October 17, 2014
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For more than 400 years, a secret monarchy has survived and thrived within the borders of the US, hiding in plain sight as the state known as Wyoming. But when the king is shot and his seventeen-year-old son, Haakon McHale, is told he will take the throne, becoming the eleventh ruler of the Kingdom of Eurus, the community that's survived for centuries is pushed to the limit. Told through four perspectives, Court transplants us to a world that looks like ours, but isn't. Gwendolyn Rose, daughter of the Duke of Coal, is grudgingly betrothed to Haakon -- and just wants a way out. Alexander Oxendine, son of the Duke of Wind and Haakon's lifelong best friend, already grapples with external struggles when he's assigned to guard Haakon after the king dies. And commoner Mary Doyle finds whispers in the woods that may solve -- or destroy -- everything, depending on your bloodline.
Money. Love. Power. Community. What's your motivation?
Author of Forgotten, Revived, The Originals and (co-authored with Suzanne Collins) Just Like Fate, Cat Patrick went a different route with her newest novel, Court. It is available only on Kindle and you scan read some of why here. I have loved (loved!) her other novels so I was really excited to read Court, no matter the premise - or format.
Court is definitely different than Patrick's other novels. While they were YA romances with a hint of sci-fi, Court imagines that Wyoming (yes, the US state) is not what we all think it is. Instead, it houses the kingdom of a secret monarchy existing for three centuries now.
Kept secret from teh outside world Eurus is is ruled by a king with five families (the oldest) each responsible for a different sector: Coal, Wind, Natural Gas, Tourism, and Oil, the heads of those families the Duke.
It has all run smoothly, its true nature hidden from the outside world and those in and from Eurus following the rules. But when the King is killed and it falls to his seventeen-year-old son Haakon to inherit the throne, things seem less certain.
Even if they are used to having Court dressed in centuries old fashion or to not leaving Eurus without permission, Haakon, Alexander, Gwendolyn, Mary and the other teens know - even if they haven't experienced it themselves - the world outside their kingdom is very different.
It took me a little while to get used to Court's setup: the secret monarchy in Wyoming, the rules they followed, the Dukes of Coal, Tourism, etc. Once I understood how Eurus worked, though, I really, really enjoyed the story. Whether the idea of the Kingdom of Eurus is plausible or not, the characters themselves and the story absolutely are.
Being part of this secret society, part of a monarchy, while still surrounded by the modern day United States added a very fun and original element to their lives. Haakon was forced to deal with inheriting the throne much sooner than he ever anticipated. Gwendolyn had to deal with what it meant for her - and her desire to leave Eurus. She is a definitely modern girl who is also betrothed to a future king.
Haakon is an interesting character, with trouble in his history and an unimaginable weight currently falling on him. While he wasn't my favorite character, I enjoyed his character's story and how it affected not only how he dealt with the present but also with those around him. And what his actions meant for them.
Gwendolyn, Mary and Alexander, the other characters who lend their perspectives to the storytelling are equally, if not more so, interesting and compelling.
It does all revolve around Court, the monarchy, the society's politics and each character's role in all of that, but there's that really fantastic added element of some of them wanting to 'escape' outside, to the democracy of the United States.
Court's characters, the society created in Eurus, how everyone's lives intersect and where it leads them is superb. It takes a little while to really get into their world, but once you do . . . I love these characters, what they - and we - learned about Eurus and the other characters and really hope there will be more of Court and Eurus to come.
I am so glad Cat Patrick published this.
review copy received from Rock Star PR on NetGalley