Set in the tumultuous time of 1828 Paris, after the Revolution has failed, the city is divided into the royal court, and nine criminal guilds.
Our protagonist, Nina Thénardier, is a young member of the Thieves Guild. Nina is a skilled thief, who has spent her life flying under everyone’s radar.
After her abusive father sells her older sister to the Master of Flesh, the Tiger, Nina desperately wants to save her, but never gets the opportunity.
While living on the streets, Nina gains a new sister, a sister of choice, little and beautiful, Ettie.
Unfortunately, Ettie is such a pretty girl, that she becomes dangerous to be around, for the Tiger has set his sights on her as well.
Nina then dedicates the majority of her time to keeping Ettie out of the monster’s hands. She has to get creative and make some unsavory allies, but she is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the young girl safe.
The Court of Miracles is a fast-paced romp through a fantastical and historical Paris.
The backdrop was dirt, grim, danger and intrigue. Nina’s world is definitely a dangerous one, but she throws herself full force into the game of the underground.
Although Nina seems extremely bold, I think it was more that she had nothing to lose. Ettie was literally her only connection in the entire world.
While many aspects of this were interesting, there was something about the flow that was off for me.
I felt like the structure was: set scene, problem, resolution, next scene, problem, resolution, next scene. It just had a choppy quality to it, in my opinion.
I’m probably not explaining this correctly, but to me, it lacked a smooth narrative flow.
In addition to that, I didn’t have a good hold over time in this story. When it started, Nina was very, very young, but at the end, she’s not.
There was one point where I think a couple of years had passed, but it wasn’t entirely clear. I felt like time was progressing along rapidly, but I had no idea how much time between different sections. Maybe I was missing something on my ARC?
I think it is important to point out that I have never read Les Miserables, or watched any movie or television adaptations. Therefore, I cannot comment on this story as a reimagining of that tale.
There were moments where I felt like I had no idea what was going on. I wonder if I would have gotten a lot more out of it if I had read the original source material?
Overall, I did think this was a fun story. I enjoyed very much the different criminal guilds and the dynamics between them. I found that extremely interesting.
I would absolutely consider picking up the next book in the series. I’m not sure where this story can go from here, but Kester Grant is clearly very imaginative, so I trust they’ll figure it out.
Thank you so much to the publisher, Knopf Young Readers, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.
I had a lot of fun with it!