Sunday, December 14

The Jewel

The Jewel
(The Lone City #1)
Amy Ewing

My rating: ★★★

ISBN: 978-0062235794
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of publication: September 2, 2014
Age: Grades 10 and up
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy

Themes: slavery, surrogacy, choices, pregnancy, political intrigue

Violet Lasting is up for auction as a surrogate. With her esteemed skill in Augury (power to change shape, color, and growth), she is quickly purchased by one of the royals, the Duchess of the Lake. Now living in The Jewel, she is quickly immersed in the back-stabbing, intrigue, and cruelty behind the wealth and opulence. Practically a slave,  When she meets a man also under the Duchess' thumb and falls in love, their illicit relationship will cost both of them dearly.

Generally speaking, the story was a suspenseful and intriguing enough to keep me reading through to the end, trying to find out what will happen. The political intrigue running rampant through the book creates excellent drama and suspense. The Duchess is a fantastic character with a mysterious past; as we see the reasons behind her motivations, bit by bit as the story progresses, the questions build. Violet, however, was less impressive, with random spurts of pure rebelliousness and sudden obedience that didn't always make sense. And the romance? It could've been better. It's very sudden and unsupported, and rather disgustingly juvenile.

Ewing definitely came up with a unique (maybe slightly weird) idea: royals can no longer sustain their own pregnancies but a doctor discovers a genetic quirk conveniently amid the pubescent lowest class that makes for excellent surrogacy. Teenage surrogates. I'm still a little weirded out. The doctor appointments, especially (really, you had to mention the stirrups?). Pros and cons, my friends. You can decide whether or not to read for yourself.

Warning: Explicit Content

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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