Court of Miracles
Random House Children’s
Published June 2, 2020
About Court of Miracles
Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.
In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.
I feel like retelling LES MISÉRABLES is a pretty tall undertaking. I’ll admit that I felt skeptical going into COURT OF MIRACLES. Telling the story– or reframing the story– from Eponine’s (in the story she’s known as Nina) point-of-view was a really cool choice. She’s such a compelling character in the musical (I haven’t read the book, so I’m flying a bit blind there.). I loved the idea of sticking with her throughout the story.
COURT OF MIRACLES captures that streetwise, vulnerable but clever and smart girl from the original story. I liked that the story centers around sisterhood, too, first with Nina’s biological sister and then her adopted sister, Cosette.
Also– I love that we have a female Javert! I thought that was super clever and gives a lot of interesting twists to her motives and a need to prove herself as a women in a job that’s dominated by men. I’m curious where that goes.
One of the biggest things that felt missing to me in the book, though, are the echoes of the morality that seems to fill the original story. There’s no one honorable– even Jean Valjean only helps Nina because he owes her a debt. Everyone is out for themselves. And given that most of the characters are thieves, that’s not shocking. I just felt like there was a core of the original story that didn’t carry over.
I think it’s there a little bit in the way Nina remains loyal to her sisters, despite the costs or what’s convenient. She values them and can’t turn her back on them even when it might save her.
On the whole, COURT OF MIRACLES delivers a gritty cast of characters inspired by LES MIS and reminding readers of the power of sisterhood, loyalty, and courage.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Nina and her sister have olive-toned skin which they inherited from their mother.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used infrequently.
Kissing between boy and girl.
References to torture and cannibalism. Members of each guild receive some kind of brand or scar that marks them as a guild member. One guild master enslaves girls for prostitution, keeping them drugged and addicted to drugs to control them.
Battles and situations of peril with some graphic descriptions.
References to drinking wine socially. Scenes show girls addicted to and high on opiates.
Note: I received a free copy of THE COURT OF MIRACLES in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog.