Title: The Glittering Court
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 4/5/16
Series: The Glittering Court #1
For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea.
After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself—even though she’s falling in love with him.
Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide’s ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn’t leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else’s property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths.
When i read that this was a bit like The Selection and a bit like Reign, well i felt like it was something i needed to pick up. What we have here is a nice story / series intro of a girl who’s coming of age in a time when nobility and title mean everything and maintaining airs is what keeps the world going. Elizabeth, or Adelaide as we come to know her later in the story is our leading lady and a girl who’s found herself in need of a husband to secure the livlihood of her family given that their finances are in disrepair, but that’s not enough for her as she’s grown up trying to be her own woman since the passing of her parents.
Throughout this story, we see her transform into Adelaide, a maid who has to hide who she truly is but grow into someone else entirely because it’s what’s right. We take the journey with her from her high end home to a finishing school of sorts where she’s being taught to be a lady, and at the same time, she teaches herself how to be a friend. All with the end goal of finding something wonderful, a new adventure and hopefully romance in the new world.
If only that were enough right? Once they set foot on the new world, she finds herself in chaos – where she’s the belle of the ball of course, yet she’s being torn at making the right decision for everyone. She’s chosen against her best friend in the past and that turned out mortally wrong, and then she’s made choices that her head and heart don’t agree on. It’s how she comes into her own, but of course that’s not the entire point right?
We see throughout this first installment the interesting web of lies that comes into play – we know that her grandmother is searching for her and that’s part of the stress, but we also know that people aren’t quite what they seem in this story. There are suitors that have motives that we’re not quite sure about, there are religious dealings that come into play and we see that romance and the idea of love is still quite important, but how that pans out, well, you know that it’s likely to be more romeo and juliette than a happy ending right?
All in all, a sweet story. What i always tend to have trouble with in stories like this is really pinpointing not only the time that we’re in but the locale. I never quite put my finger on where they were living to begin with and where the new world was (is it an England v. America thing?) and then there are all the other nationalities that are brought in throughout the story to raise fear for us. Regardless, it helps add color to the story and i can’t wait to see what’s next for both Mira and Tamasin since i believe that’s the objective of the other 2 books in the series. So, onto the next. have a great day all!