's a reason why I put this in quotes) with Tamsin and Mira during her time at the Glittering Court, as they participate in training to prepare them to move into the New World for their respective matchings. Then, once in the New World, Adelaide has to figure how to survive as a frontierswoman and overcome a corrupt scheme that threatens to tear apart her and the one she ends up choosing to be with.

So, what's the problem with this, you may ask? Where do I begin?

1. Wrong genre classification. This is not a fantasy. This is not a fantasy. THIS IS NOT A FANTASY. It may have fictionalized names of tribes and places, but it's really a thinly veiled attempt at expressing a world/scenario similar to English settlers colonizing Native American lands. It feels like it could've been an attempt at historical fiction, only if it had been, I think fans would've been railing at the factual inaccuracies and practical erasure of tribal histories and palpable conflicts in order to further the love story here. There are no magic wielders, and it's not even a dystopian universe. There's really little to no struggle for the Osfridians because they're the dominant culture, and the tribes that are barely in the book rarely present any conflicts (and when they are, it's usually the people from Osfrid who are presenting the problematic scenarios and taking jabs to knock them down and make them seem like "savages" or "uncivilized").

So, I don't understand what Mead was going for here. The worldbuilding was scant at best for differentiating between the actual history and this so-called fantasy world. I sat on my hands hoping it would immerse me more and come across as a very different realm with something substantial to it, but it's really blatant and problematic.

2. Very long and tedious story that feels like it has pieces missing from it. Granted, I know this respective series - in each book - is told from the perspective of a single character in a self-contained insert of a larger story, but it feels like characters appear and disappear for no rhyme or reason. In this book, you're only left with Adelaide's candid (oftentimes infuriating) assumptions as to where or what other people are doing at a given time. I think this book might've had better balance if it'd had the POV switches focusing on the heart of the ongoing conflicts, thus making the narrative feel a bit more full and complete for conflict and character development.

I don't mind reading about governesses or beautiful balls or displays of lavish wealth and sophistication - as long as you can make me care about it. That the experience is novel, relevant, immersive to the story one's telling. For me, that's just one of the few problems with Adelaide's POV taking the reins of this particular tale, and I hated the lot of it for that.

3. Adelaide. Yes, Adelaide is a problem. She is, by far, the weakest and most abhorrent heroine that I've read from Mead to date. I found it incredibly hard to care about her. It wasn't just for her fatal flaws. True, she's selfish, pampered, sheltered from her privileged upbringing. That would be one thing, because there's something to seeing a heroine like that grow from her experiences and interactions, learning from them. Yet, she showed very little to no growth of character through this entire narrative, which made it boring to follow her respective story. I mean, what problems did she have for a good portion of this narrative? She left her home of her own willful deceit, she decides to keep her governess upbringing a secret as she tries to further her own means to an end in the Glittering Court and win the opportunity to choose the one she wanted to be with (only to end up not going that route at all). She's a *special snowflake* who ended up getting courted by one of the biggest people of privilege from the get-go (and from one who willingly - and conveniently - bends all the rules of the court just to get it done). Really, the only problems she really had were more towards the end, and that was problematic in and of itself.

MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD:

So how do they get out of that scenario? By the aide of a character who never once made an appearance until the last possible second. Convenient, no?

But Adelaide's character feels like she does so much only for Cedric's sake or just to try to prove she's not as pampered as people think she is. (Which she proves otherwise through certain attitudes and actions). *sighs*

4. Side character plights are far more interesting than the MC's, but they're deferred. This saddens me because Mira and Tamsin's characters actually have really solid foundations for story. I think they were what kept me reading through this narrative even when I wanted to throw the book down in disgust. They were the characters who had the most to lose if they didn't gain the status they were looking for in the Glittering Court. But yet when they disappear from Adelaide's viewpoint, they're gone. They come in and out, and you have no idea what became of them, so the story feels incomplete and their characters feel shortchanged where they could've been much stronger.

Now I get into the discussions of how horribly prejudiced this entire narrative is:

1. Pro-colonization: This book could be seen as a very glamorized portrayal of colonization. In the overarching perspective of this book - these girls aren't just getting primped and prepped to be married off to handsome suitors, they're being married off to people colonizing the "New World" in order to be governesses of men who basically took lands from the Native tribes already living there. Never mind exploring what Osfridians did to get that land, but hey - it's all about the pretty dresses and being married off to the highest bidder! Not to mention rewriting history for what it actually entailed!

*silently fumes*

2. Casual racism and anti-LGBT: I cannot tell you how many times I flinched at hearing the word "savages" in this book by the majority of the cast of characters here, like it's a normal thing and not considered a slur or insult. Reading that made me feel like I was getting my fingernails forcefully torn off). Even Adelaide seems comfortable (and doesn't seem the least bit informed) about referring to the New World's land as unkempt, wild, "uncivilized." This isn't just language referring to being a frontierswoman and surviving the elements, but rather it's directed to the people living there in an attempt to supposedly make it more "civilized" on the part of Osfridians. It's incredibly insulting.

Adelaide also barely bats an eye at the racism that's directed towards Mira considering Mira's a refugee "with a funny accent". It even shows her position of unabashed privilege when she takes it upon herself to help Mira get her accent closer to being proper Osfridian. She only cares because Mira is "her friend" while making rampantly ignorant comments about such ethnicity in just about every conversation Mira comes across. When there's a rumor about Mira's supposed promiscuity - on one hand Adelaide defends Mira's honor by slut shaming another girl (saying she looks "like a whore"), but upon Mira's sudden, frequent disappearances, Adelaide wonders if the rumors were true.

I'm sitting in my chair listening to the audiobook of this with my hand covering my mouth in horror as it plays out.

The one instance of LGBT mention came from a minority businesswoman Adelaide comes across (whom Adelaide points out doesn't look Native for her features. Which I raged enough about as I read it. What does being a minority "look" like anyway, and how is it not prejudicial to judge someone based on their looks? Like why was that even a thing here?). The woman talks about her relationship with another woman and how it didn't work out. Adelaide had the audacity to question whether the woman was even attracted to women in the first place and if it was the reason why she "dressed in men's clothes" because she didn't feel like a woman.

I...just have no words to that. I really don't. Didn't help that Adelaide felt embarrassed after the fact for the questioning because there was no takeaway from Adelaide's part in that conversation. I wish I could do more direct quoting but since I had the audiobook version of it, I can't paste more direct citations of all the problematic things that were said here.

It was enough to cause me to put the book down more than once, questioning if I really would DNF this book. I don't think many people would have blamed me for DNFing this one - not just in my identification as a POC, but also just feeling incensed at how prejudice is shown in this book and the context in which it was put. It was at least somewhat palpable with the religious persecution, but yet when it came to racial and poverty distinctions? Nope, didn't treat it with the same respect at all, and you would think if the book took the time to show these horrible forms of discrimination that the heroine would have a single clue or care aside from the person her affections turned toward. *sighs*

Honestly, I would recommend people avoid the heck out of this book. It's really insulting to many minority groups and historically (and genre-notably) inaccurate. I don't know if I'll be looking into the rest of the series yet. I did like Mira and Tamsin (Tamsin had only a few moments in the book to shine - particularly where she called out Adelaide on her B.S., but it was sadly shortlived). But even their characters weren't enough to save this from being an offensive, lacking mess.

Overall score: 0.5/5 stars.
Profile Image for Danielle.
779 reviews365 followers
August 16, 2017
Thank god I'm finally finished with this book!! I've got so many issues with it. Characters are not really likable- story jumps around and is just not at all thrilling. I wish I were the type of person who could put a horrible book down. But apparently I have some kind of disease that requires I finish a book once I start (no matter how boring it is). There was nothing of remote interest for me here. I just didn't care about anything going on in the story. There was a strange attempt to cliff hang two characters stories (that I'm sure are the sequel books). But the problem was I didn't care about either character in this book- nor happens to either in the future. If you need a book to put you to sleep- this is it.
Profile Image for Ryan.
51 reviews378 followers
Shelved as 'lowkey-curious'
November 23, 2016
Oh, look! Another book I want to read because everyone dislikes it.

description

(Probably, let's be honest here.)
Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
263 reviews764 followers
August 5, 2016
WARNING: I was extremely tired and grumpy when I wrote this. I apologize for excessive sass.

DNF at 300 pages in. I couldn't keep pretending I cared in any way about these characters. If you liked this book, you might want to look away right about now.

So this book is about Adelaide/whatever her original name was, a highborn lady whose family is running out of funds. To escape arranged marriage with a glorified oats farmer, she joins a school designed to teach girls skills Adelaide already knows to prep her for yet another backwater arranged marriage in a continent that matches colonial North America in all but name. Looking back on it, I should have known I wouldn't like this book because the premise is a girl running from one arranged marriage to another at the expense of her family. Where exactly is the sense in that?
Anyway, on her journey Adelaide excels so much at every single thing she tries that she has to fake unladylike manners, and nearly everyone in the school hates her because of her haughty attitude. Poor Adelaide. Luckily along the way she learns that peasants, foreigners, and pagans are people too, just like the aristocracy! Good for you, Adelaide!

Don't even get me started on the degrading concept behind the Glittering Court - teaching women to be proper so they can be bought by some man like a pretty sack of meat. I just love the feminist undertones of the book there.

Part of the problem here is me, because I'm weird about romance books. While I read them all the time and enjoy them, in real life I'm not much of a romantic. So when Adelaide decides to give up a safe, prestigious, respectable life for a half-built shack in the middle of nowhere in the name of true love, I wanted to roll my eyes so hard they'd get stuck looking into my brain forever. At that point I stopped reading. If Adelaide wants to die in her twenties of starvation or tuberculosis or any of the other hundred ways to die in a shack, then that's her choice, I guess. But I'm not going to concern myself with it anymore.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,521 reviews33.9k followers
Shelved as 'on-hold'
April 17, 2016
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. . . .

:D

SCANDALIZE ME.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews838 followers
March 14, 2016
REALLY GOOD. And I actually really love that the next two books will be companion sequels, told in the perspective of two different girls. Adelaide's story is very complete and wrapped up. Mira's story, and Tamsin's story... I can't wait to see who is next! Both of them are wonderful characters. <3

Anyway, THIS Mead book really worked for me!



***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Book One of The Glittering Court series
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Copy provided by First to Read

Summary (from Goodreads):

A dazzling new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds that’s dripping with romance from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.

Big and sweeping, spanning 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 capable of arranging 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 later, 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. . . .

What I Liked:

This book was different! I don't think I've read anything quite like it before. We have a mixture of Elizabethan London (though the setting is a fantasy made-up one) and the American Frontier (1800s, gold panning, the New World, Manifest Destiny, etc.). Everything is purely fantasy, but totally based on these two types of settings, mixed into one. How cool! I really enjoyed the book. This is only my second Mead book (and I wasn't a fan of Soundless), and I'm happy to say that I actually enjoyed this one a lot!

Lady Whitmore, a countess, is about to enter an arranged marriage... with her cousin. Her family has no money, but she has a title, and so the match is a balanced one. But Adelaide sets the chance to escape by pretending to be her servant, when her servant is invited to join the Glittering Court (the servant doesn't want to go, but Adelaide does). There, Adelaide is taught how to be nobility (which she obviously excels at), and all the girls are to attract a husband and marry well. She makes friends, including her two roommates, and Cedric Thorn, son of Jasper Thorn, who runs the Glittering Court. Cedric finds out her secret... and she finds out some of his. Together, they begin to figure out how to help Cedric with his secret - but it could mean giving up hers.

There are so many parts to this book! I definitely cannot say that this book was boring. The book starts with Adelaide meeting her future husband, and then she hears about the Glittering Court and runs away. Then a lot of time is spent at the Glittering Court. And the girls are taken to the New World to find husbands (that's the whole point of the Glittering Court - to find rich husbands overseas, in the New World). There, everything gets hairy.

I like Adelaide! She's tough and bold and has guys. To leave a privileged life of class and riches and entitlement? It seemed like an easy choice given the circumstances, but the learning curve was steep. Nevertheless, Adelaide learns a lot, in terms of how to be a working woman, less than a noblewoman. Which is funny, because the Glittering Court is all about turning working women into noblewomen.

I also adore Adelaide's roommates, Tamsin and Mira! Tamsin is determined to be the #1 girl at the Glittering Court (aptly called the diamond). She is trying to do the best because she can't go back to her former life (we don't know her backstory, but it's coming in future books). She is doing everything she can to turn up the charm and secure a man. And whatever her reasons are, we can't blame her! Tamsin knows what's best for her. As ambitious as she is, she's also a good friend. She and Adelaide do not have the easiest friendship at first, but Tamsin redeems herself.

I like Mira more than I liked Tamsin, though I liked Tamsin and am really curious about her backstory. I'm really curious about Mira's too though. The way Mead writes this book, we don't know everything about Tamsin and Mira. They'll be the protagonists of each of the next books, so we'll find out things as the series goes on. Mira is of a different ethnic group, and men don't want to marry her or take her seriously. But Mira is so sweet and such a survivor. I like her a lot!

Oh Cedric. We meet him fairly quickly, when he comes to Adelaide's house to inform her servant that she has been accepted into the Glittering Court (and that is when Adelaide devises her plan to escape). Cedric is so sweet and protective, and keeps Adelaide's secrets without even knowing her. I love how devoted he becomes to her, and how far he'd go for her. I also really like that he is true to himself and does not fall to peer pressure (you'll have to see what I mean by that).

The romance is so slow-burn and wonderful! This book is long, and the author takes her time in crafting the relationship. Adelaide is at the Glittering Court's manor of nearly a year, and then in the New World for about a year too (or thereabout). So basically, she and Cedric get to know each other really well, during the time. During the first year, they're friends, but you can tell that she is attracted to him. But more importantly, she risks a lot to help him, and makes some tough choices, for him. What I will say - no one has to become a martyr for anyone. Cedric does not sacrifice himself for her, and vice versa, at any permanent point in the story (again, you'll have to read the book to see what I mean - and I promise this isn't a spoiler). I really enjoyed the last third of the book, especially in terms of the romance. Things got pretty heated! Also, no love triangle.

Did I already mention how much I like the setting? A mixture of an Elizabethan setting, and the Frontier. The gold mining and panning took me by surprise, in the second half of the book! It felt like the Wild West or something. I like this though, the blend of two very different times/worlds/settings! The author did a really good job with crafting the world.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with this book. The strong female relationships, the lovely slow-burn romance, the interesting plot, fascinating setting... and the best part? (Or one of them.) This book reads like a standalone. Literally the entire story is told in this book, so you can read this book and stop there! Adelaide and Cedric's story is done, at the end. I mean, they may make cameos in the two companion novels, but their story is pretty final. And I LOVE the ending!

What I Did Not Like:

This is more of a warning than a dislike -- not everything will make 100% sense. And that is because the sequels will make those things clearer - that's what I'm gathering. Book two and book three are in Tamsin and Mira's POV (though which character is getting which book, I do not know).

Would I Recommend It:

I liked this book a lot! It's completely historical-esque, but in a fantasy setting (because everything is made up), but there is no paranormal aspect to the book (yay). I like the steamy romance a lot (and no love triangle, woohoo), and the story in general was really cool. Plus, you can read it as a standalone! That's a major win right there.

Rating:

4 stars. While I am very content with what I read here, I will definitely be looking forward to read Tamsin's story, and Mira's story! Usually I'm kind of wary of companion sequels in YA, but I love how Mead has the series set up. Cedric and Adelaide's ending was perfect!
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,153 reviews97.7k followers
July 24, 2016


I've read almost everything Richelle Mead has ever written, but I think it's time for me to stop. Do you ever feel like maybe you outgrew an author? I remember buying physical Vampire Academy books at midnight, because they were so magical I couldn't wait! One time, during a move, my new house didn't have internet yet, so I camped out in a McDonald's parking lot at midnight so I could download The Indigo Spell. To this date, the Dark Swan series is one the best series I've ever read and is still the only book starring a shaman I've ever read.

But then Bloodlines became horrible, Gameboard of the Gods was a joke, and I gave Soundless a two star rating when it deserved a one star rating, but I didn't want to believe Richelle Mead, one of my favorite authors of all time, was writing nothing but one star books.

I have outgrown Richelle Mead, and I don't think I will be reading any more YA stories from her, because my heart can't take giving her more chances and me having to write more negative reviews.



First off, this book is not a fantasy and should not be marked as one. It's historical fiction with made up names.

This book is about a countess that has lost her parents. Her new guardian, her grandmother, wants her to marry a cousin so they can keep living their extravagant lifestyle while also keeping the blood pure. Well, this doesn't sit well with our main protagonist, and when a man comes to take one of her servants away to the Glittering Court, she finds a way to take the servant's place.

Which sounds reasonable, right? Until you realize the man stated what the Glittering Court is - a court that prepares beautiful young woman to become nobleman's wives to the highest bidder. Yeah, bidder. She legitimately escapes her grandmother's arranged marriage to be part of a stranger's arranged marriage. You do find out later in the story that there is more choice and leeway involved, but our dear Adelaide, Osfridian Countess, does not know that upfront. This is the main plot of this book, and it doesn't even make sense.



Then, let's queue the obvious love interest and add in some angst with it being an unobtainable love. That is, until it's just obtainable and they could have saved everyone a lot of trouble and, more importantly, me a lot of time.

I will give Richelle Mead a little credit, because she does try to tell a story that would start a discussion on religious freedom. I'll give any author credit if they write something thought provoking that is somewhat taboo to talk about, and she did. That's not saying she wrote about it amazingly, or that this book would change anyone's life, but I still appreciate the sentiment and discussion, because this is a very important topic that our world needs to talk a hell of a lot more about!

“Do you think my being someone else's wife will change anything? Don't you know that I'd lie with you in the groves, under the light of the moon? That I'd defy the laws of gods and men for you?”

I also think it's important to note, that as crazy as the hypocrisy in the first part of this book is, the first part of this book is way more enjoyable than the later parts. The ending of this book has probably the biggest use of deus ex machina I have read in a really long time. I hate "big shiny bow" syndrome in my stories, and this book is the queen of them. This story is one hopeless situation after hopeless situation that always ends up being fixed in a blink of an eye and with a snap of someone's fingers.

I believe this book is going to have two companion novels. I'm sure the two companion novels are going to be in the POV of the two girls Adelaide befriends in the Glittering Court. These girls have a lot of mystery going on behind the scenes, while Adelaide was off trying to get married, so the idea is kind of appealing to me. This book also ended with a clean ending, while still leaving a few mini cliffhanger mysteries to make the reader want to read whatever comes next.

I never want to discourage anyone from reading something. This didn't work for me, but hopefully it could still work for you. I have never read The Selection, but all my friends say that if you like that series, you will also like this one.

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Profile Image for Jeff.
143 reviews401 followers
November 12, 2017
So, I've heard of the vampire academy series for a while and jeez, that's quite a few books to take care of, so hey, when this series came along, it was just.....JACKPOT.

See, I thought this was gonna be a stupendous book.
I mean, first of all, I thought that there would be glitter.
GLITTER.

So.....hehe, yah THERE WASN'T ANY.
NO F*CKING GLITTERY COURT AT ALL -_-

EXCEPT: A WHINY GIRL WHO DECIDED TO RUN AWAY FROM HER LIFE.

See, I believe in freedom and all that.
Rights?
Freedom of speech?
Anyone?

So of course, hell yah, pack ur bags and go gurl!

But once she reaches this academy thingy where she's supposed to be 'safe' and the story line says 'find her Prince Charming', THATS IT.
......Uhh.......this fangirl ain't amused.

See, ur telling me, that I read all that crap of her coming here and the rest of the story is her and this dude playing tug of war on their hearts??!
Alright, shut up with the game already.

WHAT ELSE, HMM?? TO ADD TO THIS SEEMINGLY SHORT REVIEW?? -_-


Good night, folks.
Profile Image for Bree.
343 reviews67 followers
Want to read
October 28, 2015
I'm sorry, but how many times can Richelle Mead get shitty cover after shitty cover?
FOR EVERY SERIES SHE HAS EVER DONE.
This is a tragedy. It feels like Leonardo Decaprio never recieving a Oscar.
Why must the wonderful things be taken from the talented people, PRAY TELL ME!

God, Just, look at it.
She looks like the glittering court gave her an allergic reaction
And JESUS. I haven't even begun with the title yet. WTF.
I FEEL LIKE TAKING THIS TITLE TO COURT AND DEMANDING IT BE JAILED AND LOCKED AWAY AND NEVER USED AGAIN, BANISH IT FROM THE HUMAN EYE, CAUSE ITS A DISGRACE OF A TITLE, in my opinion, anyhow.
So sue me, TAKE ME TO THE GLITTERING COURT AND SUE ME, but be warned if I even went near a court labelled 'glittering' I'd RAZZLEDAZZLE my self riht out of that dumb-sounding place.
Profile Image for Katerina  Kondrenko.
498 reviews825 followers
January 13, 2021
2 out of 10

Ревью в моем блоге/This review on my blog
Living A Thousand Lives
(please use Chrome/Yandex browser or Android/IOS to see the page; otherwise, spoiler-tags I use to make my post compact may not work)

Genre: high-fantasy, YA
Stuff: historical hints, bride-market
Fail: boring story and characters
POV: 1st-person, female
Love-Geometry: seeming

Quote-Core:
“We’re all in charge of our own lives—and we have to live with the consequences of the choices we make.”

Buddy-DNF with Nastassja.

I rarely DNF books (12 titles only during my whole life), I can skip boring passages (it happens rarely as well) or even pages (almost never) to help myself through, but in this particular case...



I just can't take it anymore.

This story has a great premise, it promises a pseudo-historical setting, steamy romance, and a strong heroine, but everything is a lie. I mean, the high-fantasy world turns out being a lot like the real one, the romance is boring, the main characters are flat, and I can't find anything to hold on to and finish the book.

We have a noble but poor lady, who has to become a wife of a not very pleasant boy her grandma nicely chose. Trying to escape the arrange marriage, she goes to the Glittering Court (using her servant's name), a school for common girls those are eager to sail abroad and be sold to rich men of the New World. They would learn how to dance, walk, talk and so on in da style of a high society lady, after that they would take exams and their code-names aka quality labels (brilliant, for example, is for the best, while amethyst is for a so-so girl). Yes, this the place where our lover of freedom goes, 'cause bride-markets are all about freedom, aren't they? I don't get MC's logic, but she was desperate and maybe it was the reason of this not very clever move.

Also we have Cedric. A son of the owner of the Glittering Court and Adelaide's (false name of the MC) recruiter. He has a BIG secret which is quite serious they say, but only say, not show. His religion is different from the main one like Eastern Orthodoxy is different from Catholicism (not a really big deal, I mean). In the book's world someone like Cedric is a heretic and supposed to be burned at the stake (or something like that). I didn't give a damn about his secret and potential consequences of it's revelation, 'cause we've seen no executions, no tortures, nothing at all what could show us how dangerous was to believe in the things Cedric did.

Between Adelaide and Cedric is not an instalove, it's an all-of-a-sudden-love. They are falling for each other with passing of time, but we aren't there to see the processes, because this book has holes in a form of "six months later", "after a year" and other time-black-spots during those MC is forging relationships with girls at the school and with Cedric too. And how are we supposed to feel something toward strangers? To say 'a year passed' is not a way to relate your characters to your readers.

Because of these jumps through time, I was constantly irritated with so-called Adelaide's friends, her goals and reasons (to do anything for a man with a different religion vision, 'cause he was in danger we readers were only told about and never showed with) and with the things those were going on. Or weren't. To be honest, The Glittering Court is a very static story: decorations change, the rest of it doesn't. And there's no intrigue, nothing to make you want, to be eager for more information, to read faster, to discuss something with people.

That's why I gave up at 53%, rated it with 2/10 stars, and not gonna read next books in this series too.

The Glittering Court (Сверкающий двор):
The Glittering Court (Сверкающий двор) #1/3
— Untitled (Без названия) #2/3
— Untitled (Без названия) #3/3
Profile Image for Nastassja.
422 reviews966 followers
July 6, 2016

Actual rating: 1.5 stars

DNF at about 53%

Welcome to a fancy brothel! Every kind of girl is available here for a good price. Have a pick.

Our MC is the Countess of Rothford. Her life is pretty hard: she has to marry an itching nasty cousin or stay moneyless heiress and loose her grand fancy house *gasp* what a terrible fate! How will our poor baby find a way out of this situation? Will she decide to stay poor but, at least, save her pride and title? Or will she marry her terrible cousin? No. She will steal her maids identity and enlist into a fancy brothel called The Glittering Court where women are shipped into a foreign country and sold to rich men. Wow, that is the best option ever! Independence and comfort life are on the way. Oh no, stop, I forgot to mention a working house for girls who refuse to play along with fancy brothel's rules (and something tells me she'll choose not to marry another itchy man). Such a freedom, indeed! For the love of god, I can't fathom why abandoning your responsibility and going to an unknown country with no means and utter dependence on other people's mercy is better than staying home and facing your problems? Simply put: exchanging one problem for a whole carriage of problems.

But honestly? Who’d pick those kind of long work hours over a chance to be on the arm of a wealthy, doting husband who’ll drape you in silks and jewels?

Any sane being would choose the first option but Ada (it's her maid's name and we don't even know her real one) is a selfish, fickle creature. Now tell me, author, why should I care about a heroine who cares only about herself, betrays her friends easily when it suits her and has no doubts about her own awesomeness *standing ovations* *throws tomatos*

Nothing happens in the book except for balls, and discussions of all kind of ball gowns and ball related conversations. Ballocks, what a waste of book space!

Oh, wait, I forgot to tell you about Cedric - main love interest, who has this terrible secret that can be his undoing. *whispers* he's a heretic *gasp* No shit!

“I believe the six wayward angels are every bit as holy as the six glorious ones. They aren’t demons. And I believe divinity is all around us in the natural world, free to anyone,” he said calmly. “Not something only accessible through the priests in their churches.”

So, you are saying that he is, simply put, a hippy? And that, um, in his country hippies are illegal and punishable by death? So, these people live in the 18th or 19th century but act like they are from Middle Ages. Bloody hell, people, don't you have more important issues to fight?! Heretics are your major Government level problem?! *facepalm* What a nonsense! Religious stuff is always hard to interpret, so readers would accept it and understand the importance of it in a book, but this absurd is beyond my comprehension.

To summarize my opinion about this book:

“Do you think my future’s a joke? Is all of this a joke to you?”

What do you think is my answer?

*******************************
Pre-review
No more. this book feels like torture. Katerina and I tried to slay the dragon, but the fucking dragon is unkillable.

Profile Image for Wanderlust_Wanz.
318 reviews47 followers
March 31, 2016
The Glittering Court is quite an enjoyable read, with its rather intriguing premise and slow-building romance between Adelaide and Cedric. Though there were some flaws present such as slow pacing and certain loopholes, I still enjoyed it as a whole regardless.

Things started to get more interesting when Adelaide departed to Adoria after receiving ample etiquette trainings where she met with other potential and noteworthy suitors, or so she thought as things started to go downhill for her. Still, I liked how brave she is at the very beginning when she was willing to forgo her status in order to escape her undesirable marriage and daringly disguise her way into Adoria. Also, the friendship that she eventually forged with Tamsin and Mira whom she later befriended in Adoria was heartening too.

The ending portion of the story was exceptionally exciting as things took an unexpected and intense turn. Also, I was finally convinced of the romance between Adelaide and Cedric, which I was initially doubtful of, as they managed to overcome their obstacles together and forged a more solid and endearing relationship.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,672 reviews701 followers
February 17, 2016
4.5 stars

I loved the premise and hello gorgeous cover, so I was eager to start this book. Once I got started, I tried to take my time because I wanted to savor it.

Love love love Adelaide. She's sassy and fantastically outspoken for the time period. Her BFFs Tamsin and Mira were just as delightful and I really enjoyed all of the scenes with the three of them. And Cedric...he's a whole other story. The UST between him and Adelaide is so delicious. There are some of the sweetest swoons and their banter had me grinning.

Plot wise, there is a lot going on. Like a lot a lot. And that's where my attention started to wane a bit. The ending isn't cliffhangery at all, but there is definitely a set up for the next book. I can't wait to see what happens next.
Profile Image for Rachel  (APCB Reviews).
331 reviews1,189 followers
March 13, 2016
I've been a longtime fan of Richelle Mead, and although this is completely unlike any of her other works, I found myself completely delighted by her latest series starter, The Glittering Court. It has so many fascinating components weaved together in a way that somehow works. With strong characters, adorable romance, and many intertwined plot conflicts, this series definitely has a lot going for it.

Wanting to escape a loveless pending marriage and a stifling lifestyle, Adelaide assumes her servant's identity to join the Glittering Court, a business and finishing school that takes low-class girls and transforms them into educated, proper women fit to marry wealthy men looking for wives in the new Osfridian colonies across the treacherous sea. As Adelaide struggles to hide her true identity, she must spin even more lies and sometimes hurt the ones she loves.

The main character, Adelaide is a witty, highly opinionated person. I love her tenacity and will to change her fate. It was quite comical seeing her learn how to do such mundane tasks such as mending and cleaning dishes. Cedric, the Glittering Court owner's son, is an intellect and extremely kind gentleman. I felt their connection from the very beginning, and I love their sassy banter and electrifying chemistry.

As much as I enjoyed the romance, the friendships in this novel surpass that. I wish more books would contain wonderful friendships like this book does. Tamsin is a fiery, driven, and ambitious person who has a sentimental and fiercely protective side. Mira has so much inner strength and wisdom. Together the three work together and support one another. I love this friendship, and I'm so glad Richelle included it in her story.

I felt this book had three distinct parts. At first I was immediately swept up in the world-building and the pretty dresses and opulence. Eventually the pace slowed down for me as they entered the voyage section of the book, but it quickly picked up again. This book went through highs and lows in terms of pacing, but overall it was an easy, engaging read.

This book had so many fascinating elements. I really liked how this book had influences of Elizabethan culture yet later on in the book there's a new frontier/wild west vibe. Of course the scenes of luxury especially piqued my fancy. There is a large cast of characters, and I had a bit of trouble keeping up with all of them. I was also expecting a bit more from the fantasy label of this book, but there are no magical or supernatural elements.

I'm pretty sure the next two books will follow Tamsin or Mira as Adelaide's storyline is resolved by the end of this book. I'm curious, so I'll definitely continue with this series. If you're into books with historical settings, great friendships, and a great lead main character, I think you'd like this book!
Profile Image for Mel.
878 reviews339 followers
January 13, 2021
this book was GOOD but there was too much useless plot. This book follows a girl who wants to escape her royal life and ends up going to the Glittering Court which teaches "common" girls how to be royalty, and then they are sold on a different continent to men needing wives. That is a good plot, and that aspect of the story was good. But Mead added all these sub plots that were really in the background and not well explained or expanded or developed so the book just had too much of nothing in it. A lot of plots she added that she didn't know what to do with and ended abruptly. There are even mini cliff hanger endings to make a second book necessary when it's really really not necessary. This didn't need to be more than a stand alone.

So while I enjoyed this and thought it was good, I didn't really "like" it because i'm not really sure what of what I read was important.
Profile Image for Rachel E. Carter.
Author 9 books3,474 followers
Read
January 27, 2023
I wasn't sure what to expect going in, this book took all my expectations and kind of threw them out the window. From a finishing school to gold panning, and yet I kinda loved it. I suppose what I wasn't expecting was that each book is actually a standalone from a different character's perspective, and to be honest I'm not sure I want to read two more in the same timeline so I'll pass on the sequels... It was a good book, I enjoyed it, yes the ending was a bit convenient, but who cares: I had fun. And the audiobook's narrator was PERFECT.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,721 reviews6,664 followers
April 30, 2016
★★½
The Glittering Court is the first installment in Richelle Mead's series titled (surprise, surprise) The Glittering Court. At this point in my reviews, I would have listed the genres but I kinda have a problem. It is marketed as a fantasy but I find this severely misleading. The Glittering Court is historical fiction with conveniently made-up names for the countries and oceans. There is no fantasy in this book. As for historical fiction, it wasn't bad. I liked the first half very much actually. I could easily relate to the main character, even with her "It ain't easy being rich and royal" attitude. I wanted her to be happy and even though the consequences to her chosen problem solving were painfully predictable, it was fun to read. Maybe Ms. Mead realized how predictable it was becoming too so she mixed things up later on. I don't know what happened but The Glittering Court became less fun and more of a chore to read for me personally. My initial four-star review plummeted to two and a half. I added the half star because I genuinely enjoyed this book when I started it. I wish my enjoyment had lasted but that's the way it goes sometimes.

If you are a fan of Richelle Mead in general, then try The Glittering Court. Continuing this series is definitely not in the cards for me but maybe you'll have better luck :)

My favorite quote:
"Bad things are always going to happen. There's no way to avoid that. Our control comes in how we face them."
Profile Image for Kaya Dimitrova.
327 reviews70 followers
December 30, 2016
Всъщност прочетох книгата преди доста време, но дълго се чудех дали да ѝ напиша ревю. Ришел Мийд е една от най-любимите ми авторки, но с тази книга мъничко ме разочарова.
Светът на „Бляскавият двор” е странен, но интересен – като се започне с бляскавите рокли в стила на изминали епохи, продължи се с идеята за „нов” и „стар” свят, коренно различни един от друг и се завърши с религията, която според мен беше един от най–важните елементи в творбата. По отношение на стил на писане и света, който бе изградила Мийд – определено останах доволна.
Разочарованието ми идва при героите. Свикнала съм авторката да изгражда силни героини, както и силни приятелства, а в тази книга това ми липсваше. Главната героиня на пръв поглед изглеждаше самостоятелна, решителна и борбена, но в моите очи беше просто посредствена, дори може би досадна. Най-добрите ѝ приятелки от друга страна определено спечелиха интереса ми и вероятно книгите, посветени на тях, ще са ми по-вълнуващи. Приятелството между трите момичета обаче беше скалъпено доста нелепо – стана прекалено бързо, липсваше каквато и да е споделеност между трите и моментите между тях ми бяха по-скоро смешни, отколкото трогателни.
Изключителен свят, в който да се потопиш, силни второстепенни герои, но слаби главни такива и недобре изградени взаимоотношения.
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