Welcome to my stop in THE JEWEL by Amy Ewing Blog Tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. Today on my stop we have my Review of THE JEWEL + an awesome Tour-Wide Giveaway!!
(The Lone City #1)
Published: September 2nd, 2014
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Fantasy
(The Lone City #1)
Published: September 2nd, 2014
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Fantasy
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.
THE JEWEL has been one of my most anticipated books of the year. But to tell you the truth, I never really read the full synopsis. I just seen the amazing cover, and that it was a dystopian, and I was sold! So I went into THE JEWEL a little blind, and really had no idea that their was any kind of magic in this book. Which there was actually a lot. Really, the story was built around magic, and what it was capable to do for the Royals. So to say I was shocked to see how much magic was in this book, well that would be an understatement.
BUT... I still found myself quickly pulled into this world of magic, wealth, beauty, slaves, politics, plots, conspiracies, and so much more. Even though I was surprised at the route that THE JEWEL took, I still LOVED the world building, and the foundation of their world. The setting was appalling, yet so addicting.
"The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude."
The Jewel is a place of riches and wealth, of extravagances and beauty, of dominance and power. A place where the Royals are the predators, and the low class citizens of the Marsh are their prey...
Centuries ago, the Royal line was coming to an end. The woman of Royal blood were not capable to bare healthy children. Their babies were born sickly or deformed, and eventually died. But there were some women who were still able to bare healthy children.
And then a "brilliant" doctor brought hope back to the Royals when he discovered Surrogates, and they're worth to the them. How vital they were to the survival of the Royal blood, and keeping their line going strong.
And that is when the world changed both for the woman of Royalty, but also for the poor woman of the Marsh, that now became incubators for the Royal babies....
They were now their slaves...
Violet is about to know what it means to become a Surrogate. She's always been known as Violet, but that is coming to an end, and now she will officially become #197. A very rare and highly valuable piece of property. She is marked among the highest in her Southgate class of girls—Surrogates. She has mastered 2 of the 3 Augury powers, thus making her one of the highest desired Surrogates among the Royalty. She is about to be owned, forced to carry a baby that is not her own. She is about to have her life sold and destroyed...
Violet is sold for a very high price to the Duchess Of The Lake, one of the four founding houses of The Jewel. The Duchess is cunning, vengeful, and as cutthroat as they come. And she has been waiting for Violet for a very, very long time, nineteen years to be exact. She has plans to move up the Royal latter and become someone she was suppose to be before it was taken from her. The Duchess wants revenge, and has a thirst for blood. She's prepared to use any means necessary to get what she wants. And Violet just so happens to be her stepping stone to get there.
Violet is brought to a world unlike anything she's ever experienced. At first, she is swayed and awed by the beauty and extravagance the Duchess bestows to her. But then Violet starts to unravel some of the Duchess plots and schemes, and finds that she is the key to conquering them. Violet begins to second guess everything she's once thought, and starts to plot ways to become free from the Duchess. And she finds that there is someone that is very eager to aid her in her mission...
Then Violet meets the Duchess niece's companion, Ash, and immediately, sparks fly between them. It's practically, "Love at first sight" and Violet starts to feel things she's never felt. Things she's never been "allowed" to feel. Feeling that could get both her and Ash in a load of trouble if their caught.
With Surrogates being murdered by the competition, and her own reservations about bearing the Duchess child, her mixed feelings about Ash, and her overwhelming desire to be free. Violet is more then determined to take a stand. But just when she thinks she has it all figured out, her world comes shattering down, and Violet has just ran out of time to pick up the pieces...
I thought THE JEWEL was a pretty good, if not a great book. But the romance was the one and only issue I had in the whole book. It was definitely not the strong suit in this novel. I think if Ash and Violet's feeling and romance were fleshed out a bit, and maybe if Ash was introduced earlier into the story, and their feeling progressed over time, and not rushed in the last quarter or so of the book. Then I think it would of made the story a lot more enjoyable, and more realistic. But with the plot as awesome as it was, I was easily able to put the romance on the back burner and focus on the actual plot.
Overall, THE JEWEL was a great start to a highly intense series, that I will definitely be continuing. When it ended, I thought my world shattered with it!! Amy Ewing sure knows how to end a story to make her readers come back for more!! Epic ending, with secrets revealed, worlds shattered, and fist flying! I can't wait to get my hands on book 2 and she where Ewing takes us next. And I'm dying to see the second books cover, because I LOVED THE JEWEL'S cover!! It's one of my favorite covers of the year!!! Bring it Ewing, I'm ready for book 2!!
NOTE: I received a physical ARC from Harper Teen for reviewing purposes! All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way!
4 Bone Hearts
Win (1) of (3) copies of The Jewel (Us Only)
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I was born and raised in a small suburb outside of Boston. Being the daughter and granddaughter of librarians, books played a central role in my childhood, though the idea of becoming a writer never occurred to me until later in life. I moved to New York when I was eighteen to study acting at New York University, which didn’t work out very well since I hated auditioning and tended to avoid doing it. I worked in a lot of restaurants (which I hated almost as much as auditioning) and eventually landed a job as a sales representative for a wine distributor. When the economy crashed, I was laid off and found myself facing an extended period of time on unemployment. I’d always toyed around with the idea of writing a young adult fantasy book, and now I had nothing but time. So I wrote a book. And it changed my life.
The Jewel is not that book. But that book got me into The New School’s MFA program in Writing for Children, where I was lucky enough to meet a fantastic group of writers who have encouraged and inspired me, offered shoulders to cry on through my failures and cheered me on in my successes. It’s strange to think that I never wanted to be a writer—now I can’t imagine doing anything else.