The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Published April 5th 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…
I received a copy of The Glittering Court in a subscription box last year and it took me forever to pick it up. I heard a few negative things about it but I also heard a couple positive things so I didn’t really have any expectations. Interestingly enough, none of the few negative things things I heard could have prepared me for The Glittering Court.
I just didn’t like anything about this book. I tried to find something, anything at all, but I didn’t like anything.
It lacks any kind of depth or world building that should come with a fantasy novel and the romance is over the top and kind of cringey. To be completely honest, most of the book was cringey. It was like a draft instead of the finished story.
The thing I disliked most about The Glittering Court is how the religious persecution is never dealt with. There was some other problematic issues in this book that weren’t dealt with but for me personally, the religious persecution was the last straw and was very personal to me.
I didn’t understand the world because it wasn’t built well or explained. There was so many plot holes and nothing made sense. I don’t think the author thought anything through before writing it down. The whole book felt lazy. It felt like there was no thought or effort put into this book.
I didn’t like the characters, especially the main character. Adelaide was not only boring beyond belief, she was also extremely stupid and annoying. None of her dialogue sounded natural and half the time I was wondering what the heck she was even saying.
And the whole book is sexist so there’s that. It pretty much teaches girls that we’re good for nothing but looking pretty and pleasing a man. And all men are stupid. That was what The Glittering Court teaches young readers.
“Mister Thorn has made it all sound very lovely,” she replied. “But I kind of feel like some trinket being bought and sold.”
“Women always feel that way,” I said.
I’ve seen a few other reviews that contain this quote but it’s one of the worth things in the book so I’d like to include it in my review as well. I wanted to include more quotes to show how sexist and terrible this book is but there’s so many quotes that showcase the sexism that my review would be more quotes than my thoughts.
Overall, this book was sexist, cringey, and problematic. I didn’t like it at all and I won’t be reading the sequel. I think there’s hundreds of other YA books out there that will empower readers instead of making young girls feel like they’re only good for pleasing a man and being sold to men like property. I don’t recommend this book at all but if you’ve read The Glittering Court and liked it, that’s totally fine. I’m not here to shame you. You’re free to read and enjoy whatever book you want.