Publisher: Razorbill (April 2016)
For a select group of girls, the Glittering Court offers a shot at a life they've only ever dreamed of, one of luxury, glamour, and leisure. To high-born Adelaide, whose wealthy family is forcing her into a loveless marriage, the Glittering Court represents something else: the chance to chart her own destiny, and adventure in an unspoiled, prosperous new land across the sea. After a chance meeting with the dazzling Cedric Thorn, Adelaide poses as a servant to join the crop of impoverished girls he promises to transform into proper ladies. But her familiarity with upper class life comes with a price: she must hide her identity from her new friends, mysterious refugee Mira and fiery former laundress Tamsin, and most importantly, from Cedric himself even though she s falling in love with him. (Excerpt from Publishers' Blurb)
I really wanted to like this one but I ended up having mixed feelings about it.
On the plus side, I love frontier tales and the idea of characters venturing into lawless, unexplored lands. There was a detailed history and belief system that felt well thought out and impacted on the narrative. The minor characters were also really intriguing, including Adelaide's friends Tamsin and Mira. They were strong, tough women in a world where these aren't accepted qualities. Overall, it was a fun, breezy read and much of the plot kept my interest.
Although to some extent I enjoyed it, this superficiality was my main problem with the book. I was excited about a bold new frontier land and for me this aspect wasn't very developed. There was a lot of talk of battles and vicious tribes but it was always in the background. I also found the romance enjoyable but predictable. Adelaide fled from one loveless marriage into a process that would marry her off to the highest bidder. Women didn't have a lot of choices in this world but I couldn't see the logic behind her decision.
I would recommend this book if you want a light, romantic read but not if you want anything deeper or more original. There are similar books that I've enjoyed more (such as Matched by Ally Condie or the Selection by Kiera Cass).