Today I am reviewing ‘The Court of Miracles’ by Kester Grant. This was one of my most anticipated reads for the year, and I was delighted to receive an e-arc through netgalley, and I wasn’t disappointed.
A GLITTERING CRIMINAL UNDERWORLD. A HEROINE WHO WILL BRING IT CRASHING DOWN.
Get ready to #JoinTheCourt
The revolution has failed. Paris is a dark and lawless place. To protect themselves the city’s wretched have gathered into guilds of thieves, smugglers, assassins – and worse. Together they form the Miracle Court.
When Nina’s sister is stolen by one of their cruellest Lords she joins the Thieves Guild to get her back. And there she learns that even the wretched have rules. She’ll break every one of those rules to get her sister back.
Even if it tears the Miracle Court apart.
I fell in love with the Court of Miracles at first sight when it was first advertised, and I was delighted to get an e-arc of the book.
Firstly, I must say I absolutely loved this book.
The Court of Miracles itself was fascinating, and I feel that was one of the strongest elements of the book. I enjoyed the different guilds and how different they were, and honestly, I could have a read an entire book just based in one of them, and I look forward to seeing this aspect developed further in the future books. The idea of the Law was brilliant, as well as how it could be individually interpreted, and how it was integral to everything in the story – from the creation of The Tiger to Nina’s relationship with her Guild father to her relationships with the other guilds, it was woven throughout, and influenced her interactions in the wider world too. I also enjoyed how different characters chose to interpret and support the Law.
I felt that the wider worldbuilding paled a little in comparison to the Court itself. It was more the characters such as the Dauphin, and the events, interwoven with the events of Les Mis, that provided the context for this being set in Paris after the failed revolution. It would have been nice to have seen the Parisian aspect developed a little further, as there were times when it could have been any city.
In terms of characters. I loved Nina and her dedication to loyalty – whether to Law law, her Guild father, Ettie and her friends – and how that shaped her, and how she grew and adapted through a need to protect that. To some extent she did feel as though she had a little too much plot armour – things came very easily to her, both skills and alliances – but at the same time she was punished, she failed, and she grew, so I found myself pulled into her story. I think this feeds into one of the book’s weaknesses which is some rather jolting time-skips, that take us to the next events but don’t give us the chance to see the characters developing as much as we could. I feel that it would have added more depth to the characters, world and plot if we could have seen her growing and training in a little more detail. There were also points, where I had to go back because the time skip had jolted me out of the flow – the main one being when Ettie appeared.
The Tiger was a fantastic villain, especially when we learned more of what had happened to him and what had shaped him, giving meaning to his actions and his view on the Law although it would have been good to spend more time with him. I also really liked the Dead Lord and his Ghosts – probably my favourite guild, even above the Thieves guild – and we got to see more of his interactions with Nina, with his children and with other characters than we did many of the Court. Montparnasse was a character I wanted to love and was certainly fascinated by, but he needed more development. There were a lot of characters in this book, and particularly when they were first being introduced were a little overwhelming, although it calmed down and focused towards the end.
I was not a fan of the romance element, although it was redeemed by the fact that Nina was far more focused on her goals and Ettie than the men around her, but there were places where it felt a little too avert and didn’t add to the plot. There was also another character/relationship choice that I found jarring, but I won’t say more for spoilers, it will be interesting to see if that line is continued and developed in future.
I enjoyed the writing, it flowed well, and I felt that it grew in strength as the book progressed, and it was only the pacing with the time-skips that threw it off somewhat. It was action-packed, and there was little time to breathe between events, which works in this case, because it follows a single POV – had it followed multiple povs then it would have been overwhelming.
Despite some of my conflicted feelings about some aspects of the book, I loved the Court of Miracles. I couldn’t put it down, and I was swept along from start to finish and left wanting more, and I will certainly be getting the next two books.
The Court of Miracles (Court of Miracles #1) – Kester Grant (To be released 18/06/2020 by HarperVoyager) **** (4/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.