Friday, November 20, 2015

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White | Book Review

Title: Illusions of Fate
Author/s: Kiersten White
Publication: September 9th 2014 by HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover, 278 pages
Source: Personal Purchase

Plot in A Nutshell:
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.
-Synopsis from Goodreads


Thoughts in General:
When I first heard about Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White, it kind of had that whimsical feel of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which by the way is my ultimate favorite book. It's the main reason why I picked it up in the first place and even though it didn't meet the standards of my aforementioned favorite, I have to hand it to Kiersten White for creating such a fun and magical read.


The cover is really pretty and it suits the overall theme of the book. The teacup design is gorgeous and the way the raven bleeds out is nicely done.  

Illusions of Fate's main story line was such an exciting exploration because prior to reading this book, I wasn't aware of its synopsis. Anyway, the themes about colonialism kind of reminded me of my country's very own tribulations with the Spaniards. Even though the setting is purely fictional, Kiersten White managed to incorporate real life issues pertaining to this theme authentically. 


The political conflicts between the two battling sides of the setting's society was the main issue of the book and the romance only accompanied the story in a way that wasn't annoying, which is refreshing. Speaking of the romance, I felt like the MC and her love interest had that "insta-love" cliche and it did bothered me at the beginning, but I eventually got the hang of it since it wasn't blown out of proportion.

There weren't that much details in regards to the magic system of the book and I feel like this was such a missed opportunity. I get that it is a stand-alone and what I've gotten out of this book was sufficient enough not to impede with the plot, however, I wished that Kiersten White expanded it a little bit more.


Jessamin is such an enjoyable protagonist to read about it. She is headstrong, sassy, and a true fighter. I love her independence and how true she was with her roots, even though her mother pushed her to learn the Albion ways at an early age. Her spunk was so admirable, especially at that ball scene I rooted for her all the way.  

Finn was such a mysterious and eccentric character. He reminded me so much of Howl in Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle. The beginning of this novel actually threw me back to the very first scene of the movie. It had minor similarities with it that stayed with me while I read the novel and it only added a certain charm for this book. 

I also like the chemistry between Jessamin and Finn because they are a stark contrast from each other. Jessamine's independence sometimes clashes with Finn's over-protectiveness, which Kiersten White did justice. 

Eleanor is my favorite character in this book. Her ingenious, vibrant, and cunning personality made me gravitate towards her, whenever she has a part in a particular scene. She's one of my favorite side characters in literature.

Also, I have never been attached to a fictional pet than Sir Bird. That raven is such a sweetie and I like the bond Jessamine had with him. 

Of course we have the main antagonist Lord Downpike and I have to admit that he was a formidable antagonist. He was such a smooth criminal and I like his brand of cruelty because it had this dark finesse. Personally, I am disappointed with how the resolution was achieved in this book. I wished that the climax had more of an oomph factor to it.


Aside from that issue, I highly recommend you guys to give this book a try! It's a witty, fast-paced, and magical book that doesn't have the pressure of an on-going series because it's a stand-alone (as of the time I posted this review) and an entertaining stand-alone at that.

Have you read Illusions of Fate? What did you think of it? Please do share your thoughts by commenting down below!
     
  

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