Review: The Court of Miracles [YA Historical, Alt-Hist]

3/5 stars

this was one of my most anticipated releases for years – i mean, a les mis retelling with eponine as the MC, and she’s french-algerian, and she’s part of the criminal underworld? count me in!!

but lo, i am disappointed once more. what a cold, hard world we live in.

it wasn’t bad, it’s just okay, and somehow that’s worse. if it was bad i could take the piss out of it with wild glee. but i can’t.

there were a lot of timeskips that seemed jerky and uncoordinated, like me after a few wines, and especially in the first half the narrative didn’t seem to flow very well. nina was a good character, pretty well-rounded, but she seemed to get out of scrapes and conflict a bit too easily for my taste. 

i’m glad there wasn’t an overt Pointless Romance, except it’s clear that any boy around her age who goes within 3.4 miles of her is cast as a love interest: montparnasse, st juste and the dauphin. it’s a little bit tiring, but at least she didn’t really care that much about romance otherwise i’d have been driven up the wall.

there were a couple of historical inaccuracies that did drive me a little bit up the wall, though. nothing too serious, and only throwaway lines really but still:

– it’s mentioned that the prince had a whipping boy, even though they’re pretty much entirely a historical myth, and just seems like a cheap shot at Making The Nobles Evil

– speaking of Making The Nobles Evil, the nobles are… all evil. except the prince because of course.

– faberge eggs are mentioned, despite them being made for the russian royal family, and despite faberge not being alive at this point in time.

also, this isn’t historical, but still annoying:

– lady corday’s hypnotism. seeing as there isn’t a hint of fantasy anywhere else, it seems a lot like a diabolus ex machina.

basically… it was a let down. it wasn’t horrific, but it was a disappointment.

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