ARC Review: Court of Fives by Kate Elliot

Court of Fives by Kate ElliotAuthor:  Kate Elliot
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
448 pages, hardcover (432 ARC)

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for sending me Court of Fives!

I was sucked into Court of Fives from the first page. Jessamy is a Patron woman, the upper class of her society, which requires her to act a certain way at all times. But when she sneaks out of her house at night to train for the Fives, a multi-level, physical competition, she can be whoever she wants. And she is awesome. But Jess is soon torn away from her family by a conniving motherf…excuse me, by a devious lord, and everything she’s ever wanted will be given to her. But at what price?

What immediately drew me into Court of Fives is the world. It’s this Ancient Egyptian/Greek inspired society of patriarchs, lords, oracles, magic, and science, and I loved all of it. Elliot’s world is so well-developed and I could picture everything. The set up of the patriarchal society, while disturbing, rang true. And I loved seeing Jess trying to break away from that while still being very loyal to her family. On that note, I really appreciated the focus on family in Court of Fives. Even when Jess is taken from them and promised that her mother and sisters will “be taken care of”, she hunts for them and makes sure they are okay.

Elliot weaves together so many elements into this story and not once did I feel confused. Her writing is compelling and strong and I was completely taken with it. Her imagination is incredible. The whole Fives competition was super cool and kind of reminded me of American Ninja Warrior, because of how physically demanding it was and how in tune with their body the characters had to be.

All I’m going to say about Kalliarkos is “More, please!”

I think my main complaint is about the ending. I do like that it leaves it open for the sequels, but it felt a little…not necessarily rushed, just not done, if that makes sense? It was very sudden and almost in the middle of action. Though it did leave me ready for more. Plus, there were a few slow moments throughout.

The bottom line: I could go on a lot longer than this, but I’ll stop here. I know I haven’t gone much into the plot, but it’s hard to talk about it without giving anything away. Just know that everything is beautiful and I need the next one right now, please and thank you. To sum up: fierce female characters, villainy, magic, swoony boy, some slow moments, and a super imaginative world.

Rating: 7 – pretty good

I liked this one so much that I’m giving my ARC away to someone on Twitter. All you have to do is follow me (@StefaniSloma) and retweet this tweet:! Ends 8/17/15.