The Glittering Court


The Glittering Court

by Richelle Mead

Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Published: April 5, 2016

Purchase: Amazon | Powell’s

“We’re all in charge of our own lives—and we have to live with the consequences of the choices we make”


4/5 stars

The Glittering Court is not a book that I should have enjoyed. It is not what I usually read. I am not drawn towards fluffy fairytale books involving charming princes. There was a bit of a twist in this one. A Countess is about to be married off to her boring cousin since her Old World money has dried up. She wants to escape that fate so she disguises herself as one of her maids to join The Glittering Court, which was created to give lower class girls the chance to learn manners and woo rich men in the New World across the ocean.

Even with the twist, was I going to like a book where the main plot was dressing up women in order to marry up in life? The reviews I had read from people that this book was aimed towards found it boring. It had so many things going against it. It was weird that I found that I really liked it!

The Countess takes her maid’s name of Ada and rooms with two other girls, Tamsin and Mira, in the finishing school before they join the Court overseas to be paraded around at parties. Only one person knows her secret and true identity, but he is keeping it secret to save face himself. There is an obvious romance, but at least not a love triangle! I did not mind that the romance was obvious. I liked them as a couple.

Women Can Do More Than Look Pretty?

I believe why this book kept me intrigued was the underlying commentary about a society that treats women like cattle, and not giving them much in the way of choices, that a woman would feel that joining The Glittering Court was a better choice than others. It was frowned upon if the girls did anything considered “man’s work,” even though the girls were more than capable of doing such tasks.

There was much talk about a “women’s virtue” and how important it was to remain a virgin until marriage. It made me roll my eyes, but it did fit into the rest of the world, so I took it was part of the world building instead of it being the author, Richelle Mead, saying raise women this way.

I did not expect to find the politics and religious aspects of the story interesting.  The entire world seemed modeled on people escaping an old world with strict religious views to start in a new world where they could freely practice whatever religion they wanted while also fighting with the indigenous people. Sound like any history you know? I liked that Ada started out with some of her Old World beliefs and prejudices against people with different religious viewpoints (thinking they were “demon worshippers”) or the indigenous people (thinking they were “savages”), but slowly realized that she could form her own opinions based on her own experiences rather than believing what other had told her all her life.

Roommate Mysteries

Finally, her roommates, Tamsin and Mira, left me with more questions than answers. They were both strong characters, but shared only hints of their story. They flitted in and out of Ada’s storyline and I waited the entire book to find out what they were truly up to while Ada wrapped up her own story. Then it did not happen! I learned that this was the first part in a trilogy and the other two books are going to be from their points of view.  I am ready to read those books to find out about those other two girls.

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