Okay, I will be the first to admit that my motivation for pre-ordering The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead was solely based on my love for her early series, The Vampire Academy. I love me the sweet sassy molassy Rose Hathaway and I knew that Mead had the ability, if anyone, to give me another Rose.
So, Adelaide, naturally, isn’t like Rose.
Which is fine. It was my presumption and I don’t know what review I read that led me to believe that Adelaide was going to be a sass attack. But it’s okay. I swiftly recovered.
And although Adelaide isn’t as snarky as Rose, she definitely speaks her mind and acts boldly. Her whole backbone is based on not having her life decided for her and she does a good job throughout the book of fighting for her freedom. Cedric says it often, “No one makes her do anything.” Dang right, get it Adelaide. She always fights back, which is relieving as a reader when you see your character getting backed into a corner and she gets to surprise you by busting out against five attackers, her knife swinging (one of my favorite Adelaide moments).
What I will say though is that the first 100 pages felt a little slow. The character development was there, I just had a harder time sinking into the setting of the book. The book is based in a land called Adoria and Adelaide starts out as a countess from a refined palace in Osfrid. (Sometimes names of fictional settings just don’t flow for me, and I have a harder time accepting the setting because of it. Like in Throne of Glass, the land of Endovier just flows for me, like of course, Endovier has always existed, I just didn’t know about it until now.) I was able to get on board with the Elizabethan part of the setting, it was the frontier and religious side of things I got distracted by.
What I did love about this book was the love story between Adelaide and Cedric. Them I buy 100% and I loved to love their love story! One of my favorite lines in the book was when Cedric was explaining his risque religious beliefs and how he equated the two angels to them.
“Do you know why the six wayward angels fell?”
“…Alanziel and Deanziel were the first two to rebel. They fell in love, but that wasn’t allowed, not for angels. They were supposed to be above human passions, but their love was so great, they were willing to defy the laws of gods and man. Uros banished them, and the other four wayward angels soon followed…
“Uros didn’t just ban Alanziel and Deanziel from the divine realms for succumbing to their passions. They were banned from each other too. She is the sun, and he is the moon. And they’re never together. Sometimes, at the right time of day, they can catch a glimpse of each other across the sky. Nothing more.”
Guh, the feels!
The religious system in book was just hard for me to grasp hold of. Mead has the amazing ability to not over-explain background info, for which I am grateful, but because the religion wasn’t laid out all that plainly, I just kind of felt like I was playing catch up with the details for a good chunk of the book. So then when there came a kind of upstarting and wildly despised religious sect, it just added to my confusion of I guess why the religious debate really mattered. I might have been more surprised than anything that religious disputes, however fictional, played such an active roll in this book. I don’t know why, I just wasn’t anticipating it from this setting.
So what it comes down to is this: I love my characters and I just want to follow them everywhere, but when the backstory is hard for me to buy into or follow along with, it takes away from my character love, does that make sense? I think that I could have been happy with following Adelaide through this world of ball gowns and proper female etiquette and then shifting to the frontier, Oregon-trail-esque world of gold panning and striking it rich.
The other snag I had in the book was that everything I expected to happen based on the inside jacket’s summary happened by the book’s halfway mark. So 200 pages were left and absolutely everything I had guessed might happen had already happened, so I spent the latter half of the book with kind of a reserved, Well, what else is left? question hovering in the background.
Actually, up til the last 10 pages of the book, there was still some peaked, unresolved drama going on and all I could think of was, but there’s only 20 pages left!
But to leave on a good note, I will say that I was very attached to the characters by the halfway mark so even though I had no idea what the next 200 pages held for Adelaide or Cedric, I was willing to stick it out and see where their plane landed!
So out of 5 stars I’m giving The Glittering Court a 3.5, which isn’t to say I wouldn’t recommend it to others and certainly I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from reading it, but my struggle to connect with the background info and the pacing of the book just threw me a bit.
I’m definitely interested to see how this series progresses and I hope everyone that has read it would agree that Richelle Mead does a wonderful job of creating amiable characters that are easy to root for!