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I knew that Rosie was just as excited as me about the release of The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead, so I didn’t think twice about asking her to buddy read it with me and review it on our blogs.

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This is the first book in a new series, which tells the story of a countess who runs away from an arranged marriage in order to join the Glittering Court.  She assumes the identity of her maid, Adelaide, in order to join a school which trains lower class girls to become suitable wives for the men who are making their fortunes in the new world, Adoria.

The lifestyle on offer is beyond the wildest dreams of the other girls, but not to Adelaide.  She must pretend not to be so well versed in the life of a high born lady, and navigates the challenges with difficulty and humour (how can a lady’s maid be so inept at dressing herself?!)

When she arrives in Adoria, Adelaide is highly sought after as a wife, but will she find love?  How will she cope when her loyalties are tested and her true identity may have to be revealed…

Rosie and I are answering the follow questions:

Who would you recommend The Glittering Court to?
If you love historical fiction then I would definitely suggest you to try this.  I read a lot of history novels and I definitely felt that this book was reminiscent of the genre.  It also reminded me of The Selection series as it involves girls essentially competing for husbands.  If you like novels set in schools or boarding schools then definitely pick this up.  If you are looking for a fantasy full of magic and spells, you may be disappointed.
Who is your favourite character?
I don’t think I can choose one.  As a heroine Adelaide has it all but I don’t know…. Something is stopping me from naming her.  I quite like Cedric Thorn, but I can’t choose him either.  Let’s go for Tamsin; there’s a mystery about her, a steeliness that I admire and a grit that I want to understand.
What are your thoughts on the world building and religious aspects of the novel?
I was immediately caught up in the various worlds on offer.  The countess’ life is reminiscent of a Jane Austen novel, but as the book moves on, the Glittering Court and Adoria come to life.  I was desperate to revel in the classes at the court and spend time in the girls’ rooms, doing homework and getting ready for lessons.  I wanted to plunge into the balls and society of Adoria.  The religion, however, didn’t really grasp me.  As a plot device I thought it was rather clumsy.
What annoyed you about the book?
The countess may feel trapped in her fish bowl lifestyle, under pressure to marry for money and unable to walk down the street without an escort for propriety’s sake.  Yet why does she turn her back on one arranged marriage in order to secure a different type of arranged marriage?  Adoria is a huge attraction for Adelaide, but it also holds more uncertainty, even if she can negotiate a marriage more successful than the engagement which she’s running from.
What do you think of the novel’s portrayal of women?
Mead’s female characters in this novel (Adelaide, Tamsin and Mira in particular) are confident, determined risk takers.  This is in stark contrast to the way that they are treated as ‘goods’ to be sold to their future husbands.  The girls may be pawns in some respects but they each are dedicated to their own paths as well.
Are you excited about the rest of the series? 
I definitely want to know more about Tamsin and Mira, as there are huge holes in their stories and I think they are potentially more interesting than Adelaide.  I will read the rest of the series in order to learn more about them!  I also wonder if this series will be a good one to marathon when all of the books are available.
I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars and don’t forget to check out Rosie’s review.  Will you be reading it?

Linnet Sig

  • *High five* Yay for buddy reading. I too thought it was kinda weird that she escaped one arranged marriage to join something that’s sole cause was to find her a husband. Though, I guess she did at least get a bit more choice.

    I neeeeed to know what happens next. I’m interested to find out more about Mira; I think there’s a really interesting story behind her.

  • This was fun! Swapping one arranged marriage for another (less itchy) one seemed odd. Very true, I wonder where Mira’s been sneaking off to?