Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Book Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Title: Illusions of Fate
Author: Kiersten White
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Source: Library Copy
Content Alert: Some violence

Jessamin is a biracial girl from the Caribbean, sent to Victorian England (the places have different names, but you get the idea) to be educated at the school where her father is a teacher. By day she studies, and by night, she works as a maid with others of her class in a London hotel. Enter Finn, a dashing and mysterious Lord who has magical powers (apparently, all of the nobles in Albion/England have magical powers, and the commoners know nothing about it). Finn and Jessamin have to fight off some bad guys, and save themselves and the country from certain doom.

I think that Illusions of Fate was probably my favorite of the YA Speculative novels this year, but that had little to do with the story. In fact, I'm not entirely sure that I completely understood where Kiersten White was going with the magical element of the story-- yes, there was magic, and people used it to manipulate space, time, and other people. I loved the setting- White did a great job creating a world that was just a notch off a world that today's readers know well. Jessamin was also a great character, working to figure out her way as a member of the underclass in a new country, while also trying to embrace her role as a muse of one of the most powerful magicians in the country. The book is worth reading for Jessamin's character and the setting, the jury's still out for me on the magic.

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