Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from Kiersten White, #1 New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken.
“Illusions of Fate is an absolute delight—a magical, sparkling, dangerous world with witty repartee and a romance that will light your heart on fire. Kiersten White’s best yet.”—Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss
Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets the gorgeous, enigmatic Finn, who introduces her to the secret world of Albion's nobility. It’s a world that has everything Jessamin doesn't—power, money, status . . . and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, and the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess them. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits, can stop him.
Readers who love Libba Bray, Cassanda Clare, or Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell won’t want to miss this captivating stand-alone novel.
White (A Chaos of Stars) claims the influence of Jane Austen on her latest fantasy, but the hero, Finn, is less reminiscent of Mr. Darcy than of Dorothy Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey all nervy blond elegance. Like Wimsey, Finn has a nameless role to play in keeping the empire out of war (in this case, the magic-wielding nation of Albion). Finn falls in love at first sight, most inappropriately, with narrator Jessamin, an illegitimate "island rat" whose father is a professor in Albion and whose mother is a marriage-obsessed native of Melei, a colony. Jessamin has blackmailed her father to gain entrance to an exclusive school, but she works in a hotel to make ends meet, a situation that allows for riffs on A Little Princess as Finn and Finn's enemies inflict their attention and wealth on her. White's critique of colonialism can sit awkwardly on the adventure/romance plot Jessamin makes long speeches about the oppression she experiences, but there are no special insights offered. Ideology aside, the characters make a believable and intriguing connection across their cultural divide. Ages 13 up.
Quick & Entertaining Read
Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
"Illusions of Fate" is a quick & entertaining read. I haven’t had a chance to read White’s Paranormalcy trilogy yet, but if this is an indication of her style I think I’ll enjoy it. The only reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 is because it felt a little bit rushed. I wanted a bit more development of her relationship with Finn and her place in this world. I loved the twist at the end—didn’t see it coming. But I was left feeling like it came out of left field. I probably need to go back and give it another read to see if the author dropped some hints early on. Was satisfied with the ending, but again it still felt like it was rushed/lacking. Overall: fun characters, nice world-building, and nicely paced. Definitely recommend.
Absolutely love this book, if looking for a romantic fantasy. This is your book...
A must read
I checked this book out at the library and I'm so glad because it was the best decision I've ever made. I not only related and connected to this book but I escaped to this world the book is set in. I am SO in love with this book