the jewel book coverReviewed by Christen Krumm

Set in a world where slavery is posh, women suppress women, and death teases the corners of every platitude, Amy Ewing’s The Jewel is a smart story of one girl’s struggle to survive. Violet Lasting has been taken from her family in The Marsh as a young girl for the sole fact that she is able to bear children.  In The Lone City royal families are no longer able to produce a legitimate bloodline, so they rely on surrogates who have been nurtured to be incubators. Nothing more. After their training in the Auguries—gifts of augmentation—they are sent to auction. Each girl is ranked according to their talents and abilities. Violet, being highly ranked, went to the Duchess of one of the four founding families.

The Duchess initiates Violet into her new role as a silent slave. She is brutal and conniving, but if Violet will just obey and make her daughter perfect, then she will dote upon her. Violet is watching as her fellow surrogates are murdered, and she is trying to find a way to escape the same fate before it is to late.

Violet is a character that we can love for her smarts and her unwillingness to give up. At times, however, she overlooks her conscious and it causes her trouble. She meets Ash, who is also employed by the royalty, and they fall quickly for each other. Almost t00 quickly. The romantic development is sweeping and fun, but it seems to be underdeveloped. However, Ewing keeps us interested with a dark political dance.

Ewing’s plot is well shaped and keeps the reader unaware of her final plan. In the last pages she draws the reader into a beautiful panic, wondering “what will happen now?” As she closes she gives us cliffhanger that will launch readers into book two because they will be itching to know what happens. The Jewel helps us explore what we really think about surrogacy and women’s rights. This book will transport you to a different society, and stir your thoughts on the human condition while entertaining as well.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Christen is a ravenous reader, wanna be author, Litfuse Nester, and slightly addicted to coffee. Lives in Arkansas with her husband and three mini people. Connect with her at her blog: http://ChristenKrumm.com or Twitter @ChristenKrumm.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperCollins Publishers. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.