Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead (Glittering Court #1)


The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead // VBCThe Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1)
Richelle Mead
Published: April 5, 2016 (Razorbill)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: purchased

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 2.5 stars

Just as a precursor to this review, it’s with a heavy heart that I give a book by Richelle Mead a measly 2.5 stars which—egads!—I still feel might be rather generous. Still, upon research, there’s a slight caveat at the end so read on!

Lady Elizabeth Witmore, Countess of Rothford, is used to the finer things in life, yet being part of one of the noblest and most distinguished families in Osfrid will only get you so far once you run out of money. Appearances are kept up for the sake of securing Elizabeth a fortuitous marriage, yet it’s clear at the start of The Glittering Court options are limited. When Elizabeth finds out she’s to be married to a distant cousin–securing both wealth and bloodlines—she’s not interested. Deciding she’s tired of living a life where her choice is taken away, Elizabeth disguises herself as a lady’s maid and joins the Glittering Court.

The Glittering Court takes less fortunate girls and, through various lessons, turns them into refined ladies. These ladies are then taken overseas to the new colony of Adoria where their “contracts” can be bought out by those men building the new society and who are willing to pay top dollar.

Elizabeth, now calling herself Adelaide, will find that her new life is more complicated than she thought as she faces the wilds of a new home.

What made The Glittering Court a difficult read for me was the fact that I didn’t connect with Adelaide. Her naiveté just jumps off the page, yet she still retains some of this entitlement and haughty attitude that clearly comes from her privileged beginnings, that really has no room in the situations she places herself.

Things also aren’t helped by the fact that all the secondary characters felt too wooden. Even Adelaide’s best friends Mira and Tamsin didn’t have enough fleshing out. There are too many secrets floating around between them to make any connection they have seem valid. I also felt the same about the romantic element.

I believe the problem lies with so much being stuffed into the book. Starting with Adelaide’s arranged marriage and her fleeing from said marriage, throwing in religious persecution, and unrest with the peoples native to Adoria is just too much. This being a trilogy, I feel like each of these topics should have been the focus of one particular book. Being the first book, maybe Mead just got too caught up in introducing these things that a more solid plot got lost. But at the end, I felt like a lot of what happens and what Adelaide goes through was almost, I hate to say, pointless.

I would have much rather the relationships had been built up better because, as a reader, if I can’t root for the friendships or the romance, basically the people who make the foundation of the story, I can quickly lose interest.

Now the caveat I promised. Goodreads’ series description sums it up nicely:

“Each book in the trilogy is self-standing and told from the point of view of one of three girls as they travel to and experience life in the New World, becoming enmeshed in her own adventures and romantic intrigues while also playing a role in her friends’ stories—often in ways that aren’t obvious until the series is complete.”

While I didn’t care for Adelaide, I’m wondering if, when the series is said and done, I’ll look back and think it all works better as a whole than individually. It may just be enough to get me to read the other books after they’re released and reevaluate my opinion then.

Sexual content: kissing, references to sex, attempted rape

2 Responses to “Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead (Glittering Court #1)”

  1. Brad says:

    Like you I did not completely know what to make out of this book and the next two books. I would probably give it a 3 out of 5 but that may be based solely on my love for Richelle Meade’s other books. With almost no supernatural in the book series it just seemed to be another YA fictional romance novel. Considering how much I connected with Vampire Academy and Black Swan series. Then, I LOVED her Bloodlines series mostly for I loved the journey that the reader was taken on with Sydney.

  2. Joanna says:

    I’m having a real hard time getting through this book. I got it because, hey, it’s Richelle Mead. I haven’t read anything of hers that I haven’t liked. But there is just something missing. No one character stands out. No one seems interesting. I keep hoping it will get better and hate that it isn’t.

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