My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Violet is destined to bear another woman’s child. Sold to the highest bidder, she begins her new life in as the Duchess’ servant. Without as much as her own name, she’s stripped of all identity except a number. But not everything is bleak, because in the Duchess’ household, Violet meets Ash: a boy hired to be a companion to the Duchess’ niece.
I really enjoyed this book. A lot. But it didn’t live up to the expectations I had. Somehow, I thought it would be similar to Hunger Games, but rather than fight in the games, Violet would have to fight for her the rights to her own body. Accepting the fate, but thoroughly fighting it.
However, that wasn’t what “The Jewel” was.
Instead, Violet’s focus is a bit over the place. When she initially begins her new life, she’s stripped off her identity, meant to be a birth machine. However, her curiosity and upbringing makes her focus on her surroundings in an awestruck way, that came off as slightly… annoying? I mean, I loved the world building, the premise, and even the compassion for her friend Raven. But I got tired of reading about the dresses, the lavish food, the snobbish infertile elite (who all seem really, really evil and unnecessarily cruel). And the moment she meets the
boytoy companion Ash, she is mostly confused.
I just wished she would find some sort of focus and stick to it. I get that it’s all new for her, but she’s toggling feelings for a boy, the humiliation of being a thing, the worry for her former friend, and the thoughts of rebellion near the end.
While I don’t mind the insta-love, or even the different focus of the story, I still missed the rebellion that I initially expected. Luckily, it came closer towards the end of the story, which is why I’m definitely going to pick up the rest of the series.
Things worth noting:
– The subjects aren’t especially pg-rated. While the breeding is performed without the act of intercourse, it still touches on the violation and the humiliation of being degraded like that. It isn’t dressed up prettily, but also isn’t described so vividly that it’s hard to stomach either.
– If you aren’t wealthy in this society, you are little more than an item. Ash, who is a bought companion whose services are given to young women, are in short a boy toy. He’s young, handsome, and trained to make whoever opposite of him feel special. But he isn’t much more than a toy to play with. If his relationship with Violet is discovered, his life is at stake.
– The magic isn’t a focus as much as I wished it was. It does sound amazing, though, and I hope it will be further explained in the later novels.
– Ash and Violet’s relationship is insta-love. It’s not the worst case I’ve read, but it still seemed a bit rushed. Although, I’m giving Violet some leash as she’s pretty much feeling appreciated for the first time in her life. I’m sure that can be taken as love in some cases.
Recommended For: I honestly haven’t read anything similar. The opinion on this book varies a lot. The premise is amazing, and I can’t wait to see where the author takes this world, but it also isn’t for everyone.