Title: The Court of Miracles
Author: Kester Grant
Genre: Young Adult, Retelling
Synopses: 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.
Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.
Publisher: Knopf Children’s
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2020
Format: Digital Advance Readers Copy provided through NetGalley
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Review: While I really enjoyed this one it also did not live up to its potential.
With her debut novel The Court of Miracles Kester Grant weaves a unique retelling of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. I loved the characters, the stories, almost everything about this book. I’m really looking forward to the next book and I’m also hopeful Grant will write a novella or 4 for this series.
But so many things were glossed over and underdeveloped. This should have been 2 or even 3 books in my opinion if Grant had gone into more detail about some of the events, and nearly all of the characters and their relationships with each other. There’s so much happening and for most of her story Grant doesn’t give nearly enough detail about what’s happening, why it’s happening, who the key players are and their relationship with one another. Because of this skimming over I never really connected with any of the characters or what they were going through. I liked them, but I wasn’t invested in what was happening on the pages.
However, despite the whole book being underdeveloped I did in the end enjoy the story and I do think it is a fun, intriguing book. My only real dislike with this book is the romantic relationships of the main character.
The rest of this review contains minor spoilers.
Nina, the main character, has not 1, not 2, but 3 potential romantic relationships in this book. An assassin, a revolutionary, and a prince. I just…why? And Nina herself claims to not be in love with any of them, but throughout the book also questions her feelings for them. It’s one thing to be in denial. That I could handle. Or even just being unsure about what/who you really want to be in a relationship with. But because these characters, including Nina at times, are so underdeveloped, it all feels very superficial and unnecessary.
The reader is given so little information about these three boys that even they can’t decide on who they think Nina should pick. These relationships are just so poorly developed. I mean I want Nina to pick the assassin, but I always want characters to pick the assassin in almost every book that I read. Always.
Anyways. I really did enjoy this book. But it just did not live up to its potential. And I really do think it could have been split into 2 or even 3 books had Grant developed the story and the characters more and had gone into more detail.