Review of “The Glittering Court” by Richelle Mead

The book opens with the sentence: “I’d never planned on stealing someone else’s life.” If I were the snarky type, I would add to that: “Plot lines, on the other hand, that’s a different story!”

This book is a mash-up of many movies, television shows, and other books, ranging from The Prince and the Pauper, to My Fair Lady, to The Bachelor, and to all those YA books featuring groups of teenaged girls getting dressed up in beautiful gowns, tutored in manners, and competing to be chosen for a match with a guy who turns out not to be the guy the girl wants.

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The heroine of this first in a series to come is Elizabeth Witmore, the Countess of Rothford, who is seeking to avoid an unsavory arranged marriage. Thus she switches places with her maid Adelaide, who is preparing to go, albeit unwillingly, to “The Glittering Court.” This is a school for girls where, along with other girls chosen mainly for their looks, students learn how to be a “lady” who will command a big bride price from one of the eager men out in the frontier country. As “Adelaide Baily,” the disguised Countess leaves with the hot recruiter for the “Glittering Court” – Cedric Thorn, and travels to her new home.

She makes friends, falls for Cedric, meets a number of caricatures, almost dies a number of times, but just then! just in time! some improbable event or the fortuitous arrival of some improbable new character out of the blue saves the day!

At the end of the book, we are left with plenty of reason (except the writing) to await the next installment.

Evaluation: While this book appealed to the young girl in me who unfortunately wanted to be one of the “Twelve Dancing Princesses,” the adult me wasn’t that awed by the writing in this book. But don’t pay attention to the adult me; this book is topping the best seller lists in the young adult category.

Rating: 3/5

Published by Razor Bill, and imprint of Penguin Random House, 2016

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8 Responses to Review of “The Glittering Court” by Richelle Mead

  1. Harkening back to our recent discussion about ratings and genres, I think that a YA can be as good as an adult novel. I just read a YA, Salt and the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, and thought it was terrific. I’ve also got 2 YA authors in my area who wrote terrific books. One is called The Princess of Las Pulgas, by C. Lee McKenzie. And the other is Wyndano’s Cloak, by A.R. Silverberry. And this 2nd one is actually a YA fantasy. It will always be a good discussion subject.

  2. Ruth2Day says:

    I’ve never read a YA book, or at least I don’t think so. Do you think I should give this genre a go?

  3. Rita K says:

    Now there is the real Jill review😚

  4. BermudaOnion says:

    Oh boy, I’m sure this isn’t for me.

  5. Oh my goodness, this review made me laugh out loud twice! This was fantastic: “Plot lines, on the other hand, that’s a different story!” But you truly had my appreciation with: “At the end of the book, we are left with plenty of reason (except the writing) to await the next installment.”

    And you want to know the funny thing – I might actually download the audio of this book at some point because of your review! I have a warped interest in YA books in which the writing might not be the greatest (Twilight) but the plots are easy, quick and fun. These are the books that I listen to when I’m cleaning when I don’t want to have to concentrate too much – when I just want listen to something entertaining. Then I measure the quality of the writing by how many times I roll my eyes – they get a real workout when I listen to the Twilight series (which I do more often than I should admit).

  6. Mead’s books have always been hit-or-miss for me. I love her Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series and the Succubus series, but don’t particularly care for the Age of X series or the Dark Swan series. This book fell into the latter category for me. I truly could not stand Adelaide. The only reason I didn’t DNF was because I was hoping for answers about Tamsin and Mira. It was very late in the game when I finally realized we would not be getting those in this book. I’ll try the next one (narrated by Mira, a far more interesting character), but if it’s as boring as this was, I’ll have to give up on this series altogether.

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