Apr 23, 2015

ARC Review--The Shattered Court by M.J. Scott

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.…

I received this eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

The Shattered Court is my first book by M.J. Scott and it was a delightful read filled with mysticism and magic! I truly enjoyed the magical aspects of the story, though they weren't at the front and center of things like I had hoped. But it was still an enjoyable read!

The world that Scott has created here is pure fantasy. It's a time of castles, princesses, warring countries, and of course, magic. Sophia is thirty-second in line for the throne, though she has no desire to rule. She has the potential to be quite powerful when she becomes of age (21). Then one day, her life turns upside down, days before she reaches her twenty-first birthday. While out on an errand for the princess Eloisa with Cameron, who is Eloisa's favored and personal guard, they witness the castle, their home going up in flames. Cameron reacts quickly and takes Sophia into safety.

Sophia and Cameron's story was quite peculiar. We start with the typical, the two aren't in love. There was no hate or like between them, really, nothing at all. But then Sophia wakes up on her birthday and suddenly sparks start flying between them, only to fizzle out with the "we can't be together because of who we are" scenario. Though, the two make a grave mistake, one that will completely overtake their lives.

I can't get into all the details without heading into spoiler territory, but the story here wasn't overly thrilling, but yet, not completely simple either. There were challenges for Sophia, who is our main character, but at the same time, I felt like we never really got anywhere. This definitely reads as a good first book, it brings us enough fodder to entice us, but not enough to be satisfied either.

There's even a hint of mystery. We never really know how the fire got started or which enemies started it and caused the deaths of many. I have my suspicions, but nothing will come of them until we move further along. There was no evidence really to support my theories, it's just an instinctive feeling.

I will say that the romance was nearly enjoyable! I say nearly, because it has that sort of insta-feeling to it. Though the characters know at the time, that they can't be together, even when they get thrust together again, I felt let down. It went from hot to cold to simmering. Not quite the order I expected, but I must say I liked where our couple was at in the end.

The ending is another thing entirely! This is where we finally see something thrilling and exciting happen! It took awhile with the slow buildups and dilly-dallying around, but the ending definitely had a more tense pace to it.

Overall The Shattered Court was a most intriguing read with definite promise for more! I am not sure how long this series is supposed to be, but I am definitely eager to see where our hero and heroine wind up after the bomb dropping events we had in the final chapters. A must read for fantasy fans or readers looking to get into fantasy reads. This was definitely a light fantasy where the magic plays a key role in society life.

Overall Rating 3.5/5 stars

The Shattered Court releases April 28, 2015


  1. I really enjoyed this one too and I plan to have my review up tomorrow! I was quite surprised of the turn of events at the end and glad that it surprised me!
    Great review Jessica!

  2. I sometimes struggle with pure fantasy. I need something real to hang onto when I'm reading. Otherwise, I get lost in the story. I'm glad you enjoyed this one though.

  3. I've had my eye on this book for a while but was unsure it would be something I would enjoy but thanks for putting my mind at rest, it sounds fantastic!

    Thea @  Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

  4. I have an ARC of this one, but I've been underwhelmed by the reviews. Sounds like this is a good set-up for the series, but not amazing on its own.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  5. I have seen this around on a couple of blogs. i need to check it out sounds very intiguing. glad you liked it.


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