Elliott, Kate Court of Fives, 432 pages. Little, Brown 2015. $18. Content: G.
Jessamy is the daughter of a military officer Patron and a Common mother, not really belonging to any world at all. Her only solace is her secret training for the Fives Court, an exciting but dangerous game that can bring fame to anyone bold enough to play. When her father’s patron dies, her secret is exposed and her life in thrown in turmoil. The new patron, Lord Gargaron forces her father to dismiss his wife and remarry a Patron woman. While Gargaron says he will take care of Jessamy’s mother and sisters, the new patron’s idea of “taking care” is vastly different from Jessamy’s. Jessamy has been offered a place in Gargaron’s Fives stable. As much as Jessamy loves the new training and the challenge of an elite stable, she is desperate to receive word about her family’s settlement.
Elliott does an excellent job with the weaving of the world, the description of court intrigue and the intricate Fives training. But the danger to and rescue of Jessamy’s family seems a little forced in the middle and unduly complicated, which is unfortunately because it occupies a large portion of the narrative. I would read a book number two just for the struggle between Gargaron and Jessamy, but I hope Elliott handles the extra parts a little more skillfully next time. I know she can do better.
MS, HS - ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher