The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead — YA Fantasy I’ve Been Reading
You’re not going to get any deep insights or detailed reviews from me, because those things are harder for me to write than fiction, which means I will be doing my hard work on my fiction and just sharing ‘thoughts’ on the books I read. I guess I should put this disclaimer on every book post, huh?
So, that said, here are a couple of books I ‘read’ by listening on audiobook recently.
The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead seemed like it might be some pretty fun romantic fantasy, and I was in the mood for something light and nondemanding.
It is that, light and nondemanding.
The bold text promo for the book:
A dazzling, romantic new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.
Elizabethan? Love it. Frontier? Well, not so sure about that… but still, the premise of a young Countess who trades places with a maid so she can be shipped to the colonies to be a bride instead of marrying the really horrid cousin she’s supposed to marry that day sounded like it had potential.
My problem is the same problem I often have, and for that reason is all about me and not necessarily about the book, or the writer’s vision, or how other people will react.
I loved the beginning of the book, the ‘quasi-Elizabethan-lite-fluff’ part, but didn’t love the frontier part. My expectation, for some reason, when they were shipping off women to marry wealthy men who had made money in the frontier [oh gosh just typing those words makes me feel smarmy, did I admit that I wanted to read this? well, we all have tropes that we like to read and depending on how it is handled, this one edged close to one of my tropes] was assumping that the Elizabethan-ish fantasy world of Osfrid was “England” and that had me in one mindset, but the frontier they ended up included gold fields and such, and struck me as way too much like the California gold fields, and that is not one of my tropes, and the two worlds did not fit together for me.
Because this is all about me and what I read, and I have a very narrow set of parameters for what I want to read when my reading time is so limited.
Other people loved this book.
And there is another great big issue with this book that I had. The fantasy world. This world was an ‘other’ world that was not like ours, but there was so little in the way of real fantasy, magic, or such, that I was hugely disappointed. Perhaps that was the bigger issue, bigger than the second half of the book being set in a setting that jarred and didn’t appeal to me.
I expect fantasy to have magic.
I also expect dark secrets to be dark. I think maybe for Mead’s usual reader it is? But for me, not so much.
I am giving it 3 stars. It’s a quick read written for a different reader. Not me.
And to prove how vacillating I can be, I will also tell you that I am on a waiting list to get the audiobook of the next book in the series–Midnight Jewel–as soon as it lands at the library. Because I am much more curious about this character, a character of color, and how her story is handled.
I hope that book works better for me.
Because, again, it’s all about me.
I said two books, but I don’t have time for two. Next book? Either Court of Fives by Kate Elliott [whose Cold Magic series is some of my favorite world-building that took me to places I ordinarly don’t choose] or Dark Triumph, the second book in the His Fair Assassin series [Grave Mercy]!
I want my fantasy to have a bit of magic, too. And dark secrets to be dark.
We’re on the same page!