The Glittering Court is Richelle Mead’s first book of her new Young Adult series, where a young woman, that goes by the name of Adelaide, trades her glamorous life for one of uncertainty and adventure in the land across the sea: Adoria.
I’ve been a fan of Richelle Mead’s books since reading her first Young Adult series, Vampire Academy. I loved that series and it’s spin-off and was wondering when she would write another series. With this first installment being so different from her usual novels, it’s hard to say how I feel about it. It’s advertised as a fantasy piece, but the only fantasy elements I see is the fact that it isn’t set in our world. It’s more of a contemporary adventure story.
You can tell this is the first novel of a new series because there are so much exposition and character introduction thrown into every page of this book. So much gets introduced that it feels like nothing ever really gets resolved. It’s written almost like an episodic tv show that ends with a cliffhanger so you could stay tuned for the next season. Sure, there’s a conclusion at the end, but it leaves it open so that there’s a reason for the next book to come out.
The characters are great and abundant, but they might be too abundant. It was something anyone could guess, since the Glittering Court gathers various girls and turns it almost into an odd Bachelorette situation. But the girls are just some of the many side characters that are introduced. There are pirates, governors, bodyguards, miners, and various other characters that I feel are mostly underplayed. I know that these characters are going to come back because their own story didn’t come to any sort of convincing conclusion in the first book. The conclusions of these side characters are shallow enough that the reader can just look at the name and go, “Yep, they’re going to come back at some point.”
The only elements I like were the realistic touches of colonialism and traveling to new, underdeveloped worlds and a few of the characters. The trio of girls the book focuses on were all interesting in their own way, from their appearances to their own individual stories, even though we only fully understand the main character’s story. Mead does not skimp on the fact that doing all that the characters does take a long time, because there isn’t a magical item to transport them.
Overall, it was an okay first book. The biggest issue being that it just screamed, “This book is going to have a sequel!” as opposed to other first books of series that can stand on their own without relying upon said sequel. I was entertained by it, but it didn’t blow me away. I am intrigued enough to look forward to the sequel, but not too enthusiastic about it. I guess I’ll have to see where it goes, for better or worse, when book two comes out.