Court of Fives
by Kate Elliott
"On the Fives court, everyone is equal.
And everyone is dangerous."
Jessamy’s life is a balance between acting like an upper-class Patron and dreaming of the freedom of the Commoners. But away from her family, she can be whomever she wants when she sneaks out to train for the Fives, an intricate, multilevel athletic competition that offers a chance for glory to the kingdom’s best competitors.
Then Jes meets Kalliarkos, and an improbable friendship between the two Fives competitors—one of mixed race and the other a Patron boy—causes heads to turn. When Kal’s powerful, scheming uncle tears Jes’s family apart, she’ll have to test her new friend’s loyalty and risk the vengeance of a royal clan to save her mother and sisters from certain death" (Goodreads Synopsis).
"We four sisters are sitting in the courtyard at dusk in what passes for peace in our house" (Court of Fives, Pg.1, Sentence 1).
This book was 432 pages of fantasy heaven. I highly recommend this book for fans of Tamora Pierce. I literally picked this book up and couldn't stop until I finished. In fact, I'm more than a little disappointed I didn't listen to it on audio because when I get this excited about a book I do a lot of skimming of details because...I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT COMES NEXT!
Jes is everything I love in my leading lady: smart, brave, and snarky. Jes has a keen eye for strategizing that makes her great at the Court of Fives game. The best description I can think of to describe the Court of Fives game is the game show "Wipeout". It's an extreme obstacle course that contestants have to get through. Don't get this confused with the Hunger Games though, it's not a fight to the death type of situation. In fact, the contestants all respect each other enough that insults among each other are a sign of respect, "Kiss off, Adversary."
As much as I loved the pacing, my only critique is that it perhaps moves a little TOO fast and we don't get quite as much character development that I would have liked. Seeing as this is the first in the series, I'm hoping to get more character development out of the Jessamy's sisters in following books. I was particularly interested in her twin sister that we see almost nothing of in the book.
This book will leave you wanting more. Elliott builds up her world fantastically. She also builds up to a love triangle we should see in the next book. The second love interest is possibly more sarcastic than Jes... and I love him already. On the other hand, I'm hoping Kal is smart enough to figure out why the book ended the way it did...NO SPOILERS HERE! READ THE BOOK! -KRYSTAL
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