The Shattered Court by MJ Scott

23281690The 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. – Goodreads

I desperately wanted to fall in love with this book. In fact, I expected to. Royalty, witches, magic, romance…that’s my cup of tea.

However, I was only half in love with this book. Not even smitten, really. There were parts that I loved and parts that I didn’t. For the most part, though, I found it to be quite slow—I found myself getting bored and wandering off to do other things, such as cleaning. It also took me forever to finish because I was so “meh” about where I was at in the story at all times. However, it was written well and I liked the premise, so I couldn’t DNF it.

I disliked the third person narration on both MC accounts (Sophie and Cameron). I never felt a strong connection and understanding of either character, and by the end of the book, they felt like strangers to me. The only thing that was apparent was their lusty sexual attraction to each other.

Which, speaking of sex, was the best part of the book (gasp!). This is definitely an adult novel, which I didn’t realize until I got to the a part where someone’s dress is ripped off and you get to the word ‘throbbing’. No manparts here, folks. The scenes were very explicit and definitely intended for mature audiences. Let me repeat: this is NOT a young adult novel. It wasn’t erotica, but there definitely were adult-oriented scenes included.

I loved the originality of the worldbuilding. Sophie is a royal witch. Witches are rare, and have been inbred so much that their power is becoming weaker. They’re bound to the Goddess and a husband after they develop their powers when they turn twenty-one. Basically sh*t hits the fan on Sophie’s twenty-first birthday, causing her to lose her virginity (because you can’t bind yourself to the Goddess if you’re not a virgin) and totally eff things up. The rest of the plot is based on her figuring out her powers and how to live as an unbound witch.

I also loved how witches have red hair, the shade depending on how powerful they are. I’ve never read anything like that, so it was pretty interesting to me.

Overall, I rated this book a 3.5/5 on Goodreads. The writing and worldbuilding was great, but the pace wasn’t doing it for me. I think that many other people would really enjoy this book though, so don’t axe it from your TBR list because of me!

lauren copy

I received a free copy of The Shattered Court through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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