Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
Released on: September 9th, 2014
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Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.
“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.
Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.
“…armed only with her wits and her determination…” I absolutely loved Jessamin. She’s everything I want in a YA protag and more, to be honest. From the very first page I could tell that this was a character who could stand on her own, who didn’t need someone to constantly hold her hand and baby her though the riveting changes her world was facing. I loved that about her. Not to mention that witty charm she carries with her, the constant banter between her and Finn were hilarious, and her charm never leaves her even in the toughest of times. Bottom line, Jessamin is a girl you definitely want fighting on your side when things go south in any situation.
World building was pretty good in terms of setting and the sense of history carried on through the entire novel. The way they talk and dress, the foods they eat, the tea, etc. – all beautifully done. My only issue was with the magic. Not too big of an issue but it’s something that kept nagging at me as I was reading. What of the Crombergs and Hallins magical lines? What made them so important? And how does it affect the characters, namely Finn? Trying not to say too much without spoiling, but just a few lineage questions that didn’t get answered. Especially toward the end where it seemed like the matter was ignored entirely. That didn’t sit too well with me. But beside that, all other magical plot lines made sense and were very intriguing.
As for the romance… At first I was put off by it. I’ve never been a huge fan of “fated lovers” or “soulmates,” whatever you wish to call it, so when our main characters meet and then it seems fate is at play, I got turned off. However, reading through and seeing how Jessamin was also put off by Finn, not wanting to go along with this silly notion of “fate” either, it did two things for me. One, it made me love Jessamin’s character that much more. And two, it made me see just how well Jessamin and Finn connected. They ignored the fact that they drew up “fated” cards and built a relationship on their own. They got to know each other, fought each other, and then in the end loved each other. It was all beautifully done.
The ending was veeeery satisfying. Except for the magic questions that wouldn’t leave my head, everything else had a nice ending, plot lines tied up and all. I’ll admit, I squealed a bit (okay, a LOT) at the ending because, well, it was so cute. SO cute. At first I was all depresssed but accepting of the turn of events and then BOOM, tears and happy squeals.
I can see why it would definitely be a good read for fans of Cassie Clare!
A satisfying read and I appreciate the fact that it’s a standalone (at least I imagine it is because it tied up well enough, and I don’t think the author is planning on a second??). Either way. Good, fast read that kept me engaged and laughing.
MY RATING: 4/5