(The Lone City #1)
by Amy Ewing
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Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy | Dystopia
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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. (Goodreads)
In the center of the city is The Jewel, the place where all Royals live. To live in the Jewel means you have money, beauty, and all the things you could ever want, except for the one thing you can never have; offspring. This is where surrogates come in; children that were born in the Marsh that are auctioned off to the highest bidder continue a bloodline. Violet has been trained for years to be a surrogate for Royal, but once the auction is over and her new life begins, she realizes that nothing in her new world is quite what it seems.
Violet was an interesting main character. By other people’s standards, she should be proud to be a surrogate, to help the royals keep their linage going. But that’s not what Violet wants at all. She longs for her own life, one where she can live free to do what she wants, and to not live in servitude to the royals. She’s a very strong character, and at times we see her rebellious side come out. I know we are going to see great things from this character in the future.
There were some secondary characters in the story that I really loved; the most being Lucien. I really hope that we get to know more about him in the next book.
The storyline and world-building for the book is definitely intriguing and creative. It kind of has a familiar plot to a lot of dystopian novels that I’ve already read, but it also seemed to stand out as well in some ways that were really unique. The book ends with a pretty huge cliffhanger; one that has me wondering what exactly this means for the next book in the series. Regardless, I’m dying to find out what’s going to happen with these characters.
Overall; I thought that The Jewel was an interesting start to what should prove to be a very fascinating series. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series!