In a world with strict social classes, Jessamy is the daughter of both a patron father and a commoner mother. She struggles between playing the role society dictates of her as an upper-class patron and following her true passion, to participate in the Fives. However, she can’t participate in these intense competitions involving obstacle courses without shaming her family, so she sneaks out to train in secret. When her family is then torn apart by a lord named Gargaron, she tries to save her sisters and her mom with the help of Kalliarkos, his nephew.
I loved how Jessamy was a strong, intelligent, and bold protagonist who is willing to fight for what she wants in a world dominated by males. Even when she catches Kalliarkos eye, she doesn’t deviate from her goals or lose her head. It was interesting how the book takes place in a world similar to that of ancient Rome and Egypt, but there weren’t a great number of details about its background. I didn’t think there was that much chemistry between Kalliarkos and Jessamy either, but he was nice and kind.
The Court of Fives was memorable in that it was packed with action involving Jessamy’s training and participation in the Fives. The protagonist also seemed very real in that she was not perfect and could act selfishly at times. In all, the book was pretty good, and I’m interested in reading what happens next in the second book!
Reviewed by Katie, Grade 9, Glen Allen Branch Library.