It hasn’t been my practice to say something about a book before I finish reading it, but here is a brief review of The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead, a historical romance and adventure novel that has won quite some readership in the almost four years since it’s been published. It’s sold as fantasy but I insist it’s a historical romance.
The story concerns a lead character named Adelaide, a countess of Osfrid whose family has lost its fortune and she is in danger of leading an impoverished lifestyle unless she can marry well. In the novel’s beginning, Adelaide—apparently not her real name—has an arranged marriage hanging over her head, but before this is consummated, she must make a daring escape to join the Glittering Court, a finishing school for poor uneducated girls seeking to find husbands among successful men abroad. That’s how Adelaide ends up being shown off to potential suitors whom she has zero interest in—while her heart surprisingly is with someone who has always been very close by.
Gosh, I must say I am finding this quite a compelling read and will most likely continue with the series. Mead paints a picture of a highborn girl who has had a bit of misfortune but never gives up the fight to make things go her way rather than simply resign to fate. I am invested not only in the story of Adelaide but also of the other girls who are struggling for a better life alongside her. I already gave the book four stars on Goodreads and that’s not likely to change.