Summary from Goodreads
A shocking and compelling new YA series from debut author, Amy Ewing; The Handmaid’s Tale meets The Other Boleyn Girl in a world where beauty and brutality collide.
Violet Lasting is no longer a human being. Tomorrow she becomes Lot 197, auctioned to the highest royal bidder in the Jewel of the Lone City. Tomorrow she becomes the Surrogate of the House of the Lake, her sole purpose to produce a healthy heir for the Duchess. Imprisoned in the opulent cage of the palace, Violet learns the brutal ways of the Jewel, where the royal women compete to secure their bloodline and the surrogates are treated as disposable commodities.
Destined to carry the child of a woman she despises, Violet enters a living death of captivity – until she sets eyes on Ash Lockwood, the royal Companion. Compelled towards each other by a reckless, clandestine passion, Violet and Ash dance like puppets in a deadly game of court politics, until they become each other’s jeopardy – and salvation.
Expected publication: September 4th 2014 by Walker Books Ltd
Aw man! This was total first book perfection for me and I really can’t sing it’s praises enough! Amy Ewing is a debut author to seriously watch!
I love that I’ve never read anything quite like this before, it really is quite unusual. The world building is complex and ever so inviting – I really loved how disturbing normal had become for the characters living there. The storyline is so imaginative that I revelled in each minute detail.
Main character Violet is a highly memorable and very strong heroine. She is beautiful, talented, caring and also intelligent. Her journey from a poor girl to a prized surrogate for the Duchess of the Lake in the Jewel is a dangerous one full of shocks, thrills and so many big twisty turns. Getting to know her was a real treat.
There are so many fabulous characters crammed within these pages. I particularly enjoyed the Duchess herself, she is a vile, self-centred creature but she had moments of something softer breaking through…really that was more disturbing as you never quite knew what to expect. Another fascinating character is Lucien, you never get much of a read on him but you will want to, very intriguing.
Another thing that really added to the story were the girls’ abilities in the Augeries. They were trained in 3 Augeries and scored in their performance as a selling factor. A little added magical extra – which I LOVED!
OMG – that ending!! *huffing face*
The Jewel is a kick-ass debut that truly had a little bit of everything. Stand-out characters, a twistingly dangerous plot set in a thrilling cut-throat world filled with surprise at every turn. We see the beginnings of a forbidden romance which had the sizzle factor. I just want…no need the next book already!
5 / 5 Stars
*Special thanks to Walker for the review copy*