Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
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.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
16-year-old Violet is a surrogate. Taken from her family and trained to use her special talents (called auguries), Violet will be auctioned off to a royal family to incubate their child, and with the Executors son due to be betrothed within the year, every royal family is wanting a surrogate and a baby girl.
Does Violet have what it takes to be a surrogate? And how is she supposed to use her powers to aid the baby?
This was an interesting dystopian story, and I really want to read the next book already!
Violet was an okay character, although she was a bit naïve at times. I totally understood her horror at the idea of being pregnant with someone else’s child, although as a surrogate you’d expect her to realise that that was going to happen sooner or later! And at points she did things quite rashly, including things that she should have known would get her in trouble.
The storyline in this was good, although it did remind me of several other dystopians – The Hunger Games (because the place where they lived was split into sectors which were concentric circles, and each sector dealt with a different vocation), Crewel (because the girls who had these special powers were taken by their families by force whether they liked it or not), and The Selection (because of the way the girls were ranked and sent off to royal families).
The world building in this was okay, but I did feel like some of it was late coming. We didn’t find out why surrogates were needed, what exactly they were supposed to do, and why these special ‘auguries’ were important until the half-way mark, and we didn’t find out what happened to the surrogates after they had given birth until nearly the end.
There was some romance in this, and I did like it. Again though, Violet seemed a little naïve about what would happen if she was caught!
The ending was good, but it was also a cliff-hanger. I really want to read the next book now to find out what happens! Please write faster Amy Ewing!
Overall; interesting dystopian,
7 out of 10.