Friday, April 15, 2016

The Glittering Court » Book Review

Aaah! I feel such conflict! Richelle Mead is such a hit or miss author with me, and for the first time, I feel unsure over one of her books. Did I love The Glittering Court or did I hate it?


To really understand the book, you need to erase much of what the official synopsis is telling you.  It's true, The Glittering Court is much like Kiera Cass's book The Selection for about 1/2 of the time.  Not all of those bits in The Glittering Court were bad, but where the book really shined was when it got into its religious stride.

Reminding me of her series, The Age Of X, The Glittering Court shows us once more how Mead studied folklore and historical religion in university.  In this, her latest book, the world's mainstream religious belief centers upon worshipping a host of pure and principled angles.  However, there is a heretical movement of belief that reveres a number of fallen angels as well.  These heretics, Alanzans, are put to death when discovered.  Despite this, they continue to practice their earthier, more passionate belief system in secret.

I loved the parts with the Alanzans. Sexy religion? Say yeah!  If the book had more about them, I doubtlessly would have bumped up my rating.  As it was, much of the stuff that interested me was choked by talk of ball gowns, jewels, horny sugar daddies, and thirsty sugar babies. Blah.

The book follows Elizabeth/Adelaide, who is a runaway Countess.  She was engaged to her cousin, unwillingly, and when she stumbles upon an opportunity to start a new life, she takes it!  Posing as a low-born girl, Elizabeth, now Adelaide, is recruited for the Glittering Court, a business venture that grooms young ladies into respectable brides for new-money bachelors on the new continent of America Adoria.

Adelaide enjoys her life of adventure, but she goes along with the ride in no small part due to Cedric, the son of one of the Glittering Court's owners.  This relationship was insta-lovey in the extreme, and even though their pairing was entertaining and seemed... true, I did think Adelaide put too much on the line too soon for their relationship.  Nevertheless, I though Cedric was an intriguing character, a budding businessman with liberal values.

Where the book faltered, in my opinion, was its final fourth. It was rather abrupt, and didn't exactly have a tonal precedent, if that makes sense. Here's what I mean: [spoiler]We get a California/Klondike setting with jolty wagons, stinky horses, and dirty fingernails completely out of the blue. What?! What happened to the Glittering Court?!?[/spoiler] And the denouement! God Almighty, so many deus ex machina were coming through the stage traps, there was, like, a traffic jam of plot devices. That was... it was bad.

But here's something that came out of the blue in a good way... Kristen Sieh, the narrator for the audiobook of The Glittering Court does an incredible job.  For all of Mead's bad choices in dialogue — "Um, yeah" — Sieh was there to save the day, making the words seem aristocratic, confiding, and humorous all in turn.  I can't emphasize enough how much she classed up the book. Bravo, Kristen Sieh. *Standing Ovation*

So, I'm not going to recommend this one.  But still, over The Selection, it is a step up.



  1. i haven't had great luck with her books as of late, so I steered clear of this one. It looks like it's not going to work out for me either. And it doesn't bode well with me that it's only a step up from The Selection. Lol.

  2. Oh no! This sort of sounds like a train wreck. I'm so sad, I was really hoping this would be a great series!

  3. You know, I think there might be hope for it, though. I'm goign to stick around to see what happens! :D

  4. Lolol. The Selection was just... unspeakable.