Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Series: The Glittering Court #1
Published by Razorbill on April 5th 2016
Pages: 416

The Selection meets Reign in this dazzling trilogy of interwoven novels about three girls on a quest for freedom and true love from #1 internationally bestselling author Richelle Mead.
"Brilliant and original, Mead’s new series starts off with a bang and will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very end."—School Library Journal

For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they’ve only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea.

After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself—even though she’s falling in love with him.

Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide’s ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn’t leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else's property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths.


Ooooh this book was good. I thought that it was going to be good, of course. Because otherwise why would I have wanted to read it, right? But this totally exceeded my expectations! I was expecting a fun adventure about secrets and dresses and romance and stuff, but what I got was more- a lot more. Sure, those things are in the book too. The only minor qualm I can tell you about (and let’s just get this out of the way so we can get to the good stuff!) is that there were a few parts that felt predictable to me. I wanted just a tad more suspense, but that is my only complaint!

The Awesomeness of The Glittering Court: A List!
  • Female. Friendship. This is just the biggest win of the whole book. You’d think that in a book about competing to win husbands, the girls would be catty and uncivil- and some were, and frankly, they all had their moments, which is why it was so realistic- but when it came right down to it, Tamsin, Mira, and Adelaide had each other’s backs. 
  • The females in general were also full of win. Again, this could have been a bunch of drama from girls just looking to land a hubby. But this was not the case. These ladies wanted the chance to go to the new world. And just so I can paint you a picture, in the world that is crafted in this book, women don’t have many options, and are looked down upon as property. So these women trying to make a life for themselves was pretty damn brave in itself! I loved Adelaide, Mira, and Tamsin best of all, of course. They all had flaws and faults, but they were so authentic, and came from such different backgrounds, it was easy to become immersed in their stories.
  • Even the side characters are fabulous. Like itty bitty characters, some of whom we only meet briefly, are still super fleshed out and add to the story. Every interaction had meaning, nothing and no one felt like filler.
  • This world is incredible! So, it isn’t England and America circa 1600… but it is. Like, a lot of the aspects of it are the same, in a general way. The old world order with royalty and luxury but no freedom, versus the new, frightening continent with plenty of opportunity but also lots of peril. There are natives to the land who are being pushed out, and there are some religious people who, if you ask me, act a lot like Puritans. It’s awesome- I am such a fan of this time period, but doing it in a fictional setting where we can have the awesomeness of the court situation (and other awesome stuff that would be spoilery to tell you about, but trust that it is fabulous)? I love this world.
  • The romance is slow and swoon-worthy. And hate-turned-love. Who doesn’t love that? Oh and it is a big forbidden no-no. I mean this romance was quite literally every single thing I love about a romance. There was banter, too! I loved both characters, too, so it was just the absolute perfect romance. I most definitely ship it.
  • We get to venture back into this world- but with Mira and Tamsin this time! Oh yes, this is a thing. From Goodreads:

    Each book in the trilogy is self-standing and told from the point of view of one of three girls as they travel to and experience life in the New World, becoming enmeshed in her own adventures and romantic intrigues while also playing a role in her friends’ stories—often in ways that aren’t obvious until the series is complete.

Bottom Line: This book got me out of a pretty serious slump. And it pretty much checks off every single element I look for in a book. Clearly, I recommend! 4h

Don’t forget to check out my very own Glittering Court right here! 

And if you pre-order (like, now, this is your last chance, people!) there are gifts! 

Can you even believe that this is my very first Richelle Mead book? Clearly, it won’t be my last! What do you suggest I start with? And how much do you want to read this book!?

Posted April 4, 2016 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Review / 52 Comments

52 responses to “Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

  1. YAAAAAAAAAAAS so glad to hear this book is AWESOME! 😀
    I loved Mead’s Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, but disliked Soundless so much! So I was a bit hesitant when it came to The Glittering Court…but woo I’ll have to get this book ASAP THEN! 😀

  2. Ari

    This is such a great review, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! I’ve heard some mixed reviews but am excited to get my hands on this! xx

  3. Hmm, this does sound like a great book … but I dunno, it’s not the most original premise and I’m kinda meh about it. I did hear a lot of dubious things about Soundless, though … *shrugs* I don’t know. It definitely sounds really cool, though, and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    • The book is more original than the synopsis suggests, I feel. I mean, it’s like, mind blowing in its uniqueness or anything, but it is definitely NOT the way the synopsis describes it- it’s way more complex, IMO. Also, I have heard that Soundless was not great too. But I have also heard from people who have read both books and didn’t like Soundless that this was much better, if that helps?

  4. I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! When first reading the synopsis, I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy this, because it’s said to be like The Selection, and I hated The Selection. But now, you might have just convinced me to read it! I’m not a huge fan of the cover so I’ll probably just get it from the library, but I still hope to read it. Yay for female friendship and good world building!

    Denise | The Bibliolater

    • I have not read The Selection, but I feel like it’s VERY different. I mean, for one, this is like, a past setting in which marrying women off was kind of like, socially accepted, and there is also no prince 😉 And the girls are just the best! I hope you do enjoy it if you read it!!

  5. I’ve never read anything by this author, but The Glittering Court has been on my TBR since I first saw the cover! You’re the second person who I’ve seen say that the romance is slow, which I LOVE! Instalove is so overdone! I’m definitely going to check this out! Great review 😀

    • I haven’t either, and I was so worried after the hate for Soundless, but this was really good! And YES- I loathe insta-love, so I am really, REALLY glad that this doesn’t have any! I hope you enjoy it, and thanks so much!! 😀

  6. I’m so happy that you loved it! After Soundless, I was hesitant to dive into Mead’s newest book and since it’s coming out tomorrow, I should definitely order it soon. The world seems so interesting to me, I’m excited to read about it. Moreover, it seems like she was able, once again, to write a swoon-worthy romance, which I especially loved in Bloodlines (Adriaaaaan!). Also, I can’t say no to female friendship 😉 Great review!

  7. wow this one sounds like a winner with strong female characters, good secondary characters, slow building romance. Even though I usually don’t like books set in the past I’ll have to check this one out. Thanks for the review Shannon

  8. I love forbidden romances, and the romance in this book sounds so good. I had my doubds about this book, so glad to hear you enjoyed it. Great review, Shannon!

    PS. It’s your first Richelle Mead’s book, really?

  9. So freaking excited for this! And I love that you talked about (and that there is) strong female friendship! I think this is sometimes hard to find in YA, especially fantasy YA! I am sold with that combined with the slow burn romance and what I anticipate will be RM’s amazing world building! Yay Shannon, thanks for reviewing!!

    • I hope you LOVE IT. The best thing is, it’s not just ONE female friend, which seems like the only time there ever is any friendship. It’s a trio, so extra win! I loved the world too, and I think it’s going to get even better in the next books with the new POVs! Can’t wait to see what you think!

  10. Oh I had no idea this was your first Richelle Mead book. I mean, I haven’t read any of hers yet either, and although I’m sure I would enjoy this (maybe), I don’t know if this is for me? HESITATION. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a copy. And doesn’t the cover remind you a lot of that Glitter and Blood book or whatever that title is called? Now I’m just rambling.

    I really like how they are doing the sequels though, reminds me a little of These Broken Stars. AND YAY FOR LIKING EVERYTHING!

    • The lack of the book IS an issue ? I am getting a finished copy and offered my ARC to someone for trade but if they don’t want it, it’s yours!

      I don’t know if you’ll love it, but I don’t think you’d hate it either? It’s maybe a bit romantic for your taste hahaha but not obnoxiously so.

  11. Okay, I’ll be completely honest here: I was a bit skeptical about this one because it sounded so much like The Selection. BUT it makes me so, so glad to hear you liked it so much! We need more strong female friendships in YA, so it makes me so happy to see that friendship is such a big focus here. 🙂 Thanks for sharing Shannon and, as always, fabulous review! ♥

    • I haven’t read The Selection so I can’t be sure, but it doesn’t feel like it’s the same, just based on what I’ve heard. The friendships were fabulous, and the world was really great IMO. I hope you enjoy it if you do read it!

  12. Gah! I totally missed out on this book. I missed the pre-order and I NEED it now. People are gushing over this book, but YOUR review convinced me. Great review!

  13. I’m so glad you liked it, Shannon! I think I’ve read all of Richelle’s books except for Soundless and some short story. I’m recently growing a tiiiiiny little bit tired of her style (probably just because I’ve read so many of her books? But everything is starting to feel very similar? It might just be because I wasn’t enchanted with the last series I read by her, but I do like her work a lot overall), so I wasn’t sure whether to give this one a chance, but I think I will! As to where to start…. hmm, it really depends on your reading mood. Like, I quite like her adult series (Georgina Kincaid, Dark Swan, and Gameboard of the Gods), the Georgina Kincaid one is more urban fantasy and the Dark Swan series is just fantasy and both are quite good in different ways, so I can recommend them both (though I feel ambiguous about their endings)! Gameboard of the Gods is kind of soft scifi (but it also features gods and magic-y stuff) and the world is very well-thought out. I found the first book hard to get into, but I really liked the second one. If you’re feeling more YA there’s obviously Vampire Academy, which I liked when I read it as a teenager and the spin-off Bloodlines series, which I just finished and felt slightly meh about. I look forward to your reviews! 😀

    • Aw thanks so much for all the recommendations! I really didn’t know that she wrote so many adult series either, I knew about VA, the spinoff, and Soundless. But the adult ones sound really good too! I hope you love this one if/when you read it ?

  14. Well Shannon, now that you’ve read the book (jealous!), you must tell us…What is that rose thing around her head? It looks straining. 🙂 I admit, I had no interest in reading this book, at least not until the dust settles around its release and buzz. But, after reading your review, I will have to go on a hunt for a copy sooner rather than later. Nice review.

    • Is it awful that I don’t know? I don’t think there was any significance other than it matching with her other clothes and such- that part IS kind of significant though so I won’t say anything spoilery ?

      I really hope you enjoy it if you do read it!

  15. Ooooh, now I’m properly excited about this one 😀 YAY! I’ve only read once book by Mead so far and while it was…ok…it wasn’t good or great. Let’s just say, I had issues. I still haven’t read her most popular books though so I’m totally up for giving her another chance! This sounds right up my alley though: kickass females, female friendships, awesome world-building and slow-burn romance! WIN. GREAT review!!

  16. Reading through parts of your review (only snippets because I’d like to read/review this one!) makes me all the more excited for this. Here’s hoping I get a copy. Soon. Great thoughts, Shannon. 🙂

  17. I’m really fascinated about what the New World looks like now and the really fascinating setting. It sounds like a really empowering book with the female friendships, supporting each other and wanting to break out of their circumstances. This is really embarrassing but I totally thought the book was about Fae. Lovely review Shannon!

  18. Oh yeah, me likey! Totally loving the sound of this one. You had me at slow burn romance. I’m thinking this could be my first Richelle Mead. Since I’m the only person in creation who has not read Vampire Academy.

  19. YAY FOR FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS THAT ARE NOT BITCHY OR BACKSTABBERS, but exactly, considering where they are and what they’re doing, this is a win. And double yay for the side characters (because we know how that usually goes), and definitely my kind of romance, obviously. 😉 I do have a love/hate relationship with series that focus on a different character with each one though, like i LOVE that the books stand on their own, but I always want more of the original ones. I’m still a little hesitant with hers (I mean, I loved the VA series, SO READ THEM SHANNON!) but after Soundless, yeah…Soundless was bad. 

    • I seriously have found ZERO HUMANS who liked Soundless. It must have been really bad ? But I have heard that this is much more like her usual work? So hopefully it will work for you! And I will read VA, everyone says I just have to!

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