Review Blog

Jul 26 2017

Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

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Court of Fives book 1. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016. ISBN 9780316364300
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Fantasy. Kate Elliott, an award winning fantasy author for adults has turned her hand to a young adult novel with exciting results. Court of Fives is a winner for readers who love fantasy and will also appeal to readers who enjoyed The hunger games, as the heroine in the story, Jessamy, trains for The Fives, a complicated athletic competition. Jessamy is one of four daughters, all with vividly described characteristics, with the author giving subtle references to Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.
Set in the land of Efea, similar to ancient Egypt, Jessamy lives in a stratified society. Her father, Captain Esladas, is a Patron from the conquering land of Saro, and an outstanding commander in the army but has chosen to live with an Efean woman, known as a Commoner. By law, he cannot marry her. The four daughters have to tread a fine line in their behaviour in this society bound by class and privilege. When her father's patron is killed he stands to lose everything, and is forced to renounce his family and marry into Patron royalty. Jes seizes the opportunity to train in The Fives and together with Kalliarkos, a Patron Prince, learns about the scheming politics of the royal family and they have to try and save her mother and sisters from a horrific death.
Written in the first person by Jessamy, the reader is carried into a whirlwind of dangerous sport and political intrigue. Jessamy is an intrepid but impetuous heroine, who has great intelligence and the ability to analyse not only the game plan of the Court of Fives, but what is happening around her.
I devoured this exciting novel in almost one sitting and am sure that it would appeal to both teens and adults alike.
Pat Pledger

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