Review ~ Court of Fives by Kate Elliot


If you read my intro post to Court of Fives, Gentle Reader, or if you follow me on social media, you are in no doubt about how much I loved this book. So I'm not going to go into excesses all over again. Nevertheless, I must admit up front that, when I finished this one, I did have one of those author moments. You know those moments?

"Why do I bother to write at all when I could never write anything this good?"

Don't worry about my ego, I got over it soon enough. Still, for me Court of Fives was one of those books. They don't happen to me very often.

If I have any quibble, and it would only be a minor one, it's that I didn't find the romance between Jes and Kal believable. Perhaps because there was a foreshadow of the choice Jes would make at the end? Or perhaps there is something else being set up that makes Kate, the author, less interested in Kal as a character and that translated to me as a reader? That said, it didn't stop me from enjoying the romantic moments, and I cried at the end. The tears, however, were for Jes and her father, and the fact that in that last game she finally understands him and the terrible choice he made.

A Word on World Building

It's the world building I truly love in this book. The setting is fantasy (although with little magic and no fantastical creatures), but there are those definite overtones of Ancient Egypt under Roman rule, and perhaps a little Etruscan feel here or there, all bundled up with commentary on colonialism and race relations. The game trials themselves made me think of Sparta's agōgē, although there is a component of the Roman chariot races ~ what with the training stables and crowd's allegiances.

I also spotted a certain Egyptian princess name pop up near the end there.

I do hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.

We are switching moods for October. I've not read Nicole Peeler's Jinn and Juice yet, but I have read some of her other work. Nicole has a light touch and a breezy urban fantasy style with some fun sex scenes. I can't imagine she's switching modes too much for this new series. I happen to be a big fan of the jinn mythos, so I'm looking forward to Nicole's take.

{Gail's monthly read along for October is Nicole Peeler's Jinn and Juice}

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