Court of Fives (Court of Fives #1) by Kate Elliot
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
On the Fives court, everyone is equal.
And everyone is dangerous.
life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and
dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she
can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an
intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for
glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.
Then Jes meets
Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives
competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to
turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart,
she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a
royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.
this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy
Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic
story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated
by rules of class and privilege.
I have never read any of Kate Elliott's books, but I've wanted to check
some out. When I found out she was writing a YA, I jumped at the chance
to get an introduction to her writing, and see if she would be an
author I would like to check out. I don't know if her adult books as
this way, but this first book didn't give me the greatest impression. I
wanted to like this book, I really did. Unfortunately, there were too
many problems that I had that outweighed anything good I found. The
concept seemed unique and intriguing, but it just fell flat and I lost
interest in the story and the characters very quickly.
start with the world-building. There was basically none. Obviously, in
a brand-new fantasy novel, you need to at least set a few basic things.
Explain some terms and just get the reader used to the new world you
have crafted. Well, there was relatively none of that in this novel.
While we did get some explanation on some things, there were still many
confusing parts. It almost seemed like a lot of little, random facts
that the reader was told, but nothing actually came together.
Ultimately, the world-building (and therefore the setting as well)
seemed very disjointed. I just wanted more details!
plot was also a little odd to me. The Fives (an athletic competition)
was off to me, especially when it came to why Jessamy--our main
character--was running in it to begin with. I understand her reasons to
a certain point, but to me there she was reckless and very young in her
decision to run the Fives at all. She knew from the beginning that she
couldn't win because it could cost her family their lives, but she
chose to run it anyway, and purposely lost. I don't know why, but it
just didn't sit well with me. This could be entirely personal though.
There was also the whole part about the villain and the convoluted plot
he constructed just to get separate Jessamy from her family. I felt it
was very complicated, and again, something I didn't quite understand
Jessamy as a lead character didn't truly work well
either. Like I said above, she made decisions that were reckless and
she didn't act her age (at least in my opinion). In addition to this,
she's a flip-flopper. What's a flip-flopper? Well, it's a person who
makes a decision, and feels very strongly about that decision, only to
do a complete turn around in the next scene, and say the exact opposite.
I kept wanted her to
OWN UP TO
her decisions. I lost interest in what was going to happen to
her. While she did grow a bit stronger toward the end, which I greatly
appreciated, by that point, I couldn't bring myself to really care.
the romance...I don't exactly know how to describe it. I didn't quite
understand how there was romance simply because it is random and all of a
sudden happens. Jess and Kal's relationship is extremely lackluster
and there's certainly no spark. I kept waiting for the moment where it
would all come together for them, but it never came.
several parts where this book truly is great. I found myself hoping
that one of these parts would be the turning point, and the would
finally take off. For this reason, I didn't want to give this book 1
star. However, as I said, I couldn't overlook the negatives enough to
give this a higher rating, as the negatives truly overshadow all of the
positive moments. While this had tremendous potential, it fell flat and
was a great disappointment to me. This book wasn't my cup of tea, and I
can't recommend reading it. However, this might be the right book for
the right reader, and they might find great enjoyment in Jess and Kal's
story. If you do read this though, don't be prepared to be blown away
by anything new or unique.
Happy reading :)