New York Times bestselling author Amy Ewing delivers a dark and riveting tale that "will have fans of Oliver’s Delirium, Cass’s The Selection, and DeStefano’s Wither breathless.”*
The Jewel has many meanings: wealth, beauty, royalty. But for Violet, the Jewel has always meant servitude.
Born and raised in the Marsh, Violet is destined for the Jewel. She is trained as a surrogate for the elite and is bought by the Duchess of the Lake at auction. And she quickly learns that beneath the Jewel’s glittering façade lies the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.
Violet must accept the ugly realities of her life...all while fighting for her survival. But before she can accept her fate, Violet meets a handsome boy who is also under the Duchess’s control. A forbidden love sparks.
But their illicit affair has consequences, which will cost them both more than they bargained for. And toeing the line between being calculating and rebellious, Violet must decide what, and who, she is willing to risk for her own freedom.
First-time author Ewing adds to a genre saturated with stories of poor, beautiful girls forced to live among the upper class. Sixteen-year-old Violet Lasting is from the direst sector of the Lone City. It's an island run by powerful royals who can no longer bear their own children and must hire surrogates, like Violet, with unique powers called auguries. In an annual auction, Violet is sold to the powerful Duchess of the Lake, who parades her around in fine dresses, but demands that Violet deliver a perfect daughter quickly. As Violet begins to realize the dangerous political machinations at play, the plot becomes further complicated as she falls for an off-limits guy. The idea of forced reproductive slavery provides an attention-grabbing hook, but thin worldbuilding and some narrative missteps (at least four chapters end with Violet falling into darkness after being drugged, and there are unfortunate references to characters' almond-shaped eyes or skin "the color of dark brewed coffee") don't help the story stand out from the pack. Ages 14 up.
I really liked this book! I bought it on a whim last night after stumbling across a post on Pinterest recommending it. It is in some ways similar to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, except the government is not theocratic (or isn’t mentioned to be) and there’s an element of magic. I couldn’t put my phone down to stop reading it last night, and since it was only about 240 pages on iPhone it’s a fairly quick read. It’s part of a trilogy and ends on a cliffhanger, so I’ll have to get the other two books. I really enjoyed this, and can’t wait to finish the trilogy!
I found this series because I was looking for another series like the selection😂😂 the world that this book is set in is very interesting and unique and honestly that was one of the best parts. the characters themselves were pretty good, the duchess is very interesting and so is Lucien. In my opinion, though, I didn’t really enjoy Ash and Violets romance because it happened so quickly and in the middle of the novel. the premise of what violet has to do because she is a surrogate is enticing and that is one of the main reasons why I kept reading it. Overall, great book!! It’s relatively like the selection except Violet and Ash don’t really have that “best friend” connection that America and Maxon did. I also recommend the “Red Queen” series!!!
Amazing book! I loved the story line and the development of the characters throughout the story!