Sunday, April 17, 2016

Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1) by Richelle Mead

Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1)

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Everyone has a right to their opinion. Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah! Is it possible – Please, Lord, tell me it is! – to ask (No, not ask. Beg! Plead!) for people to let their common sense be their true north no matter what their opinion is? That they stop reading books that are outside of their preferred genre… especially if they hate any and every book outside of their preferred genre?

NEWSFLASH: If you hate historical fiction, you’re going to hate a book that is a historical fiction. Because of that, I’m going to strongly encourage that you avoid historical fictions… that you close the book and move to the next one if you accidentally open a historical fiction and begin reading it… that you read and rate only books that are firmly embedded within the genre you love.

I’ll tell you what’s forcing me to climb up on to my soapbox – once again – and call people out on something that I truly believe to be their problem and not the poor defenseless books that just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, usually because the person got the book for free (or via an ARC) and their rating of books negatively is something they do for.... (I'll let each of you imagine all the reasons these negative reviews could be posted.) Please know, I’m not on this soapbox because someone read one of my books at hated it (though I’ve had my share of these exact types of situations). I’m on it because lots of people read Richelle Mead’s newest book, The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court #1), and have rated it abysmally, and I’m appalled by the ratings and the comments.

I read The Glittering Court from cover to cover and could not find the flaws the people reading and rating this book negatively ‘claim’ to have found. The story was unique. It was beautifully told. Perfectly paced. There were twists and turns in such a way that you could not tell at the beginning of this story where the characters were going to end up. Also… let’s face it… the author is Richelle Mead. Her publisher is Penguin Random House. Does anyone actually believe either of them would produce and/or release anything that is not the best of the best? The answer: ‘No! Hell no! They wouldn’t.’

Because this wonderfully written and carefully plotted book has over 1,200 ratings and 429 reviews and an average rating of 3.53 stars, I’m left to conclude that people are reading this book with the assumption that it will be filled with paranormal characters because this author is best known for her vampires, her alchemists, her succubus, her fairies, and her Gods and they are left disappointed when they find this series contains none of that… though it’s just as glamorous in it’s own way.

The fact is that this book and it’s characters’ stories are meant to do more than entertain through paranormal. It’s meant to gently bring to the surface religious intolerance from the eyes of people living in the 1800’s while reminding us that we see the very same types of narrow-mindedness everyday within in the headlines of today’s worldwide newspapers. It shows where women – and their lack of rights – were during that era and helps us understand that there are still cultures whereby these same practices are carried out on a daily basis… that some women live in countries/cultures where girls’ still do not have the right to chose their husband themselves and/or are forced to do what they have to do in order to protect their families.

It is completely possibly that there are people who are reading for pleasure do not want to be reminded (even if the reminders are embedded so deeply and the subjects are brought up so gently that you barely even notice them) of where we, as women, have been and where we, as women, still have to go. That we must take each and every one of those steps hand-in-hand, united, and together. We should begin our journey by embracing Richelle Mead and thanking her for taking a chance and writing this book, for envisioning these characters, and for asking us all to step out of our comfort zone. We could demand that other women stop beating her up for not writing one more vampire book or for forgoing another book of fairies.

For me, this series has the power to take root, to grow, and to make a difference. If we allow others to beat it up and pretend as if it is not as good as it is, there might never be another in the series. Preventing an author from following her heart and listening to the characters screaming their way through her/his mind is a travesty in and of itself. It’s something I hope Richelle Mead is not forced to experience with this series.

As for me, I rate this book with a solid 5 stars. Please keep in mind that I am one of those people who avoid historical fictions in most situations, and – even then – I will continue to read all of the books in this series because I see how enlightening it could be and where this series could end. In my humble opinion, it simply needs a chance to evolve and enough people demanding it be allowed to do just that.