“The Jewel” (Jewel Series #1) by Amy Ewing (2014)
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Page Length: 358 pages (hardcover edition)
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. (description from Goodreads)
So I’ve seen a couple of reviews about this book by other fellow book bloggers and I decided to check it out! The first thing that caught my eye about this book is the beautiful cover design. That violet dress covered with jewels is absolutely gorgeous and it ties in with the book’s main protagonist and theme perfectly.
“The Jewel” definitely has a unique storyline that sets itself from other YA books. We as readers are placed into this foreign futuristic/dystopian-like society where the royal and powerful women at the top of society are unable to bear children. The solution? Girls are taken from their homes at a certain age and are sent to special schools to train as surrogates for the royalty! How weird and messed up is that?!
The novel is the first in the series, and sets itself at good steady pace. The plot is easy to digest and each character gets their chance to shine (some more than others). Violet, our main protagonist, is a very strong and confident girl who refuses to let the Duchess put her on a “leash”. Her ferocity is what drives the action of the novel, starting a catalyst of change in the system of the world she lives in.
A romance and drama packed fantasy novel. This is just the beginning of the series so I’m looking forward to how the story will continue in the next novel. 4 out of 5 stars!