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.
Wow, is the first word that comes to my mind. I am blown away by Amy Ewig's presentation of such a cruel and dangerous world and yet you cannot help but be entrapped in its pages. I just adored everything that is The Jewel.
"It seems like for every time the Jewel makes me angry or uneasy or sad, I discover something beautiful in it."
Violet Lasting, not just her first name but her last name as well is very fitting. After being taken away from her home, put through tests, and then thrown into such a cruel world, Violet has more strength than most. She makes no illusions about a glamorous world, but also is not stupid about how she acts either. I love how she preservers, how she insists on people still knowing she's a human too, not just a purchase to play around with. Although, I don't envy her. I'm not sure I could be put through such horrible things and treated like a slave just carry someone else's baby. I have high hopes for Violet in the future and I cannot see what she can do next.
So let's talk boys. I'll start with Lucian who in so many ways reminds me of Cinna from The Hunger Games. He's one of those instantly love, almost hero-like characters that you look forward to seeing. Then there's Garnet, who first, has the most amazing name ever! On top of that, he's blonde, tall, built, and I absolutely love his carefree personality. See, with Garnet regardless of being part of The Jewel, you can tell he wants no part of it and he won't conform to ways everyone expects of him. We don't see too much of Garnet in this book, but I sure hope to see much more in the future. Then lastly that leaves Ash Lockwood. Oh Ash and your perfect gray-green eyes and the way you treat Violet as if she is actually human. I just adored Ash and everything about him, and at the same time felt so bad for the situation he has been forced into. He's another one that I can only hope we'll see more of.
When I say I hope to see more of the boys, it is because this story and this world is not focused on males or romance. The Jewel is a much darker and sinister story, not in the way of horror but in the horrible situations that humans are forced to endure. See, the woman basically rule the Jewel and regardless of the money, and glamour, and frivolous items...it is not such a beautiful place to live.
Overall, I absolutely adored this book. The Jewel is definitely worth a buy and I cannot wait (will be begging) for the next book!
- 5 out of 5 Splatters -