Illusions of Fate
By Kiersten White
Publication date: Sept. 9, 2014
Harper Teen, 288 pages
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.
— Goodreads.com description
Illusions of Fate reveals quite a different side of author Kiersten White — where her Paranormalcy trilogy is effervescent and funny, this new venture is mature and dark.
Which is really great. I appreciate an author who tries something new and takes risks and, you know what a big risk is? HISTORICAL FANTASY! Whaaaaat! It was a cool mix.
And — hello — main character Jessamin is a person of color. It’s nice to see some diversity for once in YA.
But my favorite favorite favorite part of the book? Eleanor, an unforgettable best friend, written in that Kiersten White voice we’ve all come to love. She is such a standout.
So, yes, some exciting stuff. But, big ole warning: The book gets off to a weird start — the two main characters meet in a really bizarro way that totally turned me off. Honestly, I put the book down twice before it sucked me in.
I never 100% recovered from that awkward first start in terms the romance stuff — I think you’ll either love Finn or hate him. I definitely see his faults…but whatever, I totally swooned when he and Jessamin were together. I have no spine.
Another bummer was the big “reveal.” I didn’t quite guess it, but let’s just say things were tied up in a quick and pretty predictable way.
Clearly not a favorite-of-all-time read for me, but Illusions of Fate is definitely a book this serial book quitter is glad she gave another try.