Early Review: The Shattered Court by M.J. Scott

, by Kt Clapsadl

The Shattered Court by M.J. Scott
A Novel of the Four Arts #1

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 have to admit that I'm sometimes leery of straight fantasy books due to the world building bogging things down. There's just typically too much to learn with all the very different world "rules" than ours from the start that I quickly lose interest. However, I really enjoyed M.J.'s Half Light series, so when I saw this new series, I knew I'd be giving it a try. I'm really glad that I did, and in fact I enjoyed this one so much it makes me want to be a bit more open to fantasy in the future just to make sure I don't miss really good reads like this one. There was just the right amount of world building to balance things out where I was intrigued and not left in the dark. Add in the yummy romance and the really interesting plot, I was hooked.

I do have to make mention a plot hole that is still sticking out to me. Since it happens early on I can talk about it without worrying about spoilers, but I'll still be a bit vague just in case. The Princess sends Sophie out with the royal guard with the implication that she had a bit of precognization. It just seemed like she sent Sophie out knowing there was some reason that she had to be out of the castle even if she didn't know why. But what bothers me is that the Princess then acted surprised/annoyed at the outcome of Sophie being out of the castle during the attack. I just felt it rang a bit false which frustrated me. That being said, I did read and ARC so perhaps that little tidbit will be fixed by the final version. 

Now onto the romance. Ooooh boy did I love this one, and honestly this played a large part in me being so hooked on this book. They started off really cold towards one another, but then once things started it was utter fireworks. Of course then there were circumstances that didn't make it easy for them, but the tension and the yearning made it oh so yummy. I just loved every moment of it.  

It's been awhile since I've felt so quickly attached to a new fantasy series, so it was exactly the read I needed. And that ending? A doosy. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book, and I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a new series to fall in love with. 

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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