Court of Fives

Court of Fives

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
When a scheming lord tears Jess's family apart, she must rely on her unlikely friendship with Kal, a high-ranking Patron boy, and her skill at Fives, an intricate, multi-level athletic competition that offers a chance for glory, to protect her Commoner mother and mixed-race sisters and save her father's reputation.
Publisher: New York ; Boston : Little, Brown and Company, ©2015
ISBN: 9780316364195
Branch Call Number: ELLIOTT
Characteristics: 432 pages : maps ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 30, 2017

The Court of Fives is a riveting fantasy set in an imaginary world full of secrets and magic. The society is divided into two main classes/races, the Commoners and the Patrons (who consider themselves superior to the Commoners). The main character, Jessamy, is mixed race, and along with her sisters, is bound to maintain her Patron father’s reputation. But, due to an unfortunate series of events, Jessamy’s family is ripped apart. It is now up to her to protect her mother and sisters from the man who is the cause of all their troubles while running in the Fives, the game she has always dreamt to be a part of. Through minor and major characters, Elliott has beautifully illustrated the different shades of personalities. While there are dignified and confident characters, there are others who are manipulative and cunning. Moreover, the story explores significant topics including women’s position in society; tensions between different social classes; family bonds; and courage. For those who are looking for a magical adventure with a brave protagonist, The Court of Fives is the perfect book. 4.5/5 Stars
- @VirtueofReading of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

I can see why so many people may really enjoy this book, and why so many may not. Positive: the action, adventure, characters (I ship the nephew with the protagonist, just saying), and the historical background. The backdrop is set nicely between two races that absolutely loathe each other, and four young girls are descended from the union of two from these two "nations." The second twin is the protagonist, who is humble enough to pay mind to her parents yet is rebellious enough to join many in the Game of Fives. Some say it's a bit like the hunger games, but personally I think it's closer to a competition: like what Celaena went through in Throne of Glass series. But regardless, it was a nice read. 4/5 stars
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

JCLChrisK Mar 10, 2017

This offers a complex, rigidly hierarchical society and a protagonist stuck right in the middle of it, with plenty of tense action resulting.

Before the story begins, Jessamy's life has been rigidly dull. Her military father is a common man from the ruling race who has climbed as high in the social order as his station allows. Her mother is his faithful companion from the conquered race--which would normally be a dirty secret to sweep under the rug--but she and her four daughters have lived such impeccably perfect, honorable lives that his household is allowed a bottom rung on the noble ladder. Then their sponsoring patron, a high-born lord, dies an untimely death, and their carefully manicured lives disintegrate.

Jes does what she can to survive the scandal, conspiracies, and intrigue of the fallout in the hopes of preserving as much of her family as she can, centered around the realization of her ambition to become a serious runner of the Fives, her nation's professional sport that is somewhat akin to TV's Ninja Warrior obstacle course series. Both the Fives course and society require agility, balance, timing, strategy, and daring to negotiate, with death a real danger at all times. Sometimes the only choices are bad ones, and Jes must learn to pick the ones that will cause the least amount of damage.

Impressive world-building, compelling tension, and an admirably strong (though realistically flawed) main character. I'm ready for the sequel.

ArapahoeCatherine Sep 15, 2016

American Ninja Warrior meets ancient Egyptian burial rights! I devoured this action-packed fantasy in one sitting! Jess's race to save her family from being buried alive is intense! I can't wait to read more in the series!

It took me a little while to settle into this novel, but once I got past the beginning I was hooked. Jess's society was at first difficult to understand. In many ways it seemed reminicant of Roman society. You have the high ranking Patron class and the commoners. Jess's mother was a commoner and her father a Patron, and as a result his family with Jess's mother isn't recognized and it leaves the girls vulnerable because they are protected by the rights of either class. Like I said--it was a rocky start to understand all this, but as the novel progressed it began to make more sense. Jess's character is well developed and there is plenty of action in this novel. The second book Poisoned Blade will be out soon, and is definitely going to be on my reading list. Overall, this was an interesting adventure and I look forward to reading what comes next for Jess and her sisters.​

LPL_CentennialC Dec 28, 2015

In this novel, Kate Elliott weaves a thrilling fantasy world. The protagonist, Jessamy, is the daughter of Patron and a Commoner--stuck in between two worlds. Until her world is turned upside down.

I could not put this book down! I felt completely immersed in the world of Efea. The writing is fast-paced & exciting. But the true star of this book is the world-building. Kate Elliott manages to build a complex fantasy setting, without getting bogged down in the details. One of the best YA fantasy books of 2015.

Dec 11, 2015

Court of Fives was really entertaining and captivating. I could not put the book down. It doesn't really have a solid plot/goal, it's more just Jes's story, but it's still intense and interesting. I really liked Jes's character, and how the book revolved around her, not around Kal, the love interest. The story is more than just a romance plot; it's also about family, honor, betrayal, etc., and it really dives into those themes.

One thing keeping me from giving it a higher rating was that the novel is a little long. I have nothing against page numbers, I mean long as in it dragged and got tiring at the end. Elliott introduced more family lines/history at the end, making it feel very crammed. They family lines were not well-explained earlier (and very confusing with the fancy names and several generations), so the two pages of solid text trying to clear up the history was incredibly hard to follow. I just skimmed it, because it wasn't very relevant either and could have been stated in a much simpler, clearer way. In the last fourth, more magical stuff is introduced. It was very vague, and Elliott started using all these metaphors which made everything more confusing because I had no idea if it was just a metaphor or if the flowery language was describing some magical thing that was happening...I think Elliott wanted to introduce more to the world, but the book was already so long and she never got into it, which made the magic aspect feel unnecessary, tiring, and confusing.

Court of Fives was an intense ride. I really enjoyed it, but because it kinda went downhill at the end it left a bad taste and now I'm tired, so I don't know if I'll read the next. Either way, this book was enjoyable, so try it out!

Nov 10, 2015

This was a fun read. I like Kate Elliott and this was an intriguing premise and a spunky heroine determined to overcome the stigma of her birth and succeed in the Court of Fives.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Nov 10, 2015

yvel thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Related Authors


Subject Headings


Find it at SL

To Top