MJ Scott – This Shattered Court (The Four Arts #1)

23281690This Shattered Court
Author: M.J. Scott
Series: The Four Arts
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Get it here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
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 a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Netgalley and Berkely Books!

In all actuality, the book came to my house the same day they approved me for this, so I read my own paperback. Thanks all the same, though.

What I would have liked to see in this book is more magic, less sex and drama. Okay first off let me say how surprised I was by the amount of thoughts about sex in the book. I’m slowly transitioning into reading New Adult books too (although it’s just romance?? With college students? Like wot lol) but I was just not prepared at a sex scene in the first 40 pages of the book.

Me when I read it.

The plot: was soooo slow. I was really caught up in it in the beginning when the court gets attacked. Because running away, going on an adventure, all that stuff? Totally in my zone, man! But right away we are whisked back to court life, where a non-existent court intrigue takes place. Like, nothing happens. After finishing the book in one sitting, I just put it down, sat on my bed, and thought about what major events happened. What came up: nothing. I could give you a summary of what happened in two paragraphs and you’d be able to understand the next book.

The characters: were alright, but could have been better. I mean, I certainly never connected with any of them. The main character Sophia is supposed to be really powerful. Emphasis on the “supposed to” because although we have a lot of telling, there’s not enough showing to even that out. I literally read her trying to do magic like TWICE in the book – near the end, too!
The love interest, Cameron, is pretty decent, but not note-worthy. When they make a mistake in the beginning of the book, he tries to save Sophia by taking the blame and vice versa. I feel like the attraction with Sophia was immediately brought upon after she manifested witch powers. A little forced, if anything. But I went along with it because their romance is not cringe-worthy to read, and not much unnecessary angst goes long.

The world: is equal parts disappointing and intriguing. Intriguing because we have different types of magic: blood, earth, air, and water, which is supposed to be evil because it summons demons. I like this part. Hell, I like anything magic-related in general. What can I say? Small town girl with big dreams. So you got me on that. But then we bring up the witches, and how utterly inferior they are to men. Sophia has to rise above that and manifest her powers even though the only powers women are supposed to have is with earth magic. That’s where the world is a little disappointing, because you have to be a virgin to bind yourself to the goddess (wtf), a virgin when you bind yourself to your husband (wtf), and if you’re not then goddess save you.
Sophia, screw learning your “powerful” magic! Start a freaking feminist movement in that kingdom! I’m sure they’d profit more from that, anyway.

The writing: was pretty enjoyable for a fantasy novel. It was descriptive enough for me to have no problem envisioning the world, and the characters in it. However, I still feel as if the romance was a little forced.

Overall: I’m giving this the rating I’m giving because while it was not bad to read (if only a little exasperating), it wasn’t something I’d shove into my friends’ face. I do like where the book is heading, as we’re being given glimpses of a world outside of the court, where the characters have been stuck at almost the entire book. Hopefully book 2 will get some of that magic stuff going!

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2 thoughts on “MJ Scott – This Shattered Court (The Four Arts #1)

  1. Ashfa says:

    This is the first time I’ve seen this book and I’m in love the cover!!!The synopsis sounds great and though it looks like a really slow book, I’d like to give this one a try. Thanks for getting it under my radar.

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