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The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Saturday, July 23, 2016

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…

Goodreads Summary

Adelaide aka Elizabeth (her real name) made this entire novel for me.  She was intelligent, brave, and put others before herself.  When faced with a match made for financial reasons and security, Adelaide seizes the chance to take on her maid's name and enter the Glittering Court as her maid.  The Glittering Court helps lower-class ladies make matches with high-powered gentlemen.  When Adelaide meets Cedric, who initially chose her maid to be part of the Court, she knows that he's someone she could really like eventually.  She makes friends with Tamsin and Mira and excels in all of her courses.  Tamsin is headstrong, opinionated, and slightly controlling.  Mira is exotic, lovely, and clever.  The trio engage in fun dialogue and hilarious scenes together.

When Adelaide catches the eye of one of the wealthiest man participating in the Glittering Court, she isn't sure she wants to make the match.  After all, didn't she enter the Glittering Court to choose her own husband?  The romance between Cedric and Adelaide felt raw and real.  I loved how their affections for each other developed slowly over the course of the book and did not overtake Adelaide's character.  Adelaide's strong love for her friends and Cedric gets her into trouble more than once and causes strife between the friends, but it all works out in the end.  I was a little bit surprised by the ending, but could see it coming for the most part.  I hope there is a second in the series because I am dying to know what Tamsin confided in Adelaide at the end of the novel and what Mira was secretly leaving to do at night.  I really enjoyed this novel and finished it in one sitting.

5 Stars

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