Parents' Guide to

Midnight Jewel: The Glittering Court, Book 2

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Companion novel takes Mira's perspective, ups the romance.

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Mead's companion novel retells the story of Book 1 from the perspective of a more fearless protagonist whose love story is even more intense than the first book's romance. Ideal for romance fans who like some adventure and intrigue (all Mead's specialties), Midnight Jewel manages to re-create the events of Glittering Court without being repetitive. Instead, Mead infuses the story with more clarity that will make readers think, "Ohhhh, that's what was happening" when they revisit some pivotal moments from the first book. And then there are completely new parts about the mysterious Mira, her relationship with Grant, and her true aim in Adoria -- not for a rich husband but to free a beloved brother.

About that romance -- it's not the slow-burn, forbidden love that Adelaide and Cedric experience. It's the one about the gorgeous man with no interest in attachment who finally finds a woman worthy of commitment. It's not a favorite romantic storyline, but it's difficult not to cheer for the beautiful and fierce Mira or the complicated and protective Grant. They think they can keep things simple, but nothing worth fighting for is ever simple, they realize. There's also an interesting subplot where Mira gets to play an avenging angel, a Robin Hood-esque vigilante who will be familiar to those who remember the first book. But it's really Mira's devotion to her loved ones -- Grant, Adelaide, her brother Lonzo -- that make her such a likable "underdog" (because even breathtakingly beautiful, courageous, and clever young women are still underdogs when they're the wrong class and the wrong skin color).

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