Publication: September 02nd 2014 by Harper Teen
Series: The Lone City #1
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
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.
Fantasy has recently been a genre that I have been gravitating towards so when I caught wind of The Jewel, i knew it would be one that I just had to read. And that cover…. perfection.
The main character Violet, I had a few issues but ultimately I would say that I did enjoy her character. Normally I really enjoy when characters are spunky and don’t follow the rules (especially if they are terrible ones) but it seemed that Violet chose all the wrong times to express her dislike for her situation. I mean, if someone tells you to be on your best behaviour or ‘the plan’ won’t work… you should probably not do something to potentially wreck it right? This happened time and time again for Violet and I just felt like putting my head in my hands. Unfortunatly we didn’t see a lot of character development with Violet, or as much as I would have liked to see. There is a lot of room for it in this type of story so hopefully we will see Violet grow a bit more in the second book. I really, REALLY liked Annabel, her ladies maid however. She was awesome and luckily for Violet, I think kept her reigned in a bit. I also really enjoyed Raven, and that is definitely a story line that I need to see more of in the next book.
I haven’t read a few of the books that The Jewel is compared to like Wither and The Selection so I myself can’t compare it to those books but I think that does have a bonus: the story was very unique to me. I hadn’t read a story where girls are sold off as surrogates or anything remotely similar so I thought that aspect was very interesting. I also similarly enjoyed the world building. I thought the concept of the different sections and then The Jewel being were the royals lived was great, and very interesting. We also got a bit of some history of the world and families throughout the story which I like. That being said, it’s not complicated world building so nothing is unimaginable or hard to understand.
One aspect I didn’t enjoy too much was the romance. I was really enjoying the surrogate plot point and was completely satisfied with that alone and then a little over halfway in, a romance is thrown in. It felt awkward, strange and really rushed and I thought it took away from the story more than it added to it. Of course, it was useful to the ending I suppose but Ash and Violet? … Not that interested.
I will say one thing, it’s been a long time since a major plot line shocked me. I mean shocked me… and the two revelations (well I think one of them is?! I’m still confused about that ending haha) really blew me away. I didn’t see anything coming but that could also be the fact that I haven’t read a lot of stories that are similar to this.
The ending is a massive cliffhanger and that is a forewarning. I almost wished that I hadn’t read this in advance because I really, really need to know what is happening. It’s borderline between an awesome cliffhanger (because it definitely makes you want to read the sequel immediately) and one that is anger-worthy (because it ends at like a WTF?! moment).
Overall, I really enjoyed The Jewel and will definitely be continuing on with this series!