September 1, 2014
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.
Debut author Amy Ewing expertly crafts an enchanting story full of riches, rivalries, and riveting twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.
"Review from Ashia" By The Romance Reviews 2 years ago
THE JEWEL is a compelling dystopian read with fascinating, superb worldbuilding.
Violet is a surrogate, and once she has finished her training, she's off to the Jewel to be auctioned off to the royalty. In The Lone City, the royalty cannot bear a child to full term (probably due to too much inbreeding). However, it seems the poorest girls are able to wield Auguries (a magic power that can determine color, shape and personality of the fetus, among other things), and they are trained then auctioned off to the royal ladies.
Violet is bought by the Duchess of the Lake, who is not all that bad, when compared with other owners. Yet, even with having the best clothes, food, water, she chafes against the loss of freedom and her power to choose. Luckily, she meets Lucien, someone who's working to bring her out of the Jewel and back to her family, but before that happens, she meets Ash and a forbidden romance sparks between them...
As with most dystopian YA books, THE JEWEL is set in a place where choices are taken away from young people, in this case, teenage girls (and boys, too, actually). The author depicted the importance of this freedom to choose perfectly in lots of scenes, especially once it has been taken away, how Violet is so grateful when people gave her the power to make even the smallest choice.
Violet is a great character; she's smart, determined and she's loyal to friends and family. She faces her situation with bravery and courage, and she knows to take the opportunities life directs her way. She's the blazing life force of the book, as she should be, since the story is told in her first person point of view. Ash, her romantic interest, on the other hand, comes across as a bit passive. True, they are both under the same scenario, both under the Duchess's thumb, but Violet has her moments of defiance, wherein she dared to stay true to herself, while Ash is careful to stay within the boundaries of his situation. Well, aside from embarking in a forbidden romance with Violet, that is. I suppose I like my heroes more...active, more Alpha, and Ash just doesn't come across as that way. Maybe he'll have a more active role in the sequels; I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
I like the scenes of warmth and humanity that are peppered throughout the novel--like the scene of Violet with her family, how she and Raven promised never to forget each other--especially when these are juxtaposed against the cold cruelty of their situation at the holding facility, the auction, and especially their lives among the Royalty.
Twists and turns also abound in the book, especially toward the latter part of the book, and there are also threads that are left hanging, that I hope would be resolved or revealed in subsequent installments. I do feel that there is more to the world that isn't revealed in this book, especially that last revelation at the end that hints to something more. I did guess that there's more to that character than meets the eye and I'm glad to see my theory proven correct. I can't wait to see if that character will have a more central role in Violet's life; certainly that character seems to have more potential for development than Ash.
Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the next installments! I hope the author continues to deliver riveting stories as this one!
"The plot was definitely interesting." By Ali Kiki 1 year ago
“The Jewel” by Amy Ewing is really great but it could use improvement. I will be honest though, I loved every bit of it. Violet was ripped away from her family at twelve years old and placed into South Gate holding facility where she is trained to become a surrogate for the royal family. The royal family isn’t able to have kids because there is something wrong in their genes. The surrogates have a special ability where they are able to fix whatever is genetically wrong with the unborn children. Surrogates are trained to heighten their abilities so that way they can also help with the genetics of the children besides just fixing them. Some can make them grow faster or change to a specific eye color different things to make the children unique. The surrogates help create the personalities of the children. Once the surrogates reach a certain age they are given a lot number and are auctioned off to the highest bidder. Once they are sold they are considered property and then their mistress can basically have them do whatever they want but their soul purpose is to birth the next child.
Violet is chosen because she scored a 10 in the growth ability which is the highest score a surrogate can get in the categories. Violet is purchased by the Duchess of the Lake. The Duchess of the Lake isn’t the nicest mistress but she isn’t the cruelest either. She seems to be a bit temperamental. The Duchess of the Lake doesn’t seem to like Violet at times and then at other times she seems to want to try to be a loving mother type figure to her. In the end, everything is about trying to get the crown.
Garnet is probably the only character I could visualize perfectly in my head. He reminded me so much of the Charming, the prince from Shrek II. So many of his quirks and actions remind me of Charming. Every time Garnet was brought up that is who I would visualize as him. I have to say that Garnet was pretty interesting because he seemed to pop his head in at the most inconvenient times but it fit perfectly in the story.
I do wish that Raven was in the story more. Maybe by doing a dual perspective with Raven or something because it would have been nice to know more about what was going on with her. I feel like she played a bigger part in the beginning of the book than she did in the middle or end. What ever happened to Lily? She was mentioned a few times but was never seen again.
The plot was definitely interesting. The testing and experiments that go on with the surrogates. Some people are trying to save them and others want to get rid of the person part of them and keep them as an incubator. It is definitely interesting to see who is on which side or maybe even who is on the fence of both sides. What could have happened so long ago to make it to where the royals weren’t able to have healthy children anymore? Why is Violet the most important? The Duchess of the Lake really wanted her but it also seems like Lucian wants her too? Why Violet? That is what the big question is.
The world building wasn’t that great but it didn’t hinder me from enjoying the story. I think the story could have been a whole lot better by having better world building. I hope the sequel will have better world building in it now that the debut novel is out hopefully the second one will be a whole lot better than this one because I really enjoyed the story I just wish that aspects of it were done differently or better.
The romance wasn’t very good in this story. I think Ash could make a great love story for Violet but I feel like the romance is very instant puppy love and that it isn’t anything worthwhile. I think the love story needed to be developed more rather than being as instant as it was. Ash and Violets interactions and conversations seemed to repeat a lot. I feel like their romance or love story could have been developed a whole lot better and maybe taken a little bit slower.
Last but not least I feel like the ending was lacking. I understand having a cliffhanger at the end because you want to draw readers in for the second book but I also felt like it ended in the middle of a chapter. It didn’t feel like that was where it was supposed to end. I think the Ewing could have kept everything a cliffhanger at the end but wrapped up the story a little bit more than what she did. I enjoyed this novel a lot. I think I read it in two days. I can also see where Ewing has room for improvement, so I will be looking forward to the sequel to not only learn what else is in store for Violet but I also want to see how the writing has improved. I think “The Jewel” is worth reading. I had a great time reading it even with its flaws.
"I Loved It!!" By Laura Hernandez 1 year ago
What an epic story! I loved every single second of it and I cannot wait to read the second book as I am dying to know what happens to Ash, Violet and Raven. The world building captured my imagination and the story came to life. This is a must read and the cover is stunning.