Book Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Illusions of FateAuthor: Kiersten White

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 288

Release Date: September 9, 2014

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. Seriously, seriously I loved this book. I’ve had a slight obsession with Kiersten White ever since her book In the Shadows with Jim DiBartolo. Her writing is amazing. Here’s your synopsis from Amazon:

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 the gorgeous, enigmatic Finn, 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, and the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess them. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits, can stop him.

1. Jessamin is headstrong, angry, and stubborn almost to a fault.

Jessamin is a fantastic character. Admittedly, sometimes I was so annoyed with her and her stupid pride that I would get so upset. Honestly, though, I understand her pride. She is a foreigner in a land where her brown skin and dark hair are exotic and unwelcome. She is living among her peoples’ conquerors and she feels the need to consistently show that she doesn’t need them to survive and thrive. When she first meets Finn and is so against having a meal with him or giving him the time of day, I actually yelled at my Kindle. I understand that in her world, you can’t trust many people, but even when he proves trustworthy, she’s still a giant brat to him! There is a time and place for your pigheadedness, Jessamin.

2. This read like postcolonial literature, and that just so happened to be one of my favorite courses I took in college.

This book is riddled with postcolonialism from both the conquered and the conquerors. Jessamin is so stubborn in that she doesn’t want people judging her because of where she comes from. However, she ends up judging Finn because of his birth and where he comes from, which totally flips Jessa’s thoughts on her head. She was so obsessed about people not judging her that she turned around and did it to someone else. Jessa’s “other”-ness is prevalent throughout the book and it reminded me of one of the Jamaica Kincaid novels I read (I can’t remember which) when she was living among her peoples’ conquerors. This really is just absolutely stunning.

3. The magic! It caught me off guard! I mean, I read the synopsis, but I did not expect…that!

This book is all about magic. One of the things I actually loved about this was even though the whole plot is driven by magic, it is not always there. Finn is an expert magician? mage? I’m not really sure what to call him, but he is excellent nonetheless. Finn doesn’t seemingly use much magic, until the reader pays closer attention. After a gala at an observatory, Jessa meets Eleanor, who finds magic “terribly dull.” Eleanor has some super sweet magic of her own, though, but I won’t spoil that for you.

4. The villain! Lord Downpike is a mean, scary man and he needs a lot of hugs.

Lord Downpike is evil from the start. Jessa meets him at the same gala where she meets Eleanor, and from the beginning, he is described as sharp and knife-like. This is very true to his character and we learn very soon after that first meeting how truly horrible this man is. I’m not saying much more about him because I’m not giving you spoilers, but just know that his mommy never read him bedtime stories or hugged him. He is very mean and a wonderful villain.

5. Eleanor.

Yeah, you read that right. One of my favorite things about this book was Eleanor. She is feisty and she is dramatic and she is the biggest gossip in town. She loves getting involved in Jessa’s crazy life, because she knows that everyone will depend on her to hear all the gossip. Although their friendship is very new when all the crazy stuff goes down, it is very clear that Jessa and Eleanor are made for each other (best friend wise, anyway). I need to be her friend immediately. She’s amazing and perfect and we are bestie soulmates.

6. I’m sorry. This is getting long. But…one more thing. Kiersten White’s writing continues to astound me.

As I said, my first experience with Kiersten White was when I read In the Shadows. That story was gorgeous. So, when I heard about this new book coming out (and excuse me, that cover is BEAUTIFUL) I had to have it. I finally had to time to read it, and I read it in one day…it was THAT. GOOD. Magic and romance and fantasy…yes! I loved that the romance wasn’t everything. I loved that Jessa still tested Finn even after she let herself fall for him and I loved how I could picture everything so perfectly. If you’ve never experienced Kiersten White, maybe start here and work your way back. She is hands down one of my favorites.

OVERALL: FIVE STARS!! I want to give this infinity stars, so I totally will. This was fast paced, full of surprises that I couldn’t call, and an incredible read. Click the link to order, because this was fantastic!

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One thought on “Book Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

  1. missprint says:

    I am so, so excited that you loved this one! You definitely need to give Austen another chances as we discussed. I’d also suggest checking out some other Regency era fantasies like Sorcery and Cecelia which I was strongly reminded of while reading Illusions of Fate.

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