Title: Court of Fives + Poisoned Blade
Author : Kate Elliott
Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release date : August 18th, 2015
Rating : 2/5
Synopsis (from Goodreads) :
Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.
Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death.
In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.
After I finished reading The Mortal Instruments series, I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t ever read again an entire book in which I hated the main character. That’s exactly what happened with Court of Fives: after the first 4 chapters, I had to stop.
I know, I know: how could I review a book that I haven’t even finished? Well, since I know that it will worsen the more I read it, I decided to give it the best rating it will ever get from me, and that’s the one from the beginning. So, there you go: a nice, juicy 2/5.
Let’s start with what I liked, shall we? The world building was good: Elliott went for a patriarchal society, but I really liked the mystical feel I got from it. There are oracles, and curses, and priests, and wars. It was like reading about Greek mythology! There were also underlying themes, like race and discrimination. Although they weren’t well-handled, I appreciated that Elliott included them in her book.
Now, let’s go to what I didn’t like: the characters. Two-dimensional, the lot of them. Kal, Amaya. The perfect one, and the spoiled little brat. I couldn’t stand Amaya, she was just so entitled and self-centered in an obvious way. But Jes… Oh god, JES. Harsh but true: I wouldn’t mind if she was killed. She is incredibly stupid and selfish. She’s self-centered, but in the worst way, the way that people would think she wasn’t. She can’t seem to understand how lucky she is that her father would want to show her off, despite the fact that he should have been ashamed of her. Her happiness, and her goal, literally lie on the fact that her family could be destroyed by it. There is no valid reason that she wants so bad to participate in a competition that she *gasps* has to lose anyway! For real, I haven’t witnessed one bit of common sense coming out of this girl.