By Richelle MeadSeries: Glittering Court #1
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Razorbill (April 5th, 2016)
Language: EnglishAudible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 12 hours and 53 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Publisher: Listening Library
The Selection meets Reign in this dazzling trilogy of interwoven novels about three girls on a quest for freedom and true love from #1 internationally bestselling author Richelle Mead.
For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea.
After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself—even though she’s falling in love with him.
Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide’s ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn’t leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else's property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths.
Okay, so let me just get this out of the way...I loved this book. I loved Vampire Academy AND Bloodlines. I DNF'd Soundless. After Soundless, I lost hope for any of Richelle's upcoming books. Fortunately, I didn't have anything to worry about, because The Glittering Court is everything I look for in a YA book....most importantly swoons/banter, snarky MC, the ultimate book boyfriend, danger, adventure, and overall uniqueness. Despite being compared to The Selection in the first sentence of this synopsis, that's probably the only similarity between the two books. I enjoyed The Selection, but what I didn't like about it, Richelle did right with The Glittering Court. Similar stories, different (and better!) execution.
Personally, I can see The Selection comparison up until the point where the girls are all competing for a prince. That's not what's happening in The Glittering Court. Technically all the girls that sign a contract with the Thorns are competing to be in the top spot to win the most eligible bachelor in the 'new world'. They all are going to be wed to someone, not just voted off and sent back home. I would say that while The Selection is in the 'future', The Glittering Court is set in more of the past than anything. Basically after they sign their contract, they train to be the ultimate wifey to a bachelor in the 'new world', which is across the ocean. Adelaide is completely against being set up with a man for marriage by her grandmother, so she does the unthinkable when confronted by Cedric Thorn, and ultimately sets herself up to be married to someone else. Technically she has a choice in who she marries (well, more than she did as a countess), but by taking the real Adelaide's place, she still is in the same predicament, which was kind of frustrating, but still understandable. The whole premise of the plot is having the freedom to choose what you want from life, and Cedric Thorn is what Adelaide wants, even if it is completely against the rules. You always want what you can't have, right?
Adelaide was a pretty likable character, despite some lack of decision making skills. I loved watching her transform into the woman she was meant to be all along, and the slow burn romance between her and Cedric was to die for. Richelle Mead knows what she's doing when it comes to making me fall for her fictional men. I rank my love for Cedric up there with Adrian, and that's definitely saying something, because Adrian (from VA and Bloodlines) is bae.
The other thing I loved about The Glittering Court was the friendships. I absolutely adored Tamsin and Mira. There are few authors who know how to make me care not only for the main characters of a story, but for their besties as well, and Mead does that every single time (not counting Soundless, because that was a mess that wasn't even worth finishing). I'm SO stoked that her forthcoming books in this 'series' are going to be companion stories, and I'm really hoping they will elaborate on both of these ladies. I want to know every single thing about them, what they've been through and what they are going to do in the future/what they went through during the moments they weren't on page in book one. To say my hopes are pretty dang high for these companions is definitely an understatement.
To be honest, I couldn't tell you why The Glittering Court is recognized as sci-fi or paranormal fantasy on goodreads, because neither one of those exist in this book, but to say that it's historical fiction isn't quite right either, because this is set in a completely different world. It's true that there are some similarities to some things that happened in our real world past, but it's expanded upon 110%. There are so many directions that Richelle can take the new books that it's hard to contain my excitement over it.
If you love any type of historical fiction/fantasy (not the type with dragons or anything, because sadly there aren't any mythical creatures) or if you liked the idea of The Selection but not so much the book, then I would definitely recommend giving The Glittering Court a chance, especially if you started questioning why you loved Richelle Mead books after trying Soundless. The Glittering Court restored my faith in Richelle Mead's writing, and I'm pretty sure you'll feel the same way. If you want some swoons, some action, some snark, and some interesting world-building, pick up The Glittering Court today and dive right in. You can thank me later. :P
Audiobook (by Andye):
I listened to this one on audiobook, and let me tell you, I LOVED the narrator! I just fell in love with her husky voice! Haha! It isn't often that I immediately hit it off with a new narrator, but Kristen Sieh did an awesome job. Her different voices and accents for the various characters were spot on, and I just don't have a single complaint about her narration. I'll be looking for other books narrated by her, for sure! Listen to a sample here!
Have you read The Glittering Court? What did you think?