Publication Date: September 7th, 2021
The Splendor isn’t just a glamorous hotel, it’s a magical experience that gives its guests the fantasy fulfillment of their dreams. But The Splendor didn’t make Juliette’s dreams come true. It ruined her life.
After a weeklong stay, Juliette’s sister, Clare, returns from the hotel changed. Her connection to Juliette―the special bond they once shared―has vanished. In a moment of hurt and frustration, Juliette steals their meager savings and visits The Splendor herself.
When she arrives, she’s taken in by the lush and sumptuous hotel. But as she delves more deeply into the mystery of the place, and how they make their illusions work, she grows more and more uneasy. The Splendor has a seedy underbelly, but every time she gets close to discovering something real, she seems to hit a wall.
Meanwhile, Juliette meets Henri, an illusionist who lives and works at the hotel. Henri’s job is to provide Juliette with the same Signature Experience he gives all the guests―one tailored fantasy that will make her stay unforgettable. As he gets to know her, he realizes that not only is he ill-equipped to make her dreams come true, he’s the cause of her heartache.
Review: 4 Stars
I picked up this book because I had just finished a long fantasy and I needed something fast paced and captivating. The Splendor grabbed my attention right away and I found it hard to walk away from. I really loved this magical read about the bonds of sisterhood and the allure of fantasy. I tore right through this book and I was really impressed with it. I expected a lighter read that was magical, but I didn’t expect it to explore some deeper themes. The Splendor definitely reminded me of Caraval at times, but it was also very different and wholly unique.
Right away I loved Juliette because of her devotion and love for her sister Clare. While Clare is only present for a short period in this novel, the bond of sisterhood and Juliette’s love for her sister is a driving force throughout the entire story. Juliette was a fun character to follow and she was easy to relate to. I really liked her relationship with Henri, it was easy to feel their connection and I wish that the romance was explored a little bit more. There was a lot going on in this novel and I feel like it could have been a little bit longer and would have had the time to explore certain things a bit more, like the romance.
I absolutely loved how magical this story was. It was so vividly written and the descriptions really brought the luxury of the Splendor to life. The magic system was really cool and I loved learning about how the illusions really worked. This book was very fast paced and the plot was really compelling. While there were some parts that were predictable the way it all came about still surprised me. I found myself emotionally invested in the plot and wound up ranting to my dad about the book because I was so distressed with what was happening.
The Splendor really was exactly what I needed, a fast paced book filled with magic and a plot that kept me invested from start to finish. I didn’t expect much from this book, but it grabbed me from the very beginning and I finished it in a weekend. If you are a fan of Caraval, or if you enjoy magical books about the bonds of sisterhood I highly recommend that you check out The Splendor.