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The Glittering Court #1
Description⎮Reviewed Jan. 2017
Narrator: Kristen Sieh
Length: 12h 53m
Publisher: Listening Library⎮2016
3.75★ Audiobook⎮ The Glittering Court is very different than what I’m used to hearing from Richelle Mead. But in this case, different doesn’t translate into anything especially positive. Although I was intrigued by the first 25% of the story, the remaining 75% left me bored and unimpressed.
Mainly because Mead is plainly ripping off US colonial history. Pick up your nearest US history textbook, substitute England and America for “Osfred” and “Adoria”, insert a predictable romance and you’re suddenly reading The Glittering Court. I’m barely exaggerating here. The point in the novel in which I realized there was nothing more to it than that is exactly where I lost interest.
As someone who loved the Vampire Academy series and came to love its spinoff series, I finished The Glittering Court out of respect for Mead as an author. But honestly, I’m so disappointed. The world-building felt lazy. It’s like Mead just decided to use US colonial history as a foundation for this world and barely bothered to further develop it on her own, besides slapping new labels on territories and indigenous populations. This is especially disheartening because the development of the Vampire Academy world was just so fantastic. The writing itself was quite good, though. It had a Jane Austen feel to it, especially before the setting change.
Things get very political towards the end and it all feels out of left field. Seriously, it’s like at that point she was just grabbing things from a history book. Religious persecution, persecution of indigenous populations, tense relations with the motherland, murmurs of rebellion, so on and so forth. It’s all very 1770-ish, which doesn’t jive well with the book cover. Although beautiful, the cover now seems misleading, even though it still might be the best thing about The Glittering Court. I have no desire to hear the next installment. Furthermore, I’m now questioning whether or not I even want to give Soundless a shot.
Narration review: Besides the cover, Kristen Sieh was the other best part of The Glittering Court. The tone of her voice was lovely and it had a slight rasp to it, which I found very pleasing. Her vocal distinction was wonderful and immediately helped me visualize each character. Her voicing of Ada had me wondering if she was Rose Leslie in disguise (Gwen from Downton Abbey). If you do plan on giving The Glittering Court a shot, I recommend listening to it. I was very impressed with Sieh’s performance and I plan to check out more of her work soon! ♣︎