The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

The Glittering Court #1

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 was crazy excited for this book because first, it's Richelle Mead, and second, look at that cover, and third, I was told it would be like Reign. Long story short: it was nothing like Reign. There were a few balls, there were pretty dresses, there was competition, there was friendship, and there was romance, but it was not like Reign. I just have to make that clear in case any one else is going into this book thinking they're going to get something like the tv show, because they're not.

From pretty much the third page of the book, I knew that The Glittering Court was going to be very different from what I was expecting: I think the reason for this was how we were introduced to the love interest, Cedric. He was just too nice, if I'm being honest. There was an attraction between him and Adelaide - her fake name - from the very beginning, and it took away from some/most of the angst, at least for me. I simply don't find romances very interesting when the main characters are obvious about their love from the very beginning. Of course there are exceptions to this very general statement, but it holds for this book. I will admit there were several cute moments in the novel between the two, and that I'm also glad that they're a couple because they work very well together - it just didn't arouse many swoony feelings inside of me, and that's something I regret.

Now, our girl Adelaide has two friends, Mira and Tamsin, and throughout the book I found myself wishing that the story could have been told in one of their points of view instead, since Adelaide wasn't a character I found myself connecting with easily. I found faults with her constantly, which isn't so much the problem as the fact that she was a stereotypical rich girl in many ways. It got annoying fast, though I eventually grew to appreciate her. Besides, Mira and Tamsin had so many secrets, which makes so much more sense knowing that the next two books will be told in both those girls' points of view. I'm much more excited for those books now that I know that. Personally I'm hoping for Mira's story first since I have a ship for her and everything; I'm so ready for her perspective on everything.

I know I said this book is nothing like Reign, but I mean that in an overall plot kind of way. Yes, there were similarities in pagan religions and hot dudes following that religion and so forth, but in the long run, none of that seemed to warrant the label "this is like Reign." So yeah. Anyways, since I brought up plot, there was this really weird, out-of-nowhere plot twist that came up about 150 pages before the end of the book, and surprisingly enough, that's exactly when I began to become interested in the book.

Everything else was nothing different than anything we've seen in books like The Selection, but suddenly, there was a Wild West turn and there was dirt, digging, gold, Indians, and a whole bunch of things you wouldn't expect in a book called The Glittering Court. I'm weirded out, but also super glad because at this point, things got really fast-paced and a lot was at stake. I don't know if it was necessary, but my only desire is that the entire book could have had the same genre and intensity as that small part of the novel. Here's to hoping that Mira and Tamsin's story focuses on this part of the plot, because this is where secrets started being kept and the three girls began to diverge from one another.

Not including those last chapters, I would have said this was the least interesting of Richelle Mead's books, but that'll depend on how the next two installments go. The Glittering Court was nothing like I had expected or hoped for, but thanks to the last 150 pages, it kind of redeemed itself. I'm rather eagerly awaiting the next book, believe it or not.



  1. I'm still deciding whether to read this or not. I loved Vampire Academy and half of Bloodlines, but my philosophy of reading everything an author writes isn't practical anymore because of college. I'm glad to hear it picked up in the end and the western-y stuff does sound interesting. I'm probably going to wait until the whole series comes out and see what people say about it then.

    1. Yeah, I think it's probably a good idea to wait until all three books comes out (or at least until the second one comes out and it's decisively good or bad). And I only got through half of Bloodlines as well! It just began to drag along and my connection with Adrian + Sydney kind of fizzled out, unfortunately. And ugh, I so get the college struggles. Do you and Sarah think you'll be blogging again any time soon?

    2. I got through all of Bloodlines, but it lost that spark after Indigo Spell :/
      I don't think we'll be updating the blog regularly. We're trying to focus more on our novel writing and other things instead of blogging, but I might write a couple of reviews every now and then.

    3. Yeah I still have to finish it, but only because I'd like to see the two get a happily ever after after all that they've gone through.

      And that's cool - I was just curious :)


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