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.
Surprisingly, I actually liked this book!
Surprisingly because I honestly didn’t think I would. Maybe it’s because of the amount of comparisons it got to The Selection (not a fan) or maybe it was because I’ve never really like Richelle Meed’s work before. This book, despite it’s flaws, was a huge step up for me.
The beginning of the book was fun and amusing. Though I still don’t understand why she would think that the best way to save herself from being married off for money was to join an agency that professionally married girls off for money. Guess no one could accuse Adelaide of being too smart.
But really, Adelaide was a good protagonist. She kept me entertained. I didn’t like her as much as I like Mira (I LOVED HER!) but she was good. Cedric was okay. His characters wasn’t as well-developed as I would have liked.
Now let’s talk about the dress description since that was the reason for the comparison to The Selection. There were quite a few of them along with others. They couldn’t be considered pointless though, since the character of Adelaide was one who noticed such things because of how she grew up. I wish she wouldn’t notice because every time she did, we’d have to read about it, but it is what it is.
The plot of the book was good. There was a drop after the amusing beginning but it picked up about half-way through. There was nothing that shocked me but I still enjoyed it and wasn’t bored. And I cared about what happened, which is very important.
The romance was fast. I did see some chemistry between Adelaide and Cedric. But not enough to warrant the pace of their relationship. Still not as bad as Dimitri and Rose from Vampire Academy who, in my opinion, are the definition of moving-too-fast.
I did like how Adelaide got some chance to some down to earth. It just had to happen.
Finally, the world building was lacking. See, while I cared about the characters and plot, I could take some of it seriously because I couldn’t take the heretic business seriously. It didn’t seem like a huge deal to me because it wasn’t explained well. And the Osfrid, Sirminica and Adoria stuff wasn’t explained. And I kept confusing character names.
Basically, Ms Meed spent a little too much time with descriptions and not enough on characters and world building. Though the fact that this book is basically a standalone works hugely in its favour.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read but didn’t have a lot of substance. But since this is my favourite from Richelle Meed so far, I’m happy.
P.S. Why is this book being called a fantasy? There’s not fantasy there. Just a bunch of religious stuff.