The Court of Miracles
By Kester Grant
Published by Harper Voyager
What it’s about?
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.
What I think:
I have heard a lot about this book and seen it all over Bookstagram, partly because the cover art is absolutely stunning.
This wasn’t at all what I thought it was going to be.
The underworld, Court of Miracles, is a vast and complex organism with history, traditions and rules of it’s own. The guilds provide protection for the members.
The book takes the charcters from Les Miserable but that is really the only connection – the story and world created is completely different and the characters could be named anything.
The horror and struggles of life in revolutionary Paris, the starvation and treatment of the working classes by the aristocracy and the passion for change are all there. But the underworld is so separate they refer to non-guild members as day walkers which I struggled with as it seemed to separate the two so completely.
There is lots of fast- paced action and Nina is a feisty and principled protagonist. But the time scale of the book is problematic for me as she seems too young at the beginning.
I found it repetitive in places and sometimes the book slips into an almost fantasty/magical realism that is inconsistent with the rest of the story.
This was an enjoyable read at the time, but the more I reflected on the book the less I liked it. So despite my anticipation this one was sadly not for me. On to the next one.
Thank you Netgalley for the gifted copy in return for an honest review
Make up you own mind about The Court of Miracles from:
Waterstones: click here
Hive: click here