Title: Illusions of Fate
Author: Kiersten WhiteISBN: 0062135899
Book Genre: YA fantasy/ paranormal
Release Date: September 9th 2014
Book Source: Edelweiss
“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.
I'm not sure how many books you have to read for an author before qualifying as one of their biggest fans ever, but I'm going to claim at 3 I'm a big fan of Kiersten White. I have yet to read Chaos of Stars and the Paranormalcy trilogy but I'm working on it. I really loved the Mind Games dualogy.
Now onto the actual book. Jessamin - through no fault of her own - finds herself amidst a power struggle in proportions she could have never imagined. She finds herself learning more and more about the nobility and the ways that make them much more privileged than she could have ever anticipated, even though not many of them care to exercise said privilege. Amidst running away from noblemen that give her the creeps wanting nothing to do with them, meeting friends from her home country of Melei, going to class and being ignored by her jerk of a father, not quite fitting in with the locals of Albion, attending symphonies and parties in which she doesn't quite fit in, and being attacked by crows, she has to make fast decisions, learn who to trust and decide whether or not to take sides.
What I didn't like about the book, just like with Mind Games, there wasn't enough world building for my liking. There's so much left hanging that I hoped would be explained, more on this ominous Hallin magic that seemed to be the focus of the entire story yet not quite explained. I needed more depth and insight into the characters themselves, but sadly I didn't get much of that. I didn't get much on Jessa's history with her dad, their contact, her birth, and more on her relationship with her mother, which was something I would have definitely wanted to know.
What I did love about the book was the amazing premise, the whole concept of the story was innovative. The usage of magic had its own intriguing touch and I was just fascinated by the whole thing. I loved the book from beginning to end, I enjoyed every character with their particular role. I liked the idea of the nobility and how they came to their powers as well as their elusiveness when it comes to the commoners and the concept of buying a monarchy to rule. The set up of the countries was quite intriguing. I also found Jessa refreshing for not being this suddenly heroic character that becomes so powerful the fate of the entire world lie on her shoulders. She was just a mere mortal, a pawn with no other powers to her name, she was just so smart but not making mistakes, making the wrong choices, and risking a lot of lives. I also loved that the authors had made her a pariah by both her heritage and coloring, which is again something I love, because I enjoy books with diversity.
The writing was as great as always with White's quirky brand of humor:
"Perhaps you will recall I left your home without a word of goodbye, and for this you must pardon my poor manners. I find myself averse to being trapped in doorless rooms, to say nothing of being methodically tortured. It is a character defect owing to my savage ancestry."
My other favorite quote was one that resonated very much with me because I could relate to it, I sometimes feel amiss as an Arab due to my continued usage of English in my life, more so than my mother tongue:
"It makes a soul lonely when even your tongue has no home."