Court of Fives by Kate Elliott
Format: ARC – Releases August 18, 2015
Publisher: Little, Brown
My Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott begins a new trilogy with her debut young adult novel, weaving an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.
Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But at night she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for The Fives, an intricate, multi-level athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors. Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an unlikely friendship between a girl of mixed race and a Patron boy causes heads to turn. When a scheming lord tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test Kal’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a powerful clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death
“Even when you face defeat, he told us, you must not falter.”
First of all, I’d like to thank the awesome people at NOVL for sending me a copy of this book to review! All opinions are my own. 🙂
You all need to get your hands on this book, just saying. Kate Elliot does nothing less than a fantastic job of emerging you into a world that is unique and unfair at times but keeps you engaged throughout the story. As the synopsis says, Jess is our main character and she is one of four sisters – which is a small misfortune because it is considered better if there was a son in the family. However, Jess acts as a upper class Patron by day and competes the Fives by night, which is a competition of sorts. When things go unexpected and an unfortunate event happens, some important and life changing decisions are made that change Jess’s life as well as her family’s life as well.
This world is rich and filled with hypocrisy and greed and hate and jealousy and my oh my does it make a fantastic story. Reading about this new world was entertaining but I must admit, confusing at times. In this novel, and setting, traditions are very different and so much world-building goes on and for a reader, it can either be boring or fantastic. Unfortunately, during some sections, it fell just a bit flat for me. Also, while the Fives were being described or during some certain scenes, imagining them and putting a picture in my mind proved to be difficult, but I managed. Do NOT let that discourage you from picking this book up, though! The ACTION and ROMANCE are so A+ that for the last 150 pages, I wanted to do nothing much but read about Kal, and Jess and her sisters, mother and everyone. Jess is a strong character, that of course has faults and thoughts that can be frustrating to read but boy does she know what she wants. The ending to this book is MARVELOUS and I honestly would’ve been furious if Elliott decided to end it absolutely any other way, SO THANK YOU!
Let’s talk about Kal…so from the synopsis you can tell that there will be a guy involved and Jess will run into him. I was pleasantly surprised with this relationship/friendship! It doesn’t take and control the entire story, and I’m more than positive it won’t in the sequel because I feel as if the characters can really shine on their own in the second book. But anyways, back to Kal…he was a great character to read! He may have been naive at times but he is willing to learn and grow as a person, which I’m happy about!
Also, this book definitely hints at magic that is really intriguing but also creepy. Mention of oracles and big spider machines left me wanting more and I’m hoping the sequel delivers that! So overall, just a solid and amazing first book to a series I’m definitely planning to continue reading.