I have a new favourite book. I absolutely adored The Court of Miracles*.
It's no secret I'm a huge musical fan so upon hearing that this was a retelling of Les Mis I was very excited to read it. Whilst there are clear influences of the musical (and Victor Hugo's book) in the story it definitely took on a life of its own. The characters were recognisable, as was the overall setting of the book. Beyond that, there was a new life given to a story we know so well, and more back story for Eponine, who has one of the most beautiful songs in the musical.
Set just after a failed revolution, we meet Nina Thenardier (Eponine) and her elder sister, Azelma. This night Azelma sends her sister away into the care of her friend Femi, she knows if she doesn't she'll be sold by their abusive father to the Guild of Flesh. Instead of allowing her sister into that fate, she makes it so that it will be her fate instead. The story takes off from there and instead now follows Nina. Femi took her to the Guild of Theives knowing that they would be able to protect her. It's there that she grows up, becomes one of the most accomplished theives and plots to save her sister, all those years later.
I adored everything about this book. It's so atmospheric. I could picture all the headquarters of the different guilds, the alleys and even the palace. The plot is one of the most complex and clever I've read recently. The small details that you don't really notice in the beginning became integral to the larger plot later on and you wonder how on earth you could've missed that earlier clue.
The small touches made the world feel so complex and complete, as though this underbelly of Paris actually existed. My favourite being the idea of the Merveilles, those members of the Guilds that completed a feat so incredible they were catapulted into legend. It's things like this that make a world feel real, and the details I appreciate.
I can't wait for the next book.
Name: The Court of Miracles*
Author(s): Kester Grant
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Have you read The Court of Miracles*?
What did you think?
Thank-you for reading,