The Glittering Court #2
YA Historical Romance
June 27, 2017
June 27 - July 2, 2017
In MIDNIGHT JEWEL, Richelle Mead goes beyond the glitz and glamour of the Glittering Court, delving into the dark, political underbelly of Cape Triumph through the eyes of one girl who dares to fight for her freedom.
A refugee of war, Mira was cast out of her home country and thrust into another, where the conditions were inhospitable at best. In a life-altering twist of fate, she is given the chance to escape once more, and she takes it, joining 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. There, Mira finds herself subjected to persecution, not only from her fellow Glittering Court jewels, but from her suitors, as well—men she would potentially be expected to give her life to.
By day, she goes through the motions, learning the etiquette and customs that will help to earn her anonymity, even making a couple true friends in the process, the forthright ladies’ maid Adelaide and the ambitious laundress Tamsin. But by night, Mira hatches a different plan entirely—one that, if exposed, could get her hanged in the highest court of Adoria.
MIDNIGHT JEWEL is the extraordinary story of a girl with few options who courageously forges a new path, finding love, passion, lifelong friendships, and maybe even a way to freedom.
If you know me at all then you know that Richelle Mead is my favorite author. She is my idol, my inspiration, my spirit animal. Richelle Mead is my Patronus. I fell in love with her Vampire Academy series, and once I read her Bloodlines series I knew we were author/reader soulmates. Every new book of hers I read makes me love her even more. So, it’s no surprise that Midnight Jewel, the second in her Glittering Court stand alone series gets 5 stars.
I loved the first book in the series so much I was afraid she couldn’t top it. And then, in some ways, she did. While I loved Adelaide’s love story in the first book, Mira’s is also extremely enjoyable in different ways.
If you haven’t heard about The Glittering Jewel series yet I’ll give you a super fast recap. The books take place in a fictional world similar to England/America at the time of the colonization of America. The Glittering Court is a program that trains underprivileged girls in the way of being proper ladies, then ships them off to the New World to wed the men who have settled in the colonies. But the girls Mead writes about don’t exactly play by the rules, and they all have ulterior motives for joining The Glittering Court.
Midnight Jewel is Mira’s story. Mira is such a strong and independent character. A refugee, she’s an outsider and shunned no matter where she goes. But that doesn’t stop her. She’s completely kick ass in a time when women are not supposed to be kick ass. She enters into an unlikely alliance working undercover for a spy named Grant. The sparks between them? Get your fan ready! Ms. Mead knows her way around romance! The build up between these two is almost painful, but Mead is the queen of ripping out hearts, crushing them, and piecing them back together.
The only negative I can even say about this book is that readers who have NOT read the first book may not have as clear of an understanding of how The Glittering Court works, simply because most of Mira’s story takes place after her “training” and she’s gone across the sea to the new world. If you’ve read the first book this should be no problem. If you haven’t you may be left a little confused. Don’t let that stop you though, because once the new world plot was set I was 100% invested in Mira and her story.
Should you read this? Fans of Richelle Mead will rejoice. Readers of historical romance will rejoice. (And did I mention there are pirates???) So basically if you want to give Richelle Mead a chance and Vampires aren’t your thing, give this series a try.
“No more alley fights.”
“No more daggers to throats.”
“Cedric, give me some credit.” If we hadn’t been in the cathedral, I would’ve shouted it. “I’ll be the picture of decorum at this finishing school of yours.”
A few other comments from Mistress Masterson’s neat writing mentioned my life at the manor thus far and contained a backhanded compliment: Progressing well for a Sirminican.
“Did they let you in here,” I asked, “or did you just pick the locks?”
“And neither of you understand how badly you’re hurting me! You two are ripping me in half! I’ve seen what happens when neither side back down in a fight. No one wins, Tamsin, and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of pain. I’m tired of loss. I can’t do it anymore—and I can’t lose you guys.”
The irony of using Grant’s gift to break into his possessions wasn’t lost on me.
“Let me go!” I yelled, trying to crane my neck and look up at him.
“Hush, I don’t want to hurt you!”
“You slammed me against the wall!”
“I restrained you so I could find out why you’re robbing me! Who sent you?”
“Fifty—or no deal. You’ll regret it if you lose me.”
“I have a feeling I’ll regret this no matter what.” Grant held out his hand to me. “Fifty it is.”
“These traitors we’re dealing with may be crafty, but even a brilliant man will get stupid with a pretty girl. And almost all of them will underestimate you.”
“You don’t have to like me,” I reminded him. “We just have to work together.”
His response was to take off his long coat and toss it to me. “Put this on.”
“Because it’s freezing out here. And I do like you.” He sounded as though it annoyed him to admit it.
“You really are reckless.”
“I think you meant to say ‘fearless’.”
“Aiana, do you think it would ruin the party if I choked someone?”
Her lips twitched with a smile. “I think the Thorns might frown upon that, yes.”
“Don’t correct me on your second language.”
“Isn’t it your second language too?”
“I’ve been speaking it longer.”
“You’re a little overdressed. Or maybe underdressed? That bodice looks. . .”
“Distracting?” I suggested.
“Don’t worry. I’ll change so you can focus on the job.”
“Men rarely keep honest records hidden under their mattresses. It’s not the bed’s purpose.”
“You mean sleep?”
“Oh, Mirabel. You’re such an innocent.” Grant took out pen and paper from inside his coat and began copying the records. “It’s like you don’t even understand men sometimes.”
He was an exceptional actor, but he hadn’t kissed me like he was putting on a show. He’d kissed me like he wanted to consume me.
Surprise lit Grant’s face when he opened his door. Surprise and. . . something else. Wariness, maybe. Then, his features smoothed, and he was his usual blunt self. “Wisteria Hollow has terrible security.”
I looked like. . . like a girl who’d just let a man have his way with her on the floor. Except he hadn’t.
“I told him he was leading you into things you aren’t ready for.”
“And what did he say?”
“That you were doing the same to him.”
“Whoa, hey, you knew what you were getting into here. If you want hours of flowery speeches, you’d better go find out if Cedric Thorn has a brother.”
My (Writing) Life
No updates. Nothing. I literally posted my review yesterday, went to bed (okay, I ate then played ‘Choices’ on my phone, THEN went to bed) and now I’m here again, up way too early this morning, and posting this review. This much, much overdue review.
Now I’m going to take a nap.