Extreme Blushing in The Shattered Court

The Shattered Court by M.J. Scott

ADD IT ON GOODREADS

4/5 STARS

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Genre: Fantasy (magic), Romance
Author: M. J. Scott
Published: April 2015
Publisher: Rock
Pages: 313 {paperback}

Original review on Goodreads

**To see spoilers at any point in the review click on the provided link to be redirect to Goodreads where the spoiler is “hidden” at the same point in the review**


Initial Thoughts

This book definitely earns its forth star towards the end of the book. Being Adult Fantasy, it’s not a genre I usually reach for but for the most part I really enjoyed this. It’s an interesting little adventure with blush-worthy romance scenes (read: full blown sex scenes on several occasions) that is well rounded in its execution of fantasy. I wasn’t sure if I would continue to read the series but with that concluding as fantastically as it did, I think I will.


The Shattered Court

I was surprised on two fronts with this book: firstly, when I originally bought the book I didn’t realise that this was Adult Fantasy, not Young Adult Fantasy. Secondly, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Scott had a wonderful way of writing this world and all its fantastical elements in a way that made everything feel plausible and soundly constructed. It’s not heavy on the world building at all, despite this – this might be fantasy but I would not call it high fantasy, but it does perhaps share some similarities. The best way that I can describe why I enjoyed this, is that although this is quite a quick read, everything felt familiar and comfortable, it wasn’t a strain to slip into the world and I didn’t have to whip up flow charts for families genealogies or draw maps of the world. I just got it. Since finishing it it’s something that I’ve enjoyed thinking about – which I think is the testament of a book well done. Okay, so maybe it’s a little tricky to clearly explain what it is about this book that made it for me, but when you read it you’ll understand.


The Adventures of Adult Fantasy

The story takes place the kingdom of Anglion. A name whose pronunciation I debated with myself for a while. I expect it’s ‘ang-lee-on’, but I suppose it could also be ‘ang-lie-on’ . . . #FantasyStruggles. We follow two characters, Lieutenant Cameron MacKenzie and Lady Sophia Kendall (who’s called ‘Sophie’ by friends). It took a little while to sort of get the ball rolling but basically it’s Sophie’s ‘Ais-Seann’ (and this time I sent and SOS to Scott to request assistance with pronunciation, it’s: ‘Ays-see-Ahn’, you’re welcome) which is when she’ll come of age and know whether she has manifested any magical powers (magic is a huge theme in this book). In this world some women become witches and each has a different strength of magic.

Sophie is 30-something in line to the throne so she’s a lady in waiting – and if her power manifests then she becomes a Royal Witch. So it’s sort of a big deal. She must also remain a virgin until she’s married, they’re pretty strict on that. OH, and she lives the castle (yay!). On top of this, they must also ‘bind’ themselves to the Goddess if they manifest such powers – they’ll also be almost immediately paired off to a husband because, you know, medieval castle-people logic. THEN, there are four arts (I feel like I’m making this much more complicated than it actually is): so four different uses and methods of drawing upon this magic, but in Anglion the fourth art is forbidden. This kingdom is at odds with another, Illvya, for reasons that are a little hazy. At the beginning of the novel there is an attack on the palace that causes Sophie to flee along with her bodyguard, Cameron. I won’t tell you much more than that as that’s all you need to know going into it.

Sorry, Toothless is just too adorable.

Sophie

I *quite* liked Sophie as a character, however, she is by no means my favourite fictional leading lady. She’s a little wild and really naïve which makes for interesting decisions on her behalf. I think she has a lot of growing to do as a character in the next book as she’s still a little wishy-washy in places.

I’m really curious to learn more as to the extent of her powers as throughout this book we never really get the chance to see her in full swing. I’d also like to know why the Domina hates her so much – I know she sort of poses a threat to the kingdom but I don’t see why they treat her with such hostility. Ten points from Gryffindor for not doing the smart thing and making fast friends with Sophie to ensure her alliance that way.

 CLICK TO SEE SPOILER


Cameron

I thought Cameron was a decent character. Being a 27 year-old I found myself not swooning over him as much as I thought I would as he often comes across as really mature. I’m not saying he’s ‘old’ but it was a really different tone of male character to what I’m sued to. I feel the odd need to compare him to The Darkling (from the Grisha trilogy) here to express that Cameron is as far as you could get on the sexy/alluring scale from The Darkling. ALSO. On the topic of ages, it was really, really refreshing to read a book with protagonists a bit older than the YA norm – Sophie was closer to my age so I felt I should be able to relate with her much better than a 16 year-old. I believe Sophie is around the 21/22 mark (I can’t remember exactly). Despite all that, I’m still rather fond of him and I think we’re going to see a whole other side to him in book two.

He’s a pretty good character but I think there’s a lot more fleshing out to be done in regards to exploring him as a character more. I think he has some real potential to blossom into something special, but he was very (I want to say ‘stiff’, but I won’t) detached and uninvolved on an emotional level a lot of the time, probably because he’s a guard – but as a reader he was really hard to connect and relate too.


Are You Wearing Rouge or Are You Just Flustered to See Me?

ANYWAY. Back to sexy: OH. MY. GOD. This book is ridiculously inappropriate at times. For the most part I don’t mind intimate scenes, and when they’re done well it’s wonderfully romantic. But Scott has chosen to go with quite vulgar descriptions of this and it’s awkward I genuinely felt like I was watching something I shouldn’t be and I really don’t like it when I, as the reader, feel excluded and awkward in scenes. It’s not nicely described at all. It was like walking into something very personal and private and I couldn’t see the need for it to be all so very blunt. Maybe I’m just a delicate little Dalek but I was not dealing, nope. Because it’s quite sporadic and and like OH OKAY WE’RE DOING THIS. It was only redeemed in that sex actually played an important role in developing the plot, as weird as that sounds.

SO – if you’re deterred by the idea but willing to take it in your stride, just know that it’s not as pointless as it seems, there is a method to this madness. HOWEVER, I will not make excuses for this and say it’s fine and you’ll be fine – if you don’t like books involving sex scenes that make you feel awkward and descriptions that make you want to fling the book across the room, then this is not for you. The important thing to remember is this is not YA, it is not flowery language where sex scenes are spoken of in a backwards manner that you might even possibly miss if you not paying attention. DON’T. READ. THIS. ON. THE. TRAIN. (Learn from my mistakes). I would very much so have liked to see this done more tastefully.


Summary

I would definitely recommend reading this at home, for starters, but also that if you’re curious about reading this book but uncertain then DEFINITELY give it a go because this is one of those books that will surprise you by the end (and yes, make sure you stick around until the end). I loved how well Scott executed the fantasy elements and the way the magic felt perfectly normal where it was in the story. If you find yourself wavering at any point then persevere! The ending both convinced me to rate this 4/5 stars and that I really want to continue the series (not that the second book is out, *harrrumph*). Not to mention I’m very intrigued about reading the rest of her work. I’m so pleased with how this book surprised me and the bottom line it that yes, I do recommend this.

// GOODREADS // BUY //

View all my reviews


 Have you read The Shattered Court? What did you think?

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Let me know in the comments below!

I read this as part of the 2016 Underhyped Reads Read-a-Thon – and I think people should definitely be flailing about this book more!!


 End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

6 thoughts on “Extreme Blushing in The Shattered Court

  1. I’m sorry to swoop in and interrupt your Until I Die reading (which I veritably hope is well under way!! IM SO EXCITED! OMG THIS PLOT THOUGH.) but I’m here to throw another tag your way:
    https://introtoblurb.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/thisorthat/
    Feel free to give it a go if you have the time 🙂

    This review is excellent, and I’m half tempted to pick up this book after I finish Until I Die. (Although, I may also have to wait until April, because my TBR is annoyingly long, and I have completed annoyingly little!! Intimate scenes tend to really make me feel uncomfortable in a book, especially when very unconventional in the plot line, and unnecessary placed, but I guess if they are written well it’s allowable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG it’s so good I can’t even. I’ve read just over halfway now (although I so wish I had the time to just sit and do nothing but read it!). Man I love this series!! I actually had to go and buy croissants yesterday because Kate was eating them and suddenly, CRAVING.

      Aha don’t even get me started on TBRs! I’m reading about 8 books all at once right now because of my impatience to get through mine (not that it’s helping seeing as you can’t realistically read 8 books at the same time). I hope you do give it a go, I’d love to see what you think of it. Whilst the sex scenes are a bit in your face it’s not like they’re every page or anything,YOU CAN DO IT!

      And thank you for tagging me!! Can’t wait to do it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YES. You know a book is good when the fictional character’s breakfast legitimately makes you go and buy the same thing – now that is connecting on another level.
        TBRs are just plain scary: I have another 4 books that I set out to read this month, as well as a couple of e-ARCs, and a shedload of work on the side. *screams*

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahah I just try to not think about it and walk up to my bookshelf after finishing a book and go OH, surprise! This looks like a good book. So far the plan is going well and my subconscious hasn’t seemed to notice how many unread books there are.

        Liked by 1 person

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