Title: The Court of Miracles
Author: Kester Grant
Series: A Court of Miracles #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Retelling
Publisher: Knopf Children
Publication date: June 2nd, 2020
In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.
“They had been fools. For is it not written that the Law is like the giant creeper? It drops across everyone’s backs. And none can escape it.”
Ever since I read the word “Les Miserables” in the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to read it. As a major fan of musical theatre, I’ll read anything that has to do with them, so I went into it with pretty high expectations, and I have to say I ended up pretty disappointed with The Court of Miracles.
The thing is, the premise of this book was so interesting and unique in a way. I honestly thought I was going to absolutely adore this book, because it had a lot of elements that I really love in YA fantasy, but it ended up being such a lackluster story.
It started out great, and I feel the first chapter really set the tone for how the story was going to be, but as I kept reading I became less and less engaged with the book. I think it had a lot to do with how confusing the story ended up being, but I’ll explain myself.
My main issue with this book was that The Miracle Court was barely explained throughout the story. It was one of the most important part of the plot, and I think one of the most interesting parts the story had, but we hardly got to know it. There was no information whatsoever about what the court did and how it worked and was integrated in the society, and I honestly felt I was reading two different books: one that took place at the court and the other which was more a thriller.
“When you think the darkness is coming for you, when you are small ad frail and fear that our mother in the City is trying to destroy you, you must not let her. Do you hear me? You must survive.”
The main character was so underdeveloped. She didn’t have an evolution throughout the story, and most of her arc was connected to another character’s arc, so she didn’t have a lot of time to evolved or grow as a protagonist.
Another problem that I had with this book was that I didn’t relate or connect with any of the characters. We were supposed to believe that the main protagonist would risk everything for this little girl that she was trying to save, but we didn’t see a lot of their relationship for us to understand the reasons why she did that. I think if that relationship had been more explored, I would have understood those dynamics a bit better.
Also, there was this weird romance going on that just didn’t make sense. Sometimes it felt like it was going to be a love triangle, and other times it appeared there was going to be a romance, but at no point the author explored neither of those things. Those characters had very few interactions with each other, and I just didn’t believe that a romance could happen between them.
Overall, I was pretty disappointed with The Court of Miracles. It had such an interesting premise, but everything was so underdeveloped and bland that it didn’t make a cohesive story.
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t change my opinion whatsoever. All thoughts are my own.
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