I had the pleasure of reading an eARC of this book back in the summer, and I just finished it for the second time (couldn’t resist re-reading when I had the beautiful Waterstones special edition). Overall, I really enjoyed this book! The series has lots of potential. The world-building is creative, the hints of fantasy are clever, I loved the twist on history. The main character Nina is wonderfully morally grey, and there are a whole bunch of love interests that she is not even entertaining. Got to love it.
Star rating: 4 stars
The book is set in France over the course of a number of years. In fact, the only reason this isn’t a 5 star read for me is that the passage of time is difficult to follow in places. Nina, as a child, joins the Guild of Thieves after her sister saves her from enduring the same fate as herself. Azelma is sold by their father to the Tiger, Lord of the Guild of Flesh (basically a vile character who turns the Guild of Sisters into a guild of human trafficking, drugging all of the women so they don’t remember their lives and can’t escape – it’s a really dark book).
Nina will do anything to get her sister back – but history starts to repeat itself with her father’s ward Ettie, putting Nina and Ettie on to a new adventure, with a whole host of interesting characters. There is Montparnasse of the Guild of Assassins, St Juste of the revolutionaries, and none other than the Dauphin of France. Nina has caught the eye of all three, and the romance could go any way up to yet (but I do have a favourite!)
From the dynamic of the Court, to the plot full of twists (this book is packed with action), this is not a book to miss. I feel like people who haven’t seen Les Mis enjoy it more (it’s supposed to be a retelling I think, but I have no idea how it does in that sense!). The last fifty pages or so are absolutely wild – I think it was so wild that I blanked it out after my first read so this second read was like reading the end for the first time!
Overall this is an excellent debut – the series has a lot of potential to get even better. I honestly hope Kester Grant writes an adult novel at some point so she doesn’t have to hold back at all. This is very dark and graphic for YA.
Have you read The Court of Miracles? What are your favourite books set in France? Let me know in the comments!