Monday, April 25, 2016

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

Firstly, thanks to Penguin Teen Australia for this review copy <3


Date Read: April 18 - 24 2016
Date Released: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating:

"Big and sweeping, spanning 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 capable of arranging 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 later, 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 is not so much a review as a rant with possible spoilers because this book made me roll my eyes so much.

If you know me at all, you know I freaking love Vampire Academy. That series is one of my favourites of all time – like outside of Harry Potter, it’s probably tied for first as my favourite completed series along with Covenant. Romitri is my ultimate ship and I sing praises about VA everywhere (Shadow Kiss cabin scene hnnnng). I also quite like Bloodlines. Thus, when it was announced Richelle Mead was doing a new YA series and I saw the cover for The Glittering Court, I was like GIMME GIMME. Pretty covers: 1, Jaz: 0. I don’t know what happened with this book. I really don’t but it was a major mistake.

The tl;dr is the MC is a Countess, a descendant of one of the founders of her realm. Her family is going broke so she’s about to be married off to another rich noble to save face. She’s like nahhhh pls I don’t wanna be forced into an arranged marriage so I’ll run away to this thing where pleb girls are trained to be upper class women, then shipped off to one of the New Colonies to be married off to rich men. LIKE DO YOU SEE THE PROBLEM HERE? What she did was utterly pointless. Choice taken away from her in the beginning, only to be essentially forced into another marriage in the end? Sure she may get to somewhat ‘choose’ but not really, as you’ll see if you do decide to pick up this mess of a story.

The alias our Countess takes on is Adelaide when she runs away to join the Glittering Court. The first thing I’ll say is that I felt nothing for Adelaide. No sympathy, no pity, I could not relate to her for most of the book. Don’t want to be forced into an arranged marriage? Great I get that. But the decisions she makes ultimately have her end up in situations of powerlessness and this pissed me off so much. She throws away her title, her wealth and ties to her family so she can be trained to be something she already is. Then she gets herself into a whole lot of shit and complains that she’s suffocating again and we’re back to square one. WHYYYYYY? There was no love in the initial arranged marriage and she KNOWS that the suitors she’ll get from the Glittering Court will also be political. Pointless.

Mira and Tamsin are the main secondary characters introduced as her besties. Mira disappears a lot throughout the book doing God knows what and Tamsin is this ambitious girl who wants to be the best and marry the richest. While it’s great Adelaide has friends I didn’t see the point to these two. Their stories could really be expanded upon more and I thought they were just… Used. They were there for the sake of Adelaide’s convenience so that if anything happened, the besties were used as plot devices to get her out of trouble. Really? I’m hoping that their motives and stories are expanded upon in sequels (this seems to be a series) because this was ultimate character wastage.

Yes there’s romance, no there’s no love triangle thank goodness or I would have thrown a fit and the book too (nah not really, that cover’s still too pretty). Do I ship it? I guess? Is he comparable to Dimitri or Adrian? AHAHAHAHAHAHA PLEASE MOVE TO THE END OF THE LINE CEDRIC. I had no feels. None. I mean how did we go from Romitri and Sydrian to THIS? This… Nothing. I know I shouldn’t compare but I can’t help it. I mean don’t get me wrong, Cedric seems like a lovely young man, upstanding citizen, nice guy you get what I mean but the feels were missing. I was like ok yeah great get on with it now please.

Now the plot. What a mess. What was even going on? There was religion/heresy mixed in with the supposed challenges of inhabiting new colonies that were forcefully taken from indigenous peoples. But this wasn’t expanded upon either. It’s like Mead added these onto the side in an attempt to give this more substance than a pure Bachelor (that TV show that everybody watches but I refuse to hah) style story. It did not work at all. I got mega confused and when these were tied into the plot, especially at the end, it just added a whole lot of WTF. Like wait this was happening and it had such an effect but it was never actually talked about? I CAN’T EVEN.

This was made all the worse by poor world-building and terribad writing. It’s not a fantasy world. It’s like Mead just took early colonised USA and changed the names. Osfrid is very reminiscent of England, the Icori are basically the Scottish and the New Colonies are California during the Gold Rush. But it didn’t feel historical because the language was so modern. Minus the tech, the slang and colloquialisms were very 21st century. It’s like taking late 19th century/early 20th century US, with English fashion/customs and dropping a bunch of 21st century teens in costumes into this setting. It doesn’t work. It really doesn’t. Then add on Adelaide’s first person POV which is written in a very detached manner and it’s like I’m being told everything rather than shown. ALL THE TELLING. She breaks down into tears for a lot of things but I don’t feel anything because she TELLS me she’s crying. Her feelings aren’t explained. Everything is seen almost from behind a glass wall. Worstttttt.

Welps I just wrote a 1,000 word review for a pointless book. Rip. Save yourself 400 pages and read something better.


  1. Oh damn :/ I don't know if Richelle Mead's books are getting worse with time or if she's just not great at writing fantasy (because Soundless was... not great) :( This is such a shame considering how much I love her YA paranormal stuff.

    1. RIGHT?! I didn't pick up Soundless after I heard all the negative reviews. I can't believe how different this is to VA ><

  2. I loved VA by Richelle Mead as well, it was such a cool series and Rose was such a strong female character. I was so angry when I read this book, Adelaide was such a weak and boring character. And she was FINE to be sold off like cattle to a man to be his WIFE. I was so angry. I thought this book was going to be about a strong female who defies the rules of society and takes her life into her own hands. Yep. Not exactly what it was about.

    I agree with you, the whole PLOT of this book was pointless! Arghh, it made me sooo angry!

    The fact that the other characters were a mystery throughout the whole book was so annoying, readers garnered nothing from them, it was hard to believe these two people were Adelaide's best friends. None of them would share their secrets. There was no reason to like Tamsin or Mira. I agree with you that they were plot devices.

    Aaaand I also agree about the romance. It was so forced, paper thin and so obvious. There was no romance. We don't really get to learn a lot about Cedric. And there were no scenes with him that I really felt like connected.

    The whole religion/heresy thing was confusing and didn't feel like it really fitted. I felt like it was just added for conflict so Adelaide had a reason to try really, really hard not to like Cedric. And then also, a reason to become the #1 girl of TGC so she could get all of the money, to save Cedric. Arghh, so obvious and not entertaining at all.

    OMG, YES! I definitely felt detached from everything because I too felt like I was being told everything! I didn't feel anything because I didn't care, because we weren't taken on a journey with Adelaide, we were just TOLD what was going on. So, so, so agree with you!

    Great review! I agree with everything you've said. I also feel like I have written a ton of words in this comment just to vent with you about how much this book did not feel like Richelle Mead's writing or style. There were no kick-ass characters, no one to relate to, and no plot that was interesting.

    Although, I DO want to hear more about the pirates and the other colonies that were being attacked etc. I feel like this book set up the world for the next stories, except this was SUCH a bad freaking book. I don't know if anyone will read book two? I want to read book two only because I want to know MORE about Mira, Tamsin, the pirates, the other colonies, and this religion which is banned. Arghhh so frustrating!

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift

    1. Geez, my comment is pretty much a novel, lol.

  3. I have read about half of this book on a whim, and I will more than likely just give up on it. It is boring the hell out of me.