Publisher: September 2, 2014 by HarperTeen
Series: The Lone City #1
"The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. 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."
I have to admit that this book originally caught my attention because of the cover (so pretty!). However, I am super glad that I read it!
I thought this book was extremely well written. It must be hard to have the main character be someone who doesn't talk a lot. You have to rely on the strength of the supporting characters and the narration set forth by the main character. I thought this was all incredibly well done by Ewing. I didn't find any gaping plot holes or plot points that didn't make sense. It was all well written. And all of the descriptions of the settings and garments was perfect. I could envision everything!
I previously said that Violet does not talk a whole lot in the book, this is because she is a Surrogate and is just considered a piece of furniture or a lap dog in The Jewel. It was important that we saw who Violet was before all of this happened to her. I thought the character development was supurb. You saw the strength Violet had and how it began to fade, and ultimately the moments where it cracks and when she gets it back. I can't wait to read more about Violet in the next novel.
My favorite character however was Lucien. I will only say one thing about him: I like him because he seems super sweet and caring, but something tells me he has a dark side and I hope that all comes out in the next book.
Because this is a Young Adult book, there was bound to be a little bit of romance. At first, I though Garnet, the son of the Duchess that purchased Violet, was going to be the romantic interest. I should have fully read the synopsis because that gave it away. Oh well. However, I do want to see more of Garnet in the future novels.
Overall, I thought this was a great novel. It had everything, a dystopic society, hunky male heart-throbs, pretty dresses, violence, and murder. I give this book an 8/10 and I CAN'T WAIT to read the second installment, especially because of the crazy cliffhanger! Go read The Jewel by Amy Ewing right now, and I promise you will not be disappointed.