Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Jewel (The Lone City #1)

Wow! Wow, wow wow! If you're looking to lose yourself in a beautiful dream-like world that is so horrifically lovely then The Jewel by Amy Ewing is the book for you!  I was so looking forward to this read and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! Amy Ewing will get you...hook, line and sinker! 

Summary courtesy of 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.

We meet Violet, #197 of 200...one of the elite - top 10. She is not a name but rather a number, a slave of sorts breed and trained to be the best that money can buy. Violet's fate lives in the surrogate system but all is not as it seems...will she be able to survive the Jewel and save herself before it's too late? Violet plays several different roles/faces within this novel...she is daughter, sister, friend, surrogate, love, damsel in distress, musician but most of all survivor. She has smarts, talent, beauty and strength but can she overcome the Jewel?

The plot is amazing and moves at a wonderful pace...not too slow but not rushed either. I absolutely fell in love with Violet and the world she comes from and the world she lives in - although horrific as it may be, it's fantastically built! The overall idea of this auction for surrogates is really quite horrible. It is not fully explained what has caused the royals not to have babies (bad water, toxins, inbreeding) however it does say that they are unable to have children thus the need for the surrogates. 

I instantly fell in love with this GORGEOUS cover.  Love the way her face shines in all of the many faucets and how it almost hugs her in a little nest.  She looks trapped, exposed, alone but none-the-less stunning. Just breathtaking.  
I will warn you, this leaves you with the mother of all cliffhangers and I for one cannot wait to read the next installment! 

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