Review: The Glittering Court

Author: Richelle Mead
Series: The Glittering Court #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 416 Pages
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: ARC via Publisher
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Big and sweeping, spanning 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 capable of arranging 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 later, 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've been a longtime fan of Richelle Mead, and although this is completely unlike any of her other works, I found myself completely delighted by her latest series starter, The Glittering Court. It has so many fascinating components weaved together in a way that somehow works. With strong characters, adorable romance, and many intertwined plot conflicts, this series definitely has a lot going for it.

Wanting to escape a loveless pending marriage and a stifling lifestyle, Adelaide assumes her servant's identity to join the Glittering Court, a business and finishing school that takes low-class girls and transforms them into educated, proper women fit to marry wealthy men looking for wives in the new Osfridian colonies across the treacherous sea. As Adelaide struggles to hide her true identity, she must spin even more lies and sometimes hurt the ones she loves.

The main character, Adelaide is a witty, highly opinionated person. I love her tenacity and will to change her fate. It was quite comical seeing her learn how to do such mundane tasks such as mending and cleaning dishes. Cedric, the Glittering Court owner's son, is an intellect and extremely kind gentleman. I felt their connection from the very beginning, and I love their sassy banter and electrifying chemistry.

As much as I enjoyed the romance, the friendships in this novel surpass that. I wish more books would contain wonderful friendships like this book does. Tamsin is a fiery, driven, and ambitious person who has a sentimental and fiercely protective side. Mira has so much inner strength and wisdom. Together the three work together and support one another. I love this friendship, and I'm so glad Richelle included it in her story.

I felt this book had three distinct parts. At first I was immediately swept up in the world-building and the pretty dresses and opulence. Eventually the pace slowed down for me as they entered the voyage section of the book, but it quickly picked up again. This book went through highs and lows in terms of pacing, but overall it was an easy, engaging read.

This book had so many fascinating elements. I really liked how this book had influences of Elizabethan culture yet later on in the book there's a new frontier/wild west vibe. Of course the scenes of luxury especially piqued my fancy. There is a large cast of characters, and I had a bit of trouble keeping up with all of them. I was also expecting a bit more from the fantasy label of this book, but there are no magical or supernatural elements.

I'm pretty sure the next two books will follow Tamsin or Mira as Adelaide's storyline is resolved by the end of this book. I'm curious, so I'll definitely continue with this series. If you're into books with historical settings, great friendships, and a great lead main character, I think you'd like this book!
Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.


  1. This sounds so cool! Really want to pick it up. Wonderful review xx

  2. This is one my most anticipated books. Great review and it seems that the characters could just be my type. I love Richelle Mead's writing style and everything so can not wait to read this book.

  3. Ooh nice! Surprised to hear there's so magic or paranormal aspect to this read, but I think I might still give it a go because I love Richelle's books! Definitely sounds like an interesting one! Very nice review!

  4. Great review! I'm a little hesitant to pick up a Rachelle Mead book as I haven't read one of hers before. I feel like I'd like this one.

    Danica @ A Redheaded Bookworm

  5. Oooh, you've mentioned that the friendship is super relevant in this one and now I'm sold!!

  6. Yay! I've been looking forward to reading this book since I first laid eyes on it, and I'm glad that it wasn't a mistake to add this to my reading list! ^^ Thanks for the review Rachel!

  7. I love strong friendships in books, sometimes like you I like them even more than the romances. I am extremely excited to get my hands on this one and check out the world-building, the whole premise of the story and the places and people within it sounds fascinating and I can't wait to immerse myself in it's world. I really need to remember the release date for this one so I can get a copy as soon as it's released!

  8. It's really good to know ahead of time that there are no supernatural or magical elements to the book - I definitely would have been expecting that!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  9. Ooooo. I've been a long time fan of Richelle Mead too (those Vampire Academy books! <3 ) This book sounds super interesting and it's definitely on my TBR. Wonderful review, Rachel! :D

  10. TOTALLY agree with you on all of this! The friendships, OMG. I loved them so much. No matter how much I shipped the romance (and I did, a LOT), the friendships were just freaking AMAZING. And I LOVED that it went from fancy ballroom to frontier stuff- totally caught me off guard, in the best of ways! Fabulous review, and I am so glad you liked it too! (Oh- and I love your theory about the next books being about the other girls- I bet you are right, and I LOVE IT.)

  11. I have been hearing a lot about her books and I know the time is coming where I really need to get my hands on one and read it soon. I especially like the sound of how the friendships are so well done in this one :3 I love when friendships bloom in books. And the folklore aspect of things sounds so intriguing!

  12. One of my favourite parts about reading YA are the friendships. There is just this special something about young people and the way they are with their friends! I've heard this about The VA series too, and that's what will most likely make me read this one :) FRIENDSHIPS > ROMANCE :D


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