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The Glittering Court Series, Book 1

Cover of The Glittering Court Series, Book 1

The Glittering Court Series, Book 1

A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER
The Selection
meets Reign in this dazzling trilogy of interwoven novels about three girls on a quest for freedom and true love from #1 internationally bestselling author Richelle Mead.
"Brilliant and original, Mead's new series starts off with a bang and will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very end."
School Library Journal

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.

Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide's ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn't leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else's property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths.
A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER
The Selection
meets Reign in this dazzling trilogy of interwoven novels about three girls on a quest for freedom and true love from #1 internationally bestselling author Richelle Mead.
"Brilliant and original, Mead's new series starts off with a bang and will leave readers on the edge of their seats until the very end."
School Library Journal

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.

Everything begins to crumble when Cedric discovers Adelaide's ruse, and she catches the eye of a powerful young governor, who wants her for a wife. She didn't leave the gilded cage of her old life behind just to become someone else's property. But nothing is as daunting—or as wonderful—as the potent, forbidden attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. One that, if acted on, would make them both outcasts in a wild, dangerous, uncharted world, and possibly lead them to their deaths.
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  • Available:
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  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
    750
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

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Excerpts-
  • From the book ***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof***

    Copyright © 2016 Richelle Mead

    The Glittering Court

    Chapter 1

    I'd never planned on stealing someone else's life.

    Really, at a glance, you wouldn't think there was anything wrong with my old life. I was young and healthy. I liked to think I was clever. I belonged to one of the noblest families in Osfrid, one that could trace its bloodline back to the country's founders. Sure, my title might have been more prestigious if my family's fortune hadn't evaporated, but that was easily fixed. All I had to do was marry well.

    And that was where my problems started.

    Most noblemen admired a descendant of Rupert, First Earl of Rothford, great hero of Osfrid. Centuries ago, he'd helped wrest this land from savages, thus forming the great nation we enjoyed today. But few noblemen admired my lack of resources, especially in these times. Other families were fighting their own financial crises, and a pretty face with an exalted title no longer held the appeal it once might have.

    I needed a miracle, and I needed one fast. "Darling, a miracle's happened."

    I'd been staring at the ballroom's velvet-embossed wallpaper as dark thoughts swirled in my head. Blinking, I returned my attention to the noisy party and focused on my grandmother's approach. Though her face was lined and her hair pure white, people always remarked on what a handsome woman Lady Alice Witmore was. I agreed, though I couldn't help but notice she'd seemed to age more in the years since my parents had died. But just now, her face was alight in a way I hadn't seen in some time.

    "How, Grandmama?"

    "We have an offer. An offer. He's everything we've hoped for. Young. A substantial fortune. His family line's as prestigious as yours."

    That last one caught me by surprise. The blessed Rupert's line was tough to match. "Are you sure?"

    "Certainly. He's your . . . cousin."

    It wasn't often that words failed me. For a moment, all I could think of was my cousin Peter. He was twice my age—and married. By the rules of descent, he would be the one to inherit the Rothford title if I died without children. Whenever he was in town, he'd stop by and ask how I was feeling.

    "Which one?" I asked at last, relaxing slightly. The term "cousin" was sometimes used loosely, and if you looked far enough in the family trees, half the Osfridian nobility was related to the other half. She could be referring to any number of men.

    "Lionel Belshire, Baron of Ashby."

    I shook my head. He was no one I knew.

    She linked my arm with hers and drew me toward the opposite side of the ballroom, winding our way through some of the city's most powerful people. They were swathed in silks and velvets, adorned with pearls and gems. Above us, crystal chandeliers covered the entire ceiling, like our hosts were trying to outdo the stars. Such was life among Osfro's nobility.

    "His grandmother and I were both ladies in the Duchess of Samford's coterie, back in the old days. He's only a baron." Grandmama leaned her head toward me to speak more quietly. I noted the pearl-studded cap she wore, in good shape but unfashionable for at least two years. She spent our money on clothing me. "But his blood is still good. His line comes from one of Rupert's lesser sons, though there was some scandal that Rupert might not actually have been his father. His mother was noble, though, so either way, we're covered."

    I was still trying to process that when we came to a halt in front of a floor-to-ceiling window that overlooked Harlington Green. A young man stood with a woman my grandmother's age,...

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 25, 2016
    A 17-year-old countess trades Elizabethan luxury for frontier life in this absorbing fantasy. Lady Elizabeth Witmore is intrigued when Cedric Thorn arrives at her home, recruiting for the Glittering Court. After maidservant Ada is offered a place in the court but is hesitant to leave, Lady Witmore poses as Ada for the chance to make a new life on the frontier of Adoria, across the Sunset Sea. There’s a catch: in the Glittering Court, she will be groomed to marry a man of “new nobility” who is able to pay a price for her hand, but when she falls for Cedric, the future looks even more uncertain. Writing from “Ada’s” sharp-witted perspective, Mead (Soundless) delivers an enjoyable fish-out-of-water tale that plays gritty frontier adventure against the finery of the Glittering Court. The uncomfortable notion of “ladies for sale” is balanced by Ada’s indomitable spirit, and although the worldbuilding is somewhat scant, Ada’s friendships with roommates Tamsin and Mira are well-realized, and themes of religious freedom and racism are woven smoothly into the exciting narrative. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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Richelle Mead
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