399 Pages | Knopf | AU Historical Fiction | Release Date: 06/02/2020
The Court of Miracles is a Les Miserables retelling that re-imagines discarded daughter Eponine “Nina” Thenadier as a thief in the underground Parisian criminal network known as The Miracle Court. When a powerful member of the Miracle Court threatens to enslave Nina’s sister Ettie (aka Cosette) she makes moves to bring him down. All while the June Revolution is stirring.
Am I the only one who thought this was a fantasy ? Because it isn’t and I’m trying not to let my review be clouded by what I expected to be.
On her website, Grant says you don’t have to know Les Miserables to get into this book but I kind of disagree. I didn’t know it was a retelling going in and I was confused for a few pages. I think without some context you’d be a little bit lost about why all these random character keep showing up in the background for extended cameos. This is more heavily based on the book and I’ve only seen the movie, so I know some stuff went over my head.
The structure is similar to Les Miserables in that it takes place across 9 years in three distinct acts which is really uncommon in YA. I think this works in the musical (and famously long book) but not so much in YA.
I don’t know this just didn’t wow me. I never felt fully immersed into the world or any one character. None of the relationships were developed because there was so much fast-forwarding through time. I think fans of Les Miserables will find something special in this book because they will already understand the relationships and stakes from the original text.
This was a hybrid read for me and while I mostly read the book, the narration by Ajjaz Award came through with some of these French pronunciations. It might be helpful, especially for non-French speaking readers.
I believe at one point this book was being heavily compared to Six of Crows and I feel like publishers really need to stop doing this because this book doesn’t have the world-building, magical elements or central heist that endear readers to that series.
Also, they never once refer to The Miracle Court as The Court of Miracles. I’m guessing the marketing department got a hold of the title ?
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.