The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Goodreads Summary: 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…
My Thoughts: I was super attracted to the cover of this book. My eyes went right to it on the shelf, and after reading the description I had to have it. It sounded so up my alley and I couldn’t wait to start it. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations. The world of the story confused me. The story didn’t take place in our world, but I almost just wish it would have. I was initially intrigued by Osfrid and Adoria, but as I read on, I kept waiting for something special to be revealed about the world, and there was nothing. It was basically a story taking place in England and early America, with the names changed. There were so many similarities, that at one point I questioned if it was actually our world. The similarities could have been Mead’s intention, but if you’re going to give me a different world, I want more than just different names, otherwise what’s the point? That being said, I really did like the main character, Adelaide. She was spunky, charming, and strong, but also entitled and dramatic. I thought she had great chemistry with Cedric, and the build up of their relationship was really well done, but I would have liked it to go on longer. I rooted for them the whole time, and I believed in their love. The plot kept me invested at the beginning, but it lost me a little in the middle, and picked back up again towards the end. The two halves of the story almost felt like completely different books. I definitely enjoyed the first half more, and actually would have been okay if the story had ended there. I liked the second half, and I understand why it went where it did, but I wish the cohesion would have been a little stronger. Because the other books in the series are companion novels instead of continuations, we didn’t get the closure that I was hoping for from some of the mysteries surrounding the supporting characters. I’m assuming they will be revealed in each of those character’s own stories, although I have my own theories. Overall, I thought this book was okay. I enjoyed it for what it was, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as a must-read.