I received this book for free from Roc in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This Shattered Court by M.J. Scott
Series: A Novel of the Four Arts
Published by Roc on May 19, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
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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.…
Let it be known that if you thought this was a YA Fantasy, turn around now because this is better suited for adult audiences. Unless graphic sex scenes don’t bother you, then you have nothing to fear… well, at least, in that aspect. There were many other factors in this book that I thought were far more concerning than what happens between a male thingy and a female thingy.
First of all, what the fucking hell – was there even a plot in this book?! It was 300 pages of sex, magic, witches and pseudo-court intrigue and none of the substance those themes call upon. It amazed me that so many words were dedicated to almost absolutely nothing, because if there’s one thing this book is, it’s actually 300 pages of setting up what should have been the first book of the series which is actually the second book. I felt like you could cut this book down by a half and you could have a prologue. A prologue that isn’t bogged down, at least.
While I agree that the narrative wasn’t bad, the author having a talent considering the words were weaved like a harmonious melody, it was still paced so slow and was full of dragging pages of scenes that wer not only of minor interest, but also of minor relevance. Even just a walk to somewhere was dragged unnecessarily. I mean, take note: I had to skim (!!!) three pages of details about what people were doing, the appearance of the places, and other things that left me thinking, “Are all of this even necessary?” That’s not all – this pattern was repeated many times! Needless to say, I pretty much skipped two dozens of pages when I got to the second half of the book because I just wanted the story to get a bloody move on already.
Second, why am I not surprised to find another fantasy where women are treated as prizes, sexual objects, and properties of men? It was so disconcerting to see it such a rampant issue here, but none of the women seemed to try to change that at all. Even the beloved Princess of the kingdom mentioned it and the solution she said was just to fricking suck it up. Men could bed other women, but fuck a woman who was bedded before her wedding night. When a witch manifests her powers, the first thing that happens after she dedicates herself to the Goddess is to get married to some Lord and she doesn’t even get to bloody pick. When she gets bethroted to someone who isn’t an old geezer, her first thought is, “Thank the Goddess a young man was decided for me!” Complete with happiness.
I MEAN, WHAT?! JUST WHAT?!?!?!
So consider me disgusted when before a sex scene, the dude said he was so excited to show her how a man is supposed to be with a woman (which of course has to be sexually-related). How plowing inside her marked her as his. HIS. HIS PROPERTY. It wouldn’t have bothered me so much if the characters here actively tried to go against these things, but it felt like it was so commonplace that they merely accepted being treated as such.
I don’t think I’ll bother with the sequel.
But hey, at least his manfood was called “cock” and not a “rod” or heck, a “shaft”. Any more ridiculous phallic terminologies and I would lose my shit.
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