Review: Court of Fives by Kate Elliott (Court of Fives #1)


Court of Fives by Kate Elliott // VBCCourt of Fives (Court of Fives #1)
Kate Elliott
Published: Aug. 18, 2015 (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review Source: purchased

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Growing up in a household that straddles the in-between of Commoner and Patron, Jessamy has dreamed of a different life. A life where she’s an Adversary in the royal game of Fives. She’s been sneaking out and training for a year, all while saving her money so she can have the entry fee into the next tournament. The day before she’s suppose to realize her dreams, her father returns from one of his many long absences due to being a Captain in the King’s army, and it’s just the beginning of things that start to go wrong in Jes’s life.

Soon Jes will be torn away from her mother and sisters, and along with her father, used as a pawn in a power-hungry Lord’s scheme to gain the throne. She’ll have to put her trust in the Patron-born, extremely high class (and let’s be frank, extremely good-looking) Kalliarkos, a fellow Adversary, if she wants any hope of seeing her mother and sisters again.

Court of Fives was a little bit difficult for me to get into at the start. I think this may, in part, be due to the fact that the blurb and title almost lend themselves to being exclusively about the Fives game (likened in a way to The Hunger Games), and upon reading I felt like that’s not what this book is about at all.

For me, this book is about Jessamy’s eyes finally opening to what her life actually is, and understanding that, as the saying goes, “there are two sides to every story.” She’s lived a sheltered, albeit somewhat privileged, life but due to the fact that her father is a Patron and her mother a Commoner, and therefore they cannot legally marry, their household is in a very precarious situation. So the family has to walk a steady path trying not to draw too much attention to themselves and always being proper. In the beginning, Jes comes across as pretty selfish, in not recognizing how lucky she actually is, given the circumstances.

But one thing Kate Elliott excels at, in all of the books of hers I’ve read, is writing strong women and Jes is no different. When it comes down to her family needing her, she’s there, no hesitation, no doubt, she steps up, and in the process she’s brought into a harsh reality of the choices we make, and those that are made for us.

I have to throw in here that I’ve read that Kate Elliott likens Court of Fives to Little Women and when I step back the elements are definitely there, especially in the sisters: Maraya, Jessamy, Bettany, & Amaya. They have similar traits to their March sister counterparts for sure. This helped ground me a little better in the story, but it’s definitely not a retelling. Jes takes center stage, and apparently she does so in the sequel Poisoned Blade, but I had wished Kate Elliott told the story from all the sisters’ perspectives, especially mysterious Bettany who has barely any page time, because these women, even with their flaws, are so remarkable. I was especially awed by Jes’ mother, Kiya. The way she handles herself throughout the story with all the obstacles thrown her way is great. I was excited to learn the novella Night Flower is centered on her.

Overall, I look at Court of Fives as the first-book-in-a-series (or trilogy as the case may be). We’re finding out who these characters are, and what trials they’ll face in upcoming books. Now that Jes’s eyes have truly been opened, I’m very interested to see what she’ll do with her newfound knowledge.

Sexual content: kissing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes
Malcare WordPress Security