Monday, 22 September 2014

Review: Illusions of Fate

Illusions of Fate
Publication Date: September 9th 2014        
Publisher: HarperTeen
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

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

You guys, Illusions of Fate is so freaking just as good as I thought it would be, and though I really enjoyed Kiersten White's Mind Games series, Illusions of Fate has taken the spot of my favourite of hers.  It's just so witty and fun and clever and whimsical.
There's no shortage of magical books being released this year, and don't get me wrong by saying that this is just one of them, but while it may not be the most unique one, it gives magic a different life and let's it breathe. We have feuding races and magical importance. It kind of reminds me of this one episode of Charmed in season six, episode five, Loves a Witch, but much more ingrained to the background of Illusions of Fate that set's the today of Illusions of Fate, if that makes sense. It's a huge part of the story and it takes in the actions of the characters.  The magic set-up here is a little different to what I usually find, Magic is based upon power in standards, it goes down into the line of Nobles of High Standards, it's in their blood and it depending on stature and position etc, it waters down, some have stronger power than others, and we see that mix with our supporting characters. The logistics of the magic can be learned but not obtained, power can't be taken, but stored in things (e.g books) that can be later used.

The world building was a little confusing for me (weird names for places and races just really don't go into my brain, they just skip right over it). So, I'm going to compare it to racism of then and today, it's very much the same between ethics really, so it's nothing complicated. We have the Melei, which is where our main character, Jessamin is from, and has moved to Albion (where the books set) to study, but gets tangled into the magic side of Albion when she meets Finn and he shadows her. The whole "shadow" and fate was really interesting, though I guess you could call it starcrossed lovers type of thing, but this time it didn't annoy me. In fact, I wanted more romance because ugh Jessamin and Finn were so freaking cute together it's ridiculous. I wanted MORE KISSING, 'kay? MORE KISSING PLEASE? So yeah, I shipped the romance. 
And while all of the magic and romance was fun and everything, the characters made the book for me, hands down. Jessamin is determined, headstrong, sarcastic and witty and smart and not all lovey dovey over Finn (in fact, she tells him to remove his shadow thankyouverymuch I don't want it), Finn matched her perfectly, and you can see why and it's just MORE KSISING PLEASE. We also have Eleanor, who is Albion, but makes a friend in Jessamin (which you basically don't do, they're not supposed to mix) she's a gossip, and much more underestimated than she should be. And she is very lovely. Then of course, we have Sir Bird...which is one of the weirdest things ever. Like, more than a talking portrait kind of weird, and is strangely a very there character, though he's not a character...
Illusions of Fate is everything I wanted it to be, magical, fun, with a dash of evil, but should have included a lot more kissing. MORE KISSING.
*Okay, my original rating was a solid 4, but then I just went over everything and remembered how much I did actually love it.
Rating: 4.5/5