illusions of fate
I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.
Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.
Publication Date: September 9th 2014
Torture, Misogyny, Kidnapping, Racism, Colonization
This was unexpected in the sense of I only became aware of this book from some fan art on Tumblr and thought what is this magical book?
Getting away from her mother’s attempts to see her married, Jessamine is now living in the country of Albion to attend the boarding school where her father works. But with the struggles with prejudices from the people around her, she meets Finn, a young lord who shows her the secret world of power, money and magic.
This book reads faster than I thought it would. I remember getting to the end thinking am I missing pages? Is there more? Which isn’t a bad thing, though the ending was rushed and abrupt? I mean, I liked the ending, but things happened in a kind of disorienting way?
However, the Historical Fiction/Fantasy mash up went well together here; the story was light even though the conflict was… not so light? There is a torture scene early on in the story, so the contrast was… an experience.
Yet despite its charming nature and the characters who I fell for, this book deals with some important topics. Jessa is of mixed race, an immigrant from the island Melei and an illegitimate child who bribed her father for entry into a school where people look at her with disgust.
And yet, she holds her own. Never once is she weak, or complains which made me love Jessa as a character. She’s witty and charming, yet isn’t any kind of special snowflake. She’s learning about this world with us and isn’t perfect… and she’s just endeared herself to me.
And there’s a female friendship! Eleanor is shown as girly and loves to gossip, yet not once is she shamed for it. She has her own strength and the support these two girls have for each other is gold.
The romance was really cute and sweet, though Jessa is at first reluctant to even give him Finn a chance (which, I mean, how? He was super charming and put out all the moves) when things did get official, I wanted more? We have all of this build up and things kind of… stop swoon wise. And I get it, things are happening, but more would have been appreciated.
I can’t say I was scared of the villain, though I didn’t catch who he was until the reveal so… kuddos. I just didn’t feel any peril for the characters, nothing really felt dire or made my heart race.
But the ending, in spite of the fact that is had a closed ending, left things open enough for a sequel. Which I wouldn’t be mad at, because I have questions and answers would be cool.