Series: A Novel of the Four Arts #1
Published by Roc Fantasy
Pub Date: April 28th 2015
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, New Adult, Romance
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First in a new fantasy series from the author of the Novels of the Half-Light City.
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.
The moment I read the synopsis for The Shattered Court I wanted to read more! And the cover is just stunning. The Shattered Court falls somewhere between New Adult and Adult for me… but as far the Fantasy aspect of it? I’d call it Fantasy Lite, Romance High. That being said, I enjoyed the story a lot!
The Shattered Court is the first book in a new series and with that comes a lot of explaining and describing what the world is like and what the fantasy aspects of the story are. I felt like we got to read a lot about what the witches and mages can do, but we didn’t get to see too much of it in action..hence the Fantasy Lite description. I think this also probably due to the fact that the country they’re in only uses earth magic sparingly, but not so in the other countries, which we’ll get to read more about next. At times the writing felt more historical romance than fantasy. And even in the times it read like historical romance, some of the things they would say read really contemporary. This threw me off at times, but in the end didn’t take away from the overall story and what I feel will be a much more fantasy heavy follow up.
Sophie and Cameron’s relationship started out a bit abrupt, but their connection and love really blossomed in a lovely way. The smexy times were well done and not overly graphic, so no need to run away from this one if that’s a worry for you. There were times Cameron reminded me of my favorite fictional hero: Jamie Fraser. It’s true! He did! Sophie was just as sweet as could be… except if you made her mad, of course. They had great chemistry together and I look forward to continuing their story in the next book. (Sidenote: I’m thinking of picking up M.J. Scott’s other series too.)