A few weeks back, I saw Brittany from Please Feed the Bookworm write a review raving about this book. The cover is GORGEOUS, you guys I mean, look at that beauty... and it's fantasy! You guys know how I love my fantasy books. So I knew immediately that I had to have it. Luckily, the publisher was nice enough to grant me access to the title. I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Shattered Court by M. J. Scott
Release Date: April 28th, 2015
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Entangled in a court ruled by tradition and intrigue, a young witch must come to terms with newfound power and desire—and a choice between loyalty and survival.…The royal witches of Anglion have bowed to tradition for centuries. If a woman of royal blood manifests powers, she is immediately bound by rites of marriage. She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth—ensuring good harvests and predicting the weather. Any magic more dangerous is forbidden.Lady Sophia Kendall, thirty-second in line to the throne, is only days away from finding out if she will be blessed—or perhaps cursed—with magic. When a vicious attack by Anglion’s ancient enemies leaves the kingdom in chaos, Sophia is forced to flee the court. Her protector by happenstance is Lieutenant Cameron Mackenzie, a member of the royal guard, raised all his life to be fiercely loyal to the Crown.
Then Sophia’s powers manifest stronger than she ever imagined they would, and Cameron and she are inextricably linked in the process. As a witch unbound by marriage rites, Sophia is not only a threat to the established order of her country, but is also a weapon for those who seek to destroy it. Faced with old secrets and new truths, she must decide if she will fight for her country or succumb to the delicious temptation of power. (Goodreads)
My Bookish Thoughts:
This book was…I don’t know. I have mixed feelings about it I guess. I have learned that I have actually become really picky with my fantasy, which is something I never thought would happen because anything fantasy I generally love, but this one left me wanting for a variety of reasons.
I will give it to M.J. Scott. She has fantastic concepts. The magic building and all that (despite its anti-feminist tendencies) was fascinating at its core, and I think the world building could have been just as great if she had taken the time to actually work on all the building. Her characters could have been more interesting, but I felt like everything was so rushed that the character and world/magic building took a back seat. That being said, her writing wasn’t phenomenal, and she could have done so much more if only she took the time to describe the situation or describe characters in a better way.
I will say, the book starts off with a bang. It hooks you. It definitely does, but then things go wonky. Suddenly the romance gets physical without any lead-up. It’s just BOOM! There! It surprised the hell out of me. I mean, as far as the plot goes, I understand why the romance had to speed up, but there was nothing before hand and then suddenly they were in love. It’s like an odd insta-love on steroids, which obviously, annoyed me greatly. I don’t mind sexy times in books, but the pacing of the relationship has to be realistic, and the romance between Sophie and Cameron just wasn’t that.
And let’s talk about that climax… oh, wait… was there even a climax? I seriously don’t remember reading one…. Oh, wait… was it the scene that took up maybe two pages close to the end of the book?
Seriously, there was no pull and no intense feeling of danger in the book. She could have at least built up the suspense a bit, there was definitely room for it, but no… she just had to make everything they did succeed without a hitch. Honestly, that’s just not the way to write good suspense.
Overall, I felt like this was about three or four maybe even five drafts shy of a finished story. It had so many plot holes, world/character/magic building issues galore, and the feel of the book was scattered. I was sadly disappointed. That’s not to say that other people won’t enjoy this book, but it just definitely wasn’t for me.
I gave this book 1.5 stars.