Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

ISBN: 9780062235794
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 358

The Jewel is the first book in The Lone City series.

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 Lot 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.

I absolutely loved reading The Jewel by Amy Ewing, which I received for review from HarperTeen via Edelweiss! 
The world building in this book was perfect! Not overly descriptive, and not too sparsely detailed either. The reader is left wanting to learn more, not just about the specific building, character or gown that was being illustrated, but also about the reasons and people behind it. How it was crafted and by whom? Is it on-trend with the latest futuristic fashion? 
At the beginning, The Jewel reminded me of The Selection by Kiera Cass and Wither by Lauren DeStefano, because of The Auction, The Lone City and the class system within, but as the story progressed it reminded me more of The Hunger Games as well.
Violet Lasting, also referred to as Lot 197, was one of my favourite characters because of her initial naivety, her stubbornness, and her utter determination. My other favourite character was Lucien, one of The Electess' staff and Violet's stylist for The Auction, because of his kindness, sympathy and understanding.
I really enjoyed reading about the three Auguries - which are Colour, Shape & Growth. Auguries are a bit like magic, but can only be used by people who genetically already have an affinity for them. I also enjoyed reading about the futuristic technology like the Arcanas, which are devices that look like tuning forks, but can be used to communicate privately over any distance!
I love both covers of The Jewel by Amy Ewing, as both represent the book equally, but I must admit that I do prefer the UK cover! I love the byline, "Today is my last day as Violet Lasting. Tomorrow I become Lot 197", as it, coupled with the cover image of Violet in her plain, purple dress on the day of The Auction, portray the main themes of loss and restriction that are present throughout The Jewel.

Available at Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk.

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