The marketing said “a crossover between Six of Crows and Les Miserable” – I said “most anticipated release of the year!”, or one of them.
So here we are with a full review of this book. Let’s see it was worth the hype.
This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley and Harper Collins UK in return for an honest review. Thank you!
The Court of Miracles
by Kester Grant
A GLITTERING CRIMINAL UNDERWORLD. A HEROINE WHO WILL BRING IT CRASHING DOWN.
The revolution has failed. Paris is a dark and lawless place. To protect themselves the city’s wretched have gathered into guilds of thieves, smugglers, assassins – and worse. Together they form the Miracle Court.
When Nina’s sister is stolen by one of their cruellest Lords she joins the Thieves Guild to get her back. And there she learns that even the wretched have rules. She’ll break every one of those rules to get her sister back.
Even if it tears the Miracle Court apart.
The intrigue of Six of Crows.
The heart of Caraval.
The drama of Les Miserables.
The beginning of a dazzling new trilogy.
- Paris setting
An enjoyable read with some issues.
My main issue fr me in relation to the Les Mis comparison was Gavroche. I was disappointed in the lack of Gavroche in this book. He was the highlight to me when I read Les Mis. He is (spoiler) the younger brother of Eponine in the original story, but in this book, he is a quiet boy who doesn’t really stand up to much. I wanted more from him. And I wanted a more powerful Gavroche
Also, the marketing suggests its a mix between Les Mis and Six of Crows. I felt it was more a criminal retelling of Les Mis with hints of Lies of Locke Lamora. The book draws a lot on Les Mis from setting, to history, to characters. I feel Six of Crows is a marketing thing but it doesn’t really apply to the story. However, this size of the criminal world in Lies of Locke Lamora is a better fit.
The story follows Nina, the Black Cat, aka Eponnie and her trial in surviving the criminal underworld of Paris. When her father, Tenardier sells her eldest sister to a flesh house, she runs away to swear loyalty to Lord of Thieves. However, she tries to save her sister, then to buy her sister, then to plot for something bigger. In the meantime, the city is rising. Famine and death spread through the city. Tenadrier takes in another child to help at his inn. Lord of Flesh eyes her and wants her, but Nina is there just in time. Ettie aka Cosette is the sweet innocent child Nina offers to the Dead Lord for protection against the Tiger aka Lord of Flesh.
Most turns and twists were logical. But when the plot was laid out and her reasoning explained, I wasn’t surprised. It wasn’t revealed in such a way for me to be surprised, but I also think I was meant to be slightly surprised. But I wasn’t. shrug
Not much worlds building needed. We are in Paris around revolution time and around Les Mis times. The criminal world with an all its Lords and Ladies are well explained and the law of the guild is slowly feed in pieces.
It’s well done, but slightly small ad limited.
I didn’t feel like Paris made any appearances. Paris is this big grand city with tons of history. And in Les Mis, it’s almost a character in itself. You feel like you are in the city. However, in the Court of Miracles, the city didn’t matter. We could be almost anywhere. Almost. The city didn’t feel like it was alive it felt like a prop.
There is no magic nor much science here only cunning thievery and plotting.
All characters stem from Les Mis. There are no original characters apart form the Guild and their Lords.
Shouldn’t come as a surprise then that we follow Eponine.
I don’t feel like I have a lot to say about the characters really. I didn’t connect with them properly.
Fair. I felt the writing was a tad simple. I had an e-ARC and there were a few spelling mistakes which I presume are fixed in the final editing. Apart from that, I had no issues with this book 🙂
I did feel the element of dragging in the Dauphine of France felt too easy. I didn’t feel that part of the story merged so easily with the rest. It was almost as if it was the colour red in a sea of blues. It stands out in an (unfortunately) negative way.
However, it’s the author’s first book and the issues in here aren’t the end of the world 🙂
In the end, I did enjoy it. I didn’t love it. But I want to check out the rest of the series so thumbs up!
Mini marketing rant:
I understand why the marketing would add all these popular books and series names into their strategy. But I also feel it sets the bar high for the book. Yes, it draws people in but a lot will end up disappointed. Les Mis is the grand epic tale of Paris during the revolution. It’s a classic. It’s ageless and nothing compares to it. Six of Crows has a diehard fanbase. It’s diverse, funny and heartwarming. It has great characters you just end up loving. Trying to compete with them is very difficult for any author. And yet the marketing team does just that. They set their new little author up against these giants and say “look! she is pretty much the same”. She isn’t. The book isn’t. There is a reason the book hasn’t got a GoodReads rating above 4 stars. And I believe this is the reason. They are setting the bar too high. It’s a shame.
Have you read this? What did you think?