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review 2015-09-08 14:26
The Shattered Court
The Shattered Court: A Novel of the Four Arts - M.J. Scott

Lightening review:

 

- Very much a 'First in a series' feel

- Fantasy romance, the fantasy takes precedence, imo. Even though the romance feels rather central and 'reads' like a romance-novel romance, there is no real tension or conflict.  The romance happens. The real tension is in the bigger plot, who attacked the palace and why?

- Interesting magic system -- not quite groundbreaking but still interesting

- Main characters Sophie and Cameron were appealing -- she's beautiful and smart, he's handsome and protective.  Neither one really leaps off the page though.

- Good atmosphere, I like the sense of opulence in the couirt as well as the court intrigue

- Good mystery -- There are definite antagonists and outright villains in the story -- you just don't know who they are

- Like the set up of Queen Eloisa --  she could fall either way -- good guy or bad guy?

- The high priestess Domina seems like she could be a villain, but too obvious? I dunno.

- Ends at an intriguing place.  Would love to see what happens in the palace in the aftermath of that ending.  Looking forward to the next one.

 

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review 2015-08-15 00:00
The Shattered Court: A Novel of the Four Arts
The Shattered Court: A Novel of the Four Arts - M.J. Scott quick, light read.
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review 2015-05-25 00:00
The Shattered Court: A Novel of the Four Arts
The Shattered Court: A Novel of the Four Arts - M.J. Scott This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life

2.5 Stars

I have to admit that I am a little disappointed with this book. I think that this book had so much potential. I was excited to read this book and on the surface it appeared that it had everything - magic, witches, and a royal court just to get started. This book ended up having a lot of problems that overshadowed all of the things that I liked in the story.

I went into this book thinking that it was a YA novel and I was very wrong. This is NOT a book for teens. I was actually a little shocked when a sex scene seemed to come out of nowhere near the beginning of the book. The book is not only about sex but there was enough of it in the story that I really think that this is a book for an adult audience. Don't get me wrong, this book is not only about sex but there are enough sex scenes to keep things interesting.

My biggest problem with this book is that I was bored for a large portion of the story. As the story progressed it felt more like a romance novel than anything in the fantasy genre and to be honest it dragged. Some of the things that I would have loved to see, such as Sophie learning to use her powers with the Domina, didn't get more than a mention in the story and happened completely off the page. I think that if there had been a larger focus on the magic during the middle of the book instead of romance I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

This book had some things that I really did end up enjoying. The last section of the book was pretty exciting. I felt that the ending was a bit of a cliffhanger but not so much that I felt cheated. I guess a better description would be to say the ending seemed to be setting up the next installment in the series. I liked the sections of the book that focused on Sophie and Cameron's use of magic and liked when they worked together. The portals that they used during the first part of the book were interesting. The overall world building in the story was well done even though the plot dragged during a large part of the story.

Cameron was the most interesting and likeable character in this story. He really filled the role of romantic hero quite well and seemed to really care for Sophie. Sophie felt really flat to me for a large portion of the book. She seemed to just be a pawn going through the motions until the last section of the story.

This is the first book by M.J. Scott that I have had a chance to read. I do feel really torn about this book and I am not sure whether I will continue with the series at this point.

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Group Berkley / Signet Romance via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
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review 2015-04-23 02:27
Brain candy
The Shattered Court: A Novel of the Four Arts - M.J. Scott

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

The Shattered Court is a book that would have totally escaped my notice where it not for Nick. I am so glad she mentioned it to me because otherwise I would not have found this wonderfulness. I will begin by saying that this isn’t the best thing I’ve ever read, far from it, but at the same time, it just works. It may not be incredibly original but it is so much fun to read and I do like that the author has made it her own story in many ways.

I am going to start off by talking about the main character, Sophie. She is such a good main character. She isn’t reckless yet she isn’t someone who will just take things at word. She questions things, before someone even has to point it out to her.She is a smart main character and it’s nice seeing that she takes the time to think through the consequences of some of her actions. Of course, she is not perfect but I also admire that she knows when to lay low and when to speak up.

This book comes with an interesting cast of secondary characters, including my personal favorite, Lord Sylvian. My real complaint comes in the form of Queen Eloisa. I actually really liked her at the start of the book and I HATE what was done to her character. I wish there were ways to make the book progress, and to make the plot develop without making her an enemy but alas, sometimes, that’s the way things are no matter how much I detest it. *sighs*

Then we have a certain Cameron. I admit, I was worried about him. He was sleeping with Queen Eloisa for crying out loud when the novel started. No, he was not in a committed relationship but it was a fling so I was worried how this would all come to play within the whole context of Sophie and Cameron's relationship and I guess it didn’t really. It’s one of the reasons why I am genuinely disappointed that Queen Eloisa turned into someone she was not at the beginning of the novel. I wonder what we will find out about her character that will at least help us better understand the sudden shift. Going back to the lovely Cameron,he managed to win me over right from the get-go but I was slightly disappointed in the rather easy shift of feelings (not that he had overly romantic feelings for Eloisa, it’s just that his focus shifted very easily). I am happy to report that he was a good mixture of sweet but also not sweet (if you know what I mean).

The romance between the two was something I enjoyed. There was insta-attraction happening but the way their relationship builds on that is beautiful. They build trust and when they are thrust into an awkward situation that forces them to acknowledge their feelings for one another (whoever says that forced marriages aren’t fun to read about), they go about doing that in a fantastic way. Cameron pays attention to Sophie's fears and assures her that he will be loyal to her no matter what. I admire that their relationship gets to a point where the drama is external rather than internal and what I also admire is that while they clearly have feelings for one another, there are no random declarations of love. Also sexy times. I was genuinely surprised when they made an appearance but hey, you take what you get. ;)

While I adored the fast pace nature of the plot, I will admit that I was rather disappointed that they weren’t going to be on the run for the entirety of the book. I am glad though that that wasn’t the case because otherwise we would have totally missed out on meeting characters like Lord Sylvian and we would have also missed seeing the politics within the court (although I wish there had been more of that too).

I think the world building aspect of the novel could have been more intricate but given that this is only book 1, I do like the details we have gotten. And I will not elaborate because, you know, you got to find these things out on your own. I will say there is magic involved.

This book sucked me in and left me anticipating for the sequel. It is a really fun read and I am looking forward to where our journey will take us in the future.

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review 2015-03-18 21:58
The Shattered Court: A Novel of the Four Arts - M.J. Scott

Gah!! I was right!! Not only am I desperate to read on... There is also a kinda cliffy at the end. I am left with a gazillion questions -- and no release date for the next book. Forget the release date-- there isn't even a title!!

 



Oh and yes in case anyone wonders: it's a good book...
Review to follow

 

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