Every now and then, I visit the YA section of my local library to see what the teens and young adults are reading. Although not so young anymore, I do like to read YA fantasy at times. Then I sometimes run across a really good fictional series that isn't based in fantasy although the bookstore lists it as such. Thus my find in The Glittering Court series.
Richelle Mead is very famous for her paranormal series such as her Vampire Academy and Bloodline Series. Of course, I'm not really into vampires, so imagine my surprise when I came upon The Glittering Court. A story about three young ladies who come from different backgrounds and for varying reasons decide to be trained in the Glittering Court to become sophisticated ladies to win the hearts of gentlemen moving to the New World.
Adelaide is a countess who is running from an arranged marriage. She overhears a conversation in which Cedric Thorn from the Court, describes what it and offers for the maid to join them. The promise she hears that she could meet a man and be able to choose the one she falls in love with makes the temptation irresistible. She poses as the maid (who doesn't want to do it and wants to go home to her family). She sends the maid on her way and meets the carriage to a new life.
Mira is a refugee and this is the one chance she has to find a husband so she can take care of her family. Her dark skin makes her a rarity and could bring the Court a fine price.
Tamsin, the laundress, sees this as a great opportunity to leave her servant life behind and to care for someone she loves. Tamsin is very determined to be the best so she can fetch the best price from a future husband.
These three women share a room at the mansion. Adelaide rarely studies or practices, but is always best in her classes, because she's already learned it all. This creates tension between her and Tamsin, who is doing well, but wants to be the best. Mira finds herself playing peacemaker most of the time.
Each novel focuses on the lives, loves, and secrets of each of these young women starting with Adelaide. She learns much about being humble and about the lives others less fortunate than she have to endure. She even feels guilty about taking the place of someone who really needed the money. Adelaide also finds real love in the strangest place.
Book 2, Midnight Jewel focuses on Mira. The life she led, the cost of leaving her country during a time of rebellion, and the secret she keeps of a past love. Book 3, The Emerald Sea gives us a peak into Tamsin's family life, her secrets, and needs.
The genuinely unique thing about this series is how it ties things together. We see behavior from Mira and Tamsin in the first book that is never explained and leaves us wondering what they're up to or what they're hiding. Then, Book 2 takes us deeper into what makes Mira "tick" and what she's hiding. AND, you guessed it, Book 3 does the same for Tamsin.
I would highly recommend this series for teens as it teaches a lot of life lessons in prose. I truly think any age group from teens to senior citizens can relate to and enjoy the heartaches, triumphs and true to life lessons these novels project.
I give this series a five out of five rating. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.