The Jewel (The Lone City #1)
by Amy Ewing
Publisher - Walker Books
Release Date - 9th September 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
A shocking and compelling new YA series from debut author, Amy Ewing; The Handmaid's Tale meets The Other Boleyn Girl in a world where beauty and brutality collide.
Violet Lasting is no longer a human being. Tomorrow she becomes Lot 197, auctioned to the highest royal bidder in the Jewel of the Lone City. Tomorrow she becomes the Surrogate of the House of the Lake, her sole purpose to produce a healthy heir for the Duchess. Imprisoned in the opulent cage of the palace, Violet learns the brutal ways of the Jewel, where the royal women compete to secure their bloodline and the surrogates are treated as disposable commodities.
Destined to carry the child of a woman she despises, Violet enters a living death of captivity – until she sets eyes on Ash Lockwood, the royal Companion. Compelled towards each other by a reckless, clandestine passion, Violet and Ash dance like puppets in a deadly game of court politics, until they become each other’s jeopardy – and salvation.
A stunningly gorgeous, yet brutal truth to society's most wanted, comes The Jewel, Amy Ewing's debut YA novel.
Dystopias is an odd genre for me, the writing has to be spot on alongside a great plotline and intriguing characters and The Jewel, certainly didn't disappoint. Whilst I was a little anxious getting into this novel, with the mixed reviews/ratings, possible insta-love and a horrific cliff-hanger, I say don't let that fool you.
In the world of the Lone City lives a girl called Violet Lasting, she isn't like others girls, she has been chosen to be this vessel, a vessel of creating new life and tomorrow she begins her new life as Lot 197... Violet was tested at the age of 12, whether she would be the perfect candidate to be a surrogate to the founding families of The Jewel. Five years of preparation, practice and pain, she is auctioned off to the highest bidder. However, her lot number gives her status, she is one of the best-tested for her Auguries (powers of manipulation in our terms) Colour, Shape, and Growth. Although this seems like she is chosen for greater purpose, now you only see the beauty to it, but underneath and behind the scenes there is an ugliness to the system, of brutality and conflict. Being born to be chosen has far fewer pleasures, its a curse as well.
Whilst sold to the House of Lake, Violet becomes a nobody, just a shell to be protected and shown off to the other Houses. The Jewel, although seeming to be the glamorous vision of luxury, only stands when you are one of them. The Duchess, who bought her, is a vile, emotionless, tight-lipped, cruel woman, who thinks branding and showing off Violet like her prized possession. It made me sick to think this woman, has no shred of humanity, only wealth. Well money can't buy your everything, honey. She was the one character that I wanted to tear her eyes out.
Violet or Lot 197's character are two people and Ewing certainly written a controlled balance between them. Violet didn't want to give up who she was, her music, her cello brings that out of her, as well as her lady's-maid Annabelle and finally her love interest, Ash. Ash is like Violet, at a young age he was forced to become a companion to attend to his sister's well-being. Ash no longer became the person he wanted to be, but the person he had to be for his clients. Violet and Ash both act as an anchor to each other, allowing them to be who they are freely and truthfully. Honestly, their relationship in the novel, really solidified their characters, it didn't for a once degrade the novel with the mention of insta-love.
Although this society certainly brings out the beauty and brutality of the character's and their surroundings, it certainly was creatively done. The only thing would that was cruel to me, as a reader was the cliff-hanger, I have to wait a whole year for the next book, not fair! The Jewel is written and plotted brilliant and I believe Amy Ewing will be YA author to look out for.
Rating - 4.5