Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Jewel by Amy Ewing (The Lone City, #1)

The Jewel
by Amy Ewing

My rating: 5 stars

Series: The Jewel Series - Book 1
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN-10: 0062235796
ISBN-13: 978-0062235794
Genre: Teen & YA Fantasy Romance
Print Length: 368 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

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 (The Lone City, #1)My Review
The Jewel by Amy Ewing
My Rating: 5 Stars

Even in a decidedly dystopian and unbalanced world, the webs of intrigue people weave can be enough to break even the strongest of wills and forge friendships, allies and loyalties that will be as surprising as they are dangerous. One genetic quirk, an auction and the poorest of the poor must give up their daughters when they reach childbearing age to become the caged surrogates for the wealthy and elite.

It’s an honor, they say, a way to live like a princess, take care of your family, become part of the inner circle, but is it? For sixteen year old Violet, being torn from her family at a young age, trained in the proper ways of the elite and taught to use her special gifts, the day she went on the auction block was the day she realized her life would never be her own again, unless she found a way to fight back. The surrogates’ owners are brutal, lording over their “pets” with everything from veils to chains, ruling with a gentile white glove covering a sadistic iron fist. To disobey brings pain and possible death, but what happens after Violet is no longer useful to her owners? Too smart to completely give in, too rebellious to not try to test her boundaries, Violet discovers young forbidden love, and the will to find a way to escape, at any cost. With unlikely allies, but unsure who to trust, will Violet be able to save not only herself, but the others who have been forced into becoming a broodmare for those with money and power? Who can she trust? Will help come from an unlikely quarter?

The Jewel by Amy Ewing is often raw, brutal and dark. She writes without pause and plunges us directly off the cliff straight into her fantasy tale of haves vs the have-nots, the lies told by the powerful, the greed and vanity of the rich and the strength of those who are not too afraid to make change happen. Violet is a victim, but she never loses her feeling of self-worth, the value of family, love and friends. What she must learn to deal with is the treachery that many will stoop to for their own purposes. With wonderfully nasty villains, blissfully unaware “victims” and a main character who grows wise far beyond her years in a relatively short time, Ms. Ewing has styled her own version of a dystopian world that is filled with tension. I could envision the contrasts in the classes, the emotions that ran chaotic, and each and every taut scene.

Don’t expect to sit and relax with The Jewel, get ready to grip the edge of your seat, cringe, flinch and feel powerful emotions for the girls like Violet, who have been powerless to stop the locomotive barreling down on them.
Ms. Ewing has an incredible base to build this series on and I am definitely on board for more!


I received this ARC edition from Harper Collins in exchange for my honest review as part of the Jewel Tour stopping at Tome Tender August 26, 2014.




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