October 20, 2015

Review: The Shattered Court (The Four Arts #1) by M.J. Scott

The Shattered Court (The Four Arts #1) by M.J. Scott
Publication date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Roc
Category: Adult - Fantasy
Source: Purchased
Summary: The royal witches of Anglion have bowed to tradition for centuries. If a royal woman manifests powers, she is immediately married. She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth like predicting the weather. Anything more is forbidden. Lady Sophia Kendall, 32nd in line to the throne, is days away from finding out if she has magic. When a vicious attack by Anglion’s enemies leaves the kingdom in chaos, Sophia is forced to flee the court. Her protector 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, and Cameron & 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 also a weapon for those who seek to destroy it.  She must decide if she will fight for her country or succumb to the temptation of power. (greads.com)

The Good
When I started The Shattered Court, I thought to myself — yes this is exactly what I need right now!  Fast-paced, major swoons and characters I immediately felt invested in. I flew through this book in a couple of hours and I’m glad I decided to buy this after months of being intrigued by it. In this world, witches are both revered and controlled. To have powers and be a woman of royal blood means that you are immediately married off, bound to the goddess and able to practice only a certain kind of magic (the tamer version). Lady Sophia Kendall — thirty-second in line to the throne and current princess’ lady-in-waiting — is about to find out if she’s a royal witch when an attack is made on the kingdom and she’s forced to flee with Lieutenant Cameron Mackenzie, a member of the princess’ royal guard. This all happens within the first couple chapters so basically the plot is all go go go.

In spite of that, the world building is solid. There is a lot of detailed scattered throughout the book about how their magic works and manifests itself. It’s vital to the story and particularly to Sophie’s plight to know just how powerful she is and what she can do. There’s certainly plenty of intrigue as her growing abilities positions her as a threat and she doesn’t know who to trust besides Cameron (le sigh!). I loved their interactions together! She’s feisty, curious, brave and speaks her mind. Cameron is exactly how you’d expect a member of the royal guard to be at first. Silent and strong. But beneath that exterior is an extremely passionate and loyal man. Together, their chemistry and passion is palpable, intensified by a link that forms when Sophie’s powers appear. Not only did I enjoy their romance and watching them open up to each other, but also how they banded together to take on their foes (this is where the intrigue and mystery come in!).

(Super super minor) reservations
The ending is definitely a cliffhanger and slightly abrupt. I turned the next page and was surprised (and saddened!) to see it was the end. But if the author wanted readers to feel desperate for the next book, she definitely accomplished that.

Do I recommend?
I do! Keep in mind that it’s an adult fantasy with a heavy (but just right!) dose of romance. But yes, I highly recommend this.

3 comments:

  1. DID YOU SAY A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL GUARD? I am SO here for that. But really, THE SHATTERED COURT does sound like a pretty fantastic read, and I can't wait to read it soon!! Magic and romance, I am eagerly anticipating yoooooou.

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  2. I have been interested in this book since it came out, but hadn't read any reviews yet. I definitely need to check it out!

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  3. I fell in love with this cover the minute I saw it in your review. I don't read a lot of adult fiction (fantasy or otherwise) and I am always very wary of romances (because I usually don't like books that focus on them heavily) BUT I think I'm going to have to give this one a try based on your glowing review.

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