Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Publication Date: September 2nd, 2014

Series: The Lone City (bk. 1)

Genera(s): Dystopian Fantasy/Sci-fi/Romance

Subjects: royalty, classes, pregnancy, surrogates, slavery, abilities, love

Setting: The Lone City, and the middle sector of the city, The Jewel

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, present tense: Violet Lasting

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 358 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.”

My Review: I really enjoyed the uniqueness of The Jewel. It’s set on an island know as The Lone City, made up of 5 circles, the outermost being The Marsh, where Violet is from, the The Farm, The Smoke, The Bank and in the center lies The Jewel, where the royals live. I get sick of reading dystopian books that are about a bad government or natural disaster (but I loved a lot of those book too). I love that this dystopian world is also a fantasy one. We never find out if this is supposed to be set 100s of year in the future, so even with the technology is feel like a fantasy.

Violet has special abilities called auguries, and this makes her a surrogate. Violet’s an interesting main character. She plays the cello and has purple eyes. She’s stubborn and smart and sometimes overly emotional or dramatic. She is auctioned off to the royals because they cannot have their own children. Know now as Lot 197, Violet await her fate. Violet was prepped before the auction by a guy who’s a Lady-In-Waiting (servant) named Lucien. The Duchess of The Lake wins Violet and has high hopes for the child Violet’s abilities could help create.

Violet gets her own Lady-In-Waiting, Annabelle, who’s mute and younger than Violet. Violet’s best friend Raven was bought by another house and Violet worries about her. Violet meets a guy named Ash Lockwood, who’s a companion for the Duchess’s niece, but romance blooms between him and Violet. Without spoiling the plot of the book, that I all I can tell you.

I love how every one in the Jewel is named after a mineral or gemstone. I collect rocks and minerals, so I was familiar with what the name were. Everyone knows what Pearls, Garnet and Sapphires are. 

Garnet, in case you are unfamiliar. There's many types including Almandine (below), Grossular, Pyrope, and Spessartine.

Carnelian is a red, translucent quartz, similar to Jasper. 

Amentrine is a mix of Amethyst and Citrine. 

Alexandrite is a dual colored Chrysoberyl (pink & teal usually, and really pricy). 

Larimar is a sky blue mineral and expensive, but currently popular (I have a specimen). 

Iolite is an indigo mineral that looks gray from another direction. It's often mistaken for Tanzanite.

I give this book five stars because I enjoyed it so much, and I recommend to people who like YA Dystopias and Fantasy. Fans of The Selection by Kiera Cass, Crewel by Gennifer Albin, Divergent by Veronica Roth, Bumped by Megan McCafferty, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Defiance by C.J. Redwine and Incarnate will love this new Dystopian-Fantasy series.

Cover Art Review: I love this cover. The photo is probably by the same person who did the cover for The Selection series. That dress is so beautiful. The mirror effect makes a crystal and I love that. The typography suggest that they were trying to gear this toward fans of The Selection. Same designer, likely.

Extra! Read a Deleted Scene from The Jewel on the EpicReads blog!!! Click to Read!

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