For young adult readers who enjoy historical romances with a bit of a nouveau riche twist @RichelleMead #The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When the choice is to be sold off to the highest bidder or to be in a bidding war, what does one chose? When Countess Alice needs to secure the livelihood of her family through marriage, her grandmother brokers a deal with a distant cousin. The man Alice must marry is in one word… horrid. When Alice finds out about the Glittering Court, she decides this is her ticket to freedom. She rebrands herself as one of her former ladies, Adelaide, and takes off for this opportunity to sell herself to the highest bidder on her terms.
The world building in this book is very well done. The characters are interesting too. I'm mixed about Alice, aka Adelaide because what she does is selfish in some ways but really, what other recourse does she have? This book reminds me why I left historical novels behind. The lack of choice and the rigid socio-economic constructs for a female infuriates me. Adelaide does the best she can to meet her goals. Unfortunately, these goals are vague until she finds out about a friend's secret. So appalled with the ramifications of his secret, Adelaide goes off halfcocked again with a new direction and slightly different goals.
Ms. Mead captures the young so well in this book. The cattiness and queen bee fighting is well portrayed. The inherent bigotry against other cultures is reflected in many easily understood ways. The impulsiveness of youth and the lack of foresight into the consequences of their actions are shown in sharp focus. Adelaide is a character with a good heart. She just rushes into things without thinking. She exemplifies her class where they take for granted their title and station in life. I admire Adelaide's initiative whilst I cringe at her foolish behaviour. A strategist Adelaide will never be, but a good friend, this she can be. Based on how she treated Tamsin at the end, one could question how Adelaide can be considered a good friend. Without Adelaide, Tamsin would never had reached the level she earned. However, to Tamsin's point, Adelaide should have come clean and it would have been better for these three ladies. But then, where would the conflict and tension in this story be?
The world building of this story is a fresh look at an aristocratic society loosely based on merry ole England. The similarities are easy to see. Based on the title, I kept hoping the differences would lead to the fae. Alas, this is merely a mortal story with people trying to do their best to survive. The ending is a bit predictable and does leave a reader hankering for the next book. This new series is a new gem in Ms. Mead's treasure chest of stories. Recommended for young adult readers who enjoy historical romances with a bit of a nouveau riche twist.
*provided by NetGalley
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