Hello everyone, and welcome to my stop for the blog tour for A Court of Miracles by Kester Grant!!! I’m very excited to share my review of this retelling of Les Miserables! (I’m a secret theater nerd, and Les Mis was one of the first professional musicals I ever saw live, so I was super excited to read this!)
Thank you to the publisher and The Fantastic Flying Book Club for including me on this tour and providing me with an e-copy of the book! Please also check out the rest of the tour schedule, which includes more reviews, guest posts, interviews, and more!
About the Book
Title: Court of Miracles
Author: Kester Grant
Publisher: Knopf Children’s
POV: 1st Person
Genre: YA Fantasy Retelling
Release Date: 6/2/2018
Page Count: 464 Pages
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.
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.
About the Author
Kester Grant is a British-Mauritian writer of color. She was born in London, grew up between the UK, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the tropical island paradise of Mauritius. As a wanton nomad she and her husband are unsure which country they currently reside in but they can generally be found surrounded by their fiendish pack of cats and dogs.
- It’s a Les Miserables retelling!
- The gorgeous cover!
- Very action packed
- Historical accuracies (mixed in with obvious inaccuracies, of course.)
- The beginning was very confusing.
- A lot of characters to keep track of
- Seemed only very loosely based on Les Miserables
- A lot happened in just one book
- Pacing issues at times
I was super excited to start reading this book! I mean, a Les Mis retelling staring Eponine (Nina) and mixing in all sorts of underground crime? Count me in! I really liked Grant’s writing style; she mixes in a good blend of scene description with action and character thought so that nothing gets boring or monotonous.
Of course, no book is perfect! I think that one of my issues with the novel was that as soon as I learned that it was a Les Mis retelling, I constantly wanted to match characters and scenes up with what I knew from the musical/movie versions (I haven’t read the daunting original book.) However, The Court of Miracles seemed to be more loosely based on it. I mean, for one thing we have Nina (Eponine) protecting Ettie (Cosette) as opposed to Valjean (who’s also a character here, along with people like Javert and Enjolras and more.) Everyone’s roles have been shuffled about, and while it’s always fun to recognize a Les Mis characters, I sort of had to put my preconceived notions aside. I think that this book still would be interesting if the Les Mis character names were dropped, and would ease that mental disconnect that I felt.
My other main issue was pacing. I wanted to see more of Nina’s skills as a thief, like lockpicking, but a lot of things were glazed over. Additionally, I felt like some events in the book, like breaking into a high security prison, were way too easy and happened way too fast. This led to confusion in my case. It constantly felt like things were happening, which is great, but it was like, “Break this character out of here, and now find this person, and now steal this…” and so on. While there’s the overarching arc of protecting Ettie, there’s just a lot going on that made the book a bit disorientating and at times a bit dull to read. At just the 50% mark I felt like we had already traversed enough story to be toward the end!
All-in-all, I did enjoy The Court of Miracles, but I felt like a lot was crammed into it. I wish that things had been paced a little better and that maybe the Les Mis references were dropped, but I still think that it was a fun read, and I’ll definitely read the sequel. I’d give it 3.5 stars!
Prize: Win a copy of THE COURT OF MIRACLES by Kester Grant (US Only)
Starts: June 2nd 2020
Ends: June 16th 2020
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