I received this book for free from borrowed from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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…
This started off a lot like The Selection by Kiera Cass except it’s a noble woman who wants to escape her life and lead one on her own. She ends up stealing a young handmaiden’s identity and ends up being matched with potential suitors and the like. That is until she falls for someone who isn’t a suitor.
This had the potential to be a great novel but it fell flat for me. There was very little world building but from what I assumed it was set in England and later on in America. They called it the New World, so obviously having the Icori people being there first, then being wiped out by the English? How the Osfridian people take over the Icori’s lands. How they conquered and stole their land? You can rightly tell which of these people are which in our society today. It’s quite similar and I had fun deciphering which country was which.
Adelaide is one character that I had trouble understanding. She would try so hard to do analyze every little thought and then she’d go and do a one-eighty and turn the whole thing on its head. The whole time she’s going through this plan, I keep thinking how many holes, and how many times she made a mistake. Her decision-making wasn’t the best and I shook my head when it would rightly blow up in her face. But okay at least she’s going through a character arc.
This being a historical representation of an era where women wore pretty dresses and talked formally, you were bound to get some rather racist commentary.
But then there were dialogue where it would be too modern and then I was still confused. The use of “hell no” is clearly modern.
Then other sexual harassment remarks like the quotes below had me angry because I didn’t think it was necessary to be added.
A rather colourful adventure for any historical fan, but the plot is too similar to other books. I suggest reading this if you’re a big Richelle Mead fan, but if not, you’re not missing much.