Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

The Glittering Court
(The Glittering Court #1)
by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication date: April 5, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

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…




The Glittering Court is a very interesting tale. Girl who have no social standing, who want to make a life for themselves instead of being someone’s servant, are selected to attend the Glittering Court. This court is actually a school where the girls learn to be ladies. They learn how to host events, and ultimately learn how to speak and behave like a lady of high standing. Then, when their training is complete, they are sold to the highest bidder to become that person’s wife. For some reason, Elizabeth (a countess) doesn’t want to marry the man she’s betrothed to. So, she takes her servant’s spot in the Glittering Court in order to make her own future… by getting married off to the highest bidder. Doesn’t make much sense to me, but whatever.

I will say the first half of this story was pretty good. There’s a lot of mystery behind the Glittering Court. These girls are being groomed to be a lady and they have no clue what their future holds. In fact, their future depends on how well they do in the academy. If they don’t rank well, then they will have a harder time finding a suitor interested in them. Which, as you come to find out are sometimes old perverted men. While the first half was good, the author lost me for the second half. Elizabeth, now known as Adelaide, falls in love with the guy who brought her to the academy. These two had zero chemistry, and if I’m being completely honest, Cedric was pretty forgettable. Case in point, I had to look up his name because I couldn’t for the life of me remember it. So, the fact that the second half of this book revolves heavily on their romance, I just found myself bored and not caring.

Another thing that didn’t jive with me was that Adelaide’s two roommates have secrets and mystery to them. One goes missing and instead of learning about what happens, you’re told you’ll find out later. The other is always popping off to do something, and again, you’re told you’ll find out later. It’s as if the author was writing this book while also writing the other two books. I just felt like it was a ploy to get me to read the other books in the series instead of just giving me a good story to read. I get that the next two books follow the same timeline, but I just felt like it was a gimmick.

I love Richelle Mead’s work. I’m a huge fan of hers, however this book just fell flat for me. I wanted to love this book so much, but in the end it just wasn’t meant to be.



2 Thoughts on “Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

  1. I enjoyed this more than you, and when I think of all three books, I thought Mead did a good job having the storylines run concurrently while not be repetitive.

  2. Sorry to hear you didn’t like this one.

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