Title: The Jewel (The Lone City #1)
Author: Amy Ewing
Blurb: 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.
Review: (Spoilers ahead!)
You know what? The potential was there it just wasn’t executed very well.
The idea of the upper classes being infertile and only the lower classes being able to have children was a new one to me (I’ve never really read any Reproductive Dystopian fiction before) but I felt like it wasn’t really explored? I’m guessing that’s because this is a trilogy and if all the why’s and how’s were answered in the first book then the next two might be quite dull.
I disliked the names in this as well, I mean Violet Lasting, really? With a sister called Hazel and a brother called Ochre… well, it just sounded a little bit ridiculous.
Plus, on a superficial level, ochre is such an ugly colour!
Also, I really, really, dislike how non-white are represented, for example:
“Her eyes are thickly lined in black, elongating their almond shape. The center of her lips have been painted bright red, so it looks like she’s constantly making a kissing face, and her hair has been slicked back, arching over the crown of her head like a fan, from one ear to the other.”
They literally dressed up an Asian-coded character as a Geisha, but that can be blamed on the people dressing them for the Auction. My problem is the author describing Raven’s eyes as “almond shape”, how many times do people have to be told to stop using that phrase?
“Her skin is the color of dark brewed coffee…”
Umm… I think there’s a better way to word that. If it hadn’t been for this I might have been tempted to give 4 stars instead of 3.
Oh, and how could I forget the fucking insta-love between Violet and Ash? I hated the romance part of this so much. Ash was a massive a-hole! This would’ve been a million times better without the romance.
However, there are a couple of twists that made me like this book. The first being poor Dahlia’s death and how Garnet ends up being on Violet’s side.