Parents' Guide to

The Glittering Court

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Fashion, romance rule in fun alternate-colonial-era fantasy.

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What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Kids say (4):

This alternative universe historical fantasy is fun for romance fans. The Glittering Court is a mix of The Selection and Jane Austen with period fashion, forbidden romance, and a storyline about brides for hire. Mead fans might be confused at first, because there are no hunky vampires or fairies in sight, but this story, while unevenly paced, still includes her signature features, such as an opposites-attract/forbidden romance, female friendships that support and encourage the protagonist, and a whole lot of conflict in the way of the happily ever after. Fashionistas or those who simply love intricate details about fabrics, hemlines, and corsets will be especially thrilled with the amount of time Mead spends describing the various elaborate dresses.

Adelaide isn't terribly self-aware and makes some cringe-inducing decisions, such as thinking that leaving one loveless marriage betrothal for an organization that basically sells brides to the highest bidder will help her situation. Of course, without that impulsive situation the readers would never get to experience the frontier world of Adoria, where there are all sorts of fortunes to be made, ethnic and religious differences to encounter, and a looser set of rules to abide. The pacing is uneven, and Adelaide, while likable enough, is less interesting than her best friends in the Glittering Court, Tamsin and Mira, who's a less desirable ethnicity (and complexion) than the rest of the girls. Each of them gets her own companion novel, and these characters show a great deal of potential after Adelaide's story is resolved.

Book Details

  • Author: Richelle Mead
  • Genre: Romance
  • Topics: Arts and Dance, Friendship
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • Publication date: April 5, 2016
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
  • Number of pages: 416
  • Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: June 1, 2022

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