I received a free copy from the publishers via Edelweiss
The Jewel is the wealthiest section of the The Lone City. It houses the royalty, and now Violet, known as #197. Every year, there is an auction where the women of the Jewel and the Bank can buy surrogates, and Violet is one of them. When she’s bought by the Duchess of the Lake, she is greeted by a slap to the face and is soon welcomed to the brutality of royal life. When a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and the Duchess’s niece’s companion, it threatens both their lives in the Jewel.
The plot was interesting, though the pacing was a bit slow. Fans of The Selection by Kiera Cass and Wither by Lauren DeStefano will probably enjoy The Jewel as it’s a mix of them both. At first the plot focused on the surrogacy and the royal way of life but at around 50% in the focus shifted to the affair between Violet and Ash. If it wasn’t for the insta-love, I may have enjoyed this shift, but it all happened way too quickly and soon they were professing their love to each other.
The characters were OK, I guess, nothing really too special. Though Garnet was one who stood out even though you didn’t see him often. Other than that I think a lot of the characters were depthless. I still enjoyed the likes of Annabelle, and I enjoyed our protagonist, Violet, at times, when she wasn’t pining over Ash.
The world building could have been better developed especially because it’s a high-fantasy, but it wasn’t disastrous. I would have really enjoyed this had it not been for the insta-love and the two had a bit more time to connect before jumping into a relationship.
I would still recommend to fans of The Selection and The Chemical Garden.