To escape an arranged marriage, Adelaide, an Osfridian countess, must pose as a servant and join the Glittering Court—a school designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She managers to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn
When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.
But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands . . .
What’s that?! Another book by Richelle Mead?!
I nearly DIED when I saw this book on the shelves and I hadn’t had time to prepare myself for it. I love Richelle Mead, so much, and I was SO excited to start this book.
Marketed as The Selection meets Reign, pretty much sums up the book in one. It’s set in a weird time period combining Elizabethan (I think!) England, and the gold rushes of America. It was a quirky mix I was looking forward to getting into.
The book started off great. There was so much chemistry between Adelaide and Cedric, I was praying for another Rose/Dimitri pairing. (Please. Like THAT will ever happen). Adelaide was witty, and fun, and the the training she went through at The Glittering Court was great fun to read.
I wish it had stayed that way.
I’m not sure why, but from the moment the gang arrived in Adoria the book lost me. The girls were paraded in front of men set to bid on them. They’re told the more ‘Osfridian Upper-Class’ they act, the more money they’ll score for their marriage. It’s literally the whole point to the book. ‘Look pretty so you can get married to some rich dude’. Riiiight. Okay. I can suspend my skepticism on pretty much anything if the writing and plot are good enough. Plus, I love Richelle Mead. I trusted that *something* big was coming.
The thing with Richelle Mead books is, there’s always a twist. With VA, there was that whole ‘Shadow Kiss’ ending that pretty much killed everyone ever. With Bloodlines, Sydney ended up in a pretty terrifying place. Soundless, had that whole supernatural ending that came out of no where, and that’s not even getting started on her adult books.
So I think I can be forgiven for expecting something, dammit!
The ending was just so bloody predictable. There was so much suspense and so many opportunities for all hell to hit the fan. The amount of uncertainties in Adelaide’s world could have led to the great cluster-truck of all Mead’s books and instead of a massively intense ending… some peeps get together and talk.
So while the writing was as engrossing as ever, this book left me feeling flat. The characters were loveable, there was great pacing, and honestly, I’ll probably pick up the second one because once an author hooks me, I keep buying.
If you pick up this book, go in without expectations and I’m sure you’ll have fun with it.
And in the meantime, I’ll go on waiting for Mead’s next book.