The Jewel by Amy Ewing
The Jewel means wealth, the Jewel means beauty—but for Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Born and raised in the Marsh, Violet finds herself living in the Jewel as a servant at the estate of the Duchess of the Lake. Addressed only by her number—#197—Violet is quickly thrown into the royal way of life. But behind its opulent and glittering facade, the Jewel hides its cruel and brutal truth, filled with violence, manipulation, and death.
Violet must accept the ugly realities of her life . . . all while trying to stay alive. But before she can accept her fate, Violet meets a handsome boy who is also under the Duchess’s control, and a forbidden love erupts. But their illicit affair has consequences, which will cost them both more than they bargained for. And toeing the line between being calculating and rebellious, Violet must decide what, and who, she is willing to risk for her own freedom.
Violet is a poor girl who is genetically attractive to the elite, ruling class and is subsequently sold as surrogate for the Duchess of the Lake. She is treated less as a slave, and though she acts subservient, she maintains her sense of self and craves freedom. Violet meets someone who claims to be able to help her escape, but her plans of fleeing the Jewel are complicated when she falls in love.
The Jewel is first in a new trilogy set in a futuristic fantasy world ruled by a harsh caste system. More about the surrogacy and its need is uncovered throughout the story. This was a fast-paced and thrilling debut from a talented new author. With vivid characters, a plenty of suspense and drama – I was captivated till the very end. There is a bit of a cliffhanger ending that left me wanting more. Readers will be eagerly awaiting the next in the series.