Sunday, 26 June 2016

An alternate Victorian society full of magic and amazing characters | Illusions of Fate

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Published: September 9th 2014 by HarperTeen
Genre: young adult, alternate history, fantasy

Goodreads summary: 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.


I decided to pick this book up because I'm really excited about Kiersten White's upcoming book, And I Darken. I wasn't disappointed and it actually made me eager to read more of her books!

Illusions of Fate is set in a world that seems to be an alternate history, since it had so many similarities to Victorian England (even the queen is eighty years old!). At first, we didn't get a lot of setting so I was a little confused and it made the book harder to read, but the more I progressed into the story, the more the gaps were filled by this author. 

I really enjoyed the main character, Jessamin. She comes from the colony so people despise her because of her skin color. She also suffered a lot of prejudices because she was a girl, of course. But despite all of it, she is strong and always stands for herself. At the beginning of the book, she was a student and no matter how unaccepted she was, she did her best at her studies. Because yes, that's how you prove your point. Moreover, when she met Finn, a handsome and arrogant lord, she still fought with him. He was trying to be overprotective and you can't really blame him since its his fault she was thrown into danger, and he was a product of his society. But Jessamin didn't want to hear him out and did what she wanted to. I really enjoyed that about her. Moreover, magic is involved in this society, but Jessamin? She would be one of those "mundane" girls. But still, it's because of her everything is resolved. She was an amazing main character, really.

Finn, the lord she met and turned everything upside-down, was also a very interesting character. I can't tell much about him, because it would be spoiler-y, but he was such a fun character to read about! I loved the dynamics he had with Jessamin, even there was some insta-love. I'm not really happy about it...

Eleanor, a secondary character, was also a strong woman, even if everyone thought the contrary. She knows everything about everyone, she's so good at gossiping! But at the same time, she's trying to be underestimated by everyone, and it totally worked! No one believed she was powerful, and that's exactly what made her powerful. Even Finn said he was scared of her, and he was the most powerful character of this world.

The villain was so scary. Torture is actually involved, it was awful. It was crazy since he was in the government and everything. Which I actually really enjoyed about him was... The ending, ha-ha. No but seriously, I did not see it coming, I was shocked. Moreover, he had familiars and one of them, Sir Bird, was actually a bird who could turn into a book, it was SO COOL!

I liked the magic system, it was really realistic. In fact, only some nobles had magic, the social hierarchy depended on magic, it was interesting. But it was still hidden from common folks.

In case you were wondering, yes, I loved these characters so much! This book was also gifted with a plot which didn't bore me, so many things happened! It was a great standalone overall, it was enough. I would have liked an epilogue (it would have been soooo cheesy but amazing) but it's okay. Overall, this book is a must-read!

Have you read this book or others by this author? What did you think of them/this one? Are you excited for And I Darken, her new novel published in June (I AM!)?

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