What’s the problem that readers have with this book? I’ve seen the reviews and they’re torn. But the complaints simply aren’t valid. This isn’t a Les Mis retelling as is advertised by the publisher, but does mirror the revolution and uses a lot of the same names. That’s as close as it gets. So ignore that, if that’s what you’re looking for. It’s so loose, it’s not even worth referencing.
Endlessly, reviewers complain that the protagonist is too pretty, too perfect, and too desirable with her grace and seduction. Now we have a protagonist who is not, by any means, defined as pretty, really quite cold and tough, and endlessly wowed by the beauty of the women around her, and now people are complaining, “How could she have so many people desiring her? It makes no sense!” She’s a badass woman who takes nothing from no one, and she’s selfless beyond measure; who WOULDN’T be drawn to that?
And then we have people complaining about the historical inaccuracies, like Faberge Eggs in a French chateau. Firstly, the writer is from a French colony; you don’t think she knows her own history? THIS IS A FANTASY WORLD, PEOPLE. THIS IS NOT HISTORICAL FICTION. PEOPLE EAT HUMANS AND THERE ARE MAGICIANS AND ASSASINS. DO YOU THINK THIS IS MEANT TO BE HISTORICALLY ACCURATE? Third, and just to make a point, Faberge eggs are from before the revolution of France, but… Fourth, THIS IS A FANTASY NOVEL. She also calls Marie Antoinette the ‘Queen of Cakes’ but no one seems to complain about that because no one realizes how inaccurate that actually is. But really, who cares.
The Court of Miracles itself is super fascinating, and every character that was introduced interested me. The layers, the rules, the complexity, it all had a purpose and it all added to the structure of this story. The best part of the entire story is that at the center of the action is never a selfish desire on the part of Nina (the protagonist) but selflessness. Maybe that’s how it mirrors Les Mis, as well.
It’s extremely fast-paced and a super easy read, and though it has many layers and complexities, it never gets overwhelming. My one big complaint? The first two chapters are written horribly. I’m not sure if it’s meant to sound profound but it’s stupid and difficult to follow. And then the tone changes completely and without reason as if the author got bored with writing like a pretentious Victor Hugo persona. Thank GOD.
I would define the genre as post-apocalyptic, historical Parisian based Young Adult fantasy. Apparently, this a series and more books will follow. Will I read them? Yes. Would I recommend this book to others? Yes. Am I glad I ignored the negative reviews and gave this book a shot? Yes, yes, yes.
I give it 4(Four) stars out of 5(Five).
It took me 4 days to read with about 1-2 hours of reading a day.