I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
Also by this author: Paranormalcy, In the Shadows, And I Darken
Published by Harper Collins on September 9th 2014
Genres: Girls & Women, Legends, Myths, Fables, Love & Romance, Young Adult
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Dive into a world of enchantment and romance in this lush fantasy, which Stephanie Perkins, international bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss, called “an absolute delight—a magical, sparkling, dangerous world with witty repartee and a romance that will light your heart on fire.” Fans of Libba Bray and Cassandra Clare will fall in love with this captivating stand-alone novel from Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy.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 the gorgeous, enigmatic Finn, who introduces her to the secret world of Albion's nobility. It’s a world that has everything Jessamin doesn't—power, money, status . . . and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, and the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess them. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits, can stop him.
I have placed this weird sort of fundamental trust in Kiersten White’s books. I think aside from Richelle Mead, she is the author whom I have read the most books by since becoming a book blogger. Y’all, what I love about White is that she is willing to push genre boundaries and try so many different things. Her books do not read as though it’s the same exact book over and over and over again. I love that. So, I picked up Illusions Of Fate without having any idea what it was about. I honestly did not even know this book existed until it came in the mail. However, when I saw it was by Kiersten White and saw that there was a Downton Abbey comparison, I knew in my heart that I would need to read it as soon as humanly possible. I wish there were words to convey my appreciative sigh upon finishing Illusions Of Fate but as there isn’t, at this point, I will type out all that I feel for this book.
Illusions Of Fate is about main character Jessamin who is going to school on Albion which is dreary and gray and kind of a parallel to England. She’s from this island called Melei which feels parallel to Hawaii. This is a book about society and customs and magic and romance and independence and colonialism. It’s really short but packs a lot in. So, anyways, one day Jessamin is walking to where she is boarding and ends up going down this alley and almost attacked by a stranger. However, a mysterious handsome stranger saves her. From there, he asks Jessa out to dinner and she accepts reluctantly. She thinks that is the last she will see the stranger. Finn, though, persistently shows up in Jessa’s life and pulls her into this world of magic and rivalries. Will Jessa be able to handle this whole new world? You’ll have to read White’s latest to find out.
Jessamin is my favorite sort of main character. She is stubborn to a fault. She refuses to be cowed and refuses to give in to Finn or to certain other characters later on in the book. What I also like about her is that she refuses to feel like she is lesser because she does not have the status of the Albion people. She also is darker skinned and from a different culture than Albion. The society in the book makes Jessa’s skin color an issue and I just thought it was sort of an interesting way to discuss racism in a historical fantasy context. Like, how awesome is it that White made her main character a person of color. I think that’s awesome. Yay YA. Anyways, I just really enjoyed how studious Jessa is and how she’s also totally kick ass and snarky and brave. I really loved her as a character.
The love interest Finn is totally worth of being a love interest. Now, full disclosure, the relationship is totally not the main point of the book. There’s not even very main kissing scenes or even tension scenes. In fact, for much of the book Jessa finds Finn to be kind of a pain in the rear. However, the two are thrown together by circumstance and oh, something really great happens and there are swoons everywhere. It’s MAGICAL. Well. Literally, there is magic involved with Finn and with the relationship. As for Finn’s attributes, he is nobility, he’s kind of arrogant, he’s aloof and very protective of Jessa. I think he can go either way with readers, either you’ll love him or hate him. I personally liked him as a match for Jessa.
So, I want to warn you that if you read Illusions Of Fate by Kiersten White that it is really hard to find your bearings for like the first fifty pages. It’s one of those books that expects you to just bop along without explaining the world. Instead, you have to figure it out for yourself as you read. Like, I felt like I was just throw into the story and I am okay with that. I am okay with books figuring that I might be smart enough to get what’s going on without needing a primer or an infodump. Aside from this, the world is interesting and there’s an interesting discussion of class and nobility and the help. The magic is kind of neat too, it reminded me a bit of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. In all, another book that I read really fast and enjoyed a whole lot by Kiersten White. I eagerly await more.