“Our mother the City is not a merciful mother.” // Review of “Court of Miracles” by Kester Grant

Title: Court of Miracles (The Court of Miracles #1)
Author: Kester Grant
Genre: Alternate history/retelling
Intended audience: YA
Date Read: 23/08/2021 – 27/08/2021
Rating: 
★★★

Review: 

Don’t you hate it when the very thing that sold you on a book turns out to be the thing that disappoints you about it? That was definitely the case with this book. A Les Miserables fantasy-style retelling sounded absolutely my cup of tea. And yet, having now read the book, I felt the connections to Les Mis were tenuous at best. While the author is obviously entitled to take inspiration wherever she chooses, I’m not sure selling this as a retelling or alternate history Les Mis was the way to go.

I’ll admit I’ve never read Les Mis. My knowledge of it comes purely from the musical, which I know well enough to have spotted the lyrics cheekily peppered throughout this book. Maybe the setting here takes more inspiration from the original novel, but to be honest it felt like an original fantasy world more than nineteenth century Paris.

THAT SAID, in and of itself, I enjoyed the world that Grant established, and the characters. The writing style is quick and easy to digest. As much as I roll my eyes at love triangles, I’m a sucker for relationships like that between Eponine and the Dauphin, completely forbidden and yet has the potential to be really sweet in further books. I wasn’t quite as convinced by St Juste as a love interest. It seemed more forced, with lots of “I’m definitely not attracted to him, or so I tell myself” type sentences, when there was very little chemistry between them.

It probably says something that I’m sitting down to write this review a couple of weeks after reading the book, and apart from what I identified in my GoodReads updates, I find it hard to remember many of the specifics. It was fun and enjoyable at the time, but not memorable. And given the next book isn’t due out until 2023, I suspect I’m not going to worry about continuing on with the series.


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#MirthMusicMon – Watch What Happens!

I don’t watch reality TV shows, but every now and then I hear about a particular act and I go and look it up on YouTube. This was one such act. They are Collabro and apparently they won the latest season of Britain’s Got Talent with this performance, though this clip is from their first performance. Listen to those harmonies! (Also, I love how the judges’ expressions go from “Oh, great, boy band, together a month, this is going to be dismal” to “Oh… I am suitably impressed.”)

For some mirth, here is a song from my new favourite musical, Newsies, in which the gentlemen of the cast lip-sync to “Watch What Happens”, their leading lady’s solo. I have in the past week managed to nearly master the lyrics to this myself, and I’m determined to add it to my repertoire. (Incidentally, that bit about “An hour before curtain” is pure lies. Audiences are around by an hour before curtain, and casts are in costume and sequestered in their dressing rooms warming up, not sitting on the merch stand! That said, this is pretty much musical theatre people in a nutshell 😉

I’m going to go now because I have apple and rhubarb pie that needs to come out of the oven soon, and I should probably also go do some more of the online component of my first aid training (woo, work is paying for me to learn how to save people!). If you would like to join in on MMM, just post some fun videos on your blog and link up with us here. Thanks to Regi for hosting. 🙂

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