bookfrivolity

Book Frivolity.....

Speculative Fiction Reviews, Interviews, Art and Whatever Else!

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The Shattered Court: A Novel of the Four Arts

The Shattered Court: A Novel of the Four Arts - M.J. Scott

 

POV's: Two
Narrative: Third person

What an enjoyable read The Shattered Court is! A romance, set in a fantasy court, with the added drama of intriguing magic, politics and power structures! I read it in two sittings, simply because I found it such a gorgeously entertaining novel!

It has such a nice flow to it, you glide right through it without needing to stop and ponder over the intricacies of a overly tricky POV. Halt! That's not a negative! There is a skill in creating a comfortable narrative, just as much as there is in creating a gritty one. There are definitely gritty elements to the storyline, but the narrative always had a consistent smoothness to it, which was actually a nice change!

I really liked that this was brave in it's descriptions during the sex scenes, a thing not often done outside urban fantasy (there's usually a bit of soft focus work in classic fantasy). But Shattered Court dives right in there! It was sexy 'sexy time', yet not hard-core porn! The only thing I'd say is that the descriptive language in those scenes is a bit inconsistent with the rest of the book. It felt like the scenes were set apart from the book as a whole, when it probably would've clicked a little better if the language was dispersed more liberally throughout.

The two main POV characters were thoroughly enjoyable to read in their own right, they had a nice progression and were completely relatable. However, this is really just a two character focused novel, which is great in some respects, not so in others. It works very well for the romance aspect; getting into the minds of love interests in a more specific way allowed the book to be more focused on the blossoming romance and all that follows. As a fantasy, it makes it's progress fall a little flat. When a novel is set in fantasy style court, but the court isn't filled with a few really well rounded characters, that aspect just sputters out a bit. I suppose it will depend on the reasons you have picked up the book; as a fantasy or a romance.

It's definitely a good crossover, but it's more romance with fantasy elements than vice versa. That's evident in the world building as well, it needed a bit more groundwork to give it a full fantasy vibe. Though, the lead out of the novel shows that not all of those cats are out of the bag yet! In fact, I am really looking forward to the next stop! The snatches of information given of the area fascinate me, it looks very magical steampunkery!

This really is an entertaining romance, and with the fantasy elements, it sits right about where I like to read them! I'll definitely be checking out more Four Arts novels in the future!

Harcopy Worthy? Sure tis!