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…(Synopsis taken from Goodreads)
For a book titled The Glittering Court, it had a sad lack of glitter. But it was chock full of sexism. Yay!
Seriously, though, I am so, so tired of sexist epic fantasy. And this book takes the cake for that.
Meet Adelaide, a high society girl with dead parents and a stern, bullying grandmother who’s just been forced into an arranged marriage with a man she’s never met. And she does not want this arranged marriage, and so she pretends to be her lady’s maid to go off to a school that will teach her how to be a “proper” lady. And then she will be sold off…into an arranged marriage.
A bit of flawed reasoning there, Adelaide. And how does she do this? She’s helped by the son of the man who runs the Glittering Court, who knows she is not what she’s pretending to be. And why does he help her? WE DON’T KNOW. Probably because she’s pretty.
And the book is kind of boring. Not a whole lot happens? Honestly, I think either of Adelaide’s roommates would have been a better narrator than she.
And let’s go back to the sexism thing.
This book is horribly sexist. High society woman are seen as prized possessions who are supposed to keep their mouth shut and look pretty. And that’s not even the worst off it.
The girls who go to the Glittering Court are literally auctioned off. I mean they’re married off to the man who pays the highest amount of money. They claim that the girls get to “choose” who they can marry, but it’s made very clear that they often go to the man who pays the most if the person who runs the court tells them too.
[small spoilers below]
I’m also not a huge fan of how Adelaide was caught kissing another man, and so she’s seen as “damaged goods” and now can no longer be married off. Just why???
Also, when another man attempts to rape Adelaide and she takes him to court, he’s “not guilty” because she was drinking a contraceptive tea at the time and therefor she must be asking for it.
That’s not even counting the book’s other problems; Slut-shaming and homophobia, to name a few.
And it was also super, super boring. 400 pages was way too long for this book, and it was filled with unnessicary descriptions of pretty much everything. This book was the perfect example of one that “tells but doesn’t show”.
MAYBE you’ll like this book if you’re a fan of lots of poofy dresses and forbidden romances, but even then, I wouldn’t recommend you buy it.
So, blogglings, have you read The Glittering Court yet? Do you agree with my review? Or did you like it?