Author: Richelle Mead
Series: The Glittering Court (Book 1)
Publication: Razorbill (April 5, 2016)
Description: Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.
Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.
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. . . .
My Thoughts: Lady Elizabeth Witmore, Countess of Rothford, has fallen on hard times. Since the death of her parents, she and her grandmother have been selling off properties. Now it is essential that Lady Elizabeth make a good marriage. Despite her glorious bloodlines and beauty, there are few suitors for a woman with no money. Her only suitor is a a distant cousin who is not at all attractive and comes with an overbearing grandmother who is threatening to take Elizabeth "under her close supervision."
When Elizabeth learns that one of her maids has been offered a contract to travel to Adoria as a wife for one of the settlers, Elizabeth sees a way out for herself. Since the maid doesn't want to go and would prefer to travel to her family and work in a dairy, Elizabeth assumes her identity and becomes Adelaide Bailey. She travels to the Glittering Court where she is to be taught to be a lady and a suitable wife for a successful man in Adoria. There she meets and becomes friends with Tamsin, a former laundress, and Mira, a Sirminican refugee.
She is also attracted to Cedric Thorne whose father and uncle are behind the whole Glittering Court scheme. He is the only one who knows her secret since he met her when he was recruiting her maid. He doesn't give her away as he has secrets of his own which Adelaide soon discovers.
This was an excellent story filled with adventure and romance as the characters travel from Osfrid to the new land of Adoria. There are storms at sea, persistent suitors, villains, and heroes. I loved the growing romance between Cedric and Adelaide. I also loved the friendship that grew between Tamsin, Mira and Adelaide. I really would like to know Tamsin's story and Mira's and hope that more books will be coming to tell them.
Adoria. The very sound of it inspired adventure and excitement. It was a new world, a world far removed from the one in which I was required to marry my itching cousin—but also a world without galleries and theaters and luxuriously dressed nobility.I got this ARC from Penguin's First to Read program. You can buy your copy here.