Title: Illusions of Fate
Author: Kiersten White
Format acquired: ARC
Author: Kiersten White
Format acquired: ARC
Source: From the publisher (Thank you, HarperCollins!)
Publication date: September 9, 2014
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.
Enthralling, that’s the most appropriate word to describe Illusions of Fate. The play of the words, the setting and the focal point of this book—the characters. All these factors will lure you—if the book cover didn’t do that already—in devouring this book in one go. I’ve only read one work by Kiersten White and that was The Chaos of Stars. That book left a sour taste in my mouth so I stayed away from her books after that. Then, I had a sudden affixation towards reading fantasy book (I blame Air Awakens series for that) and I had an ARC of this book just lying on the bottom part of my shelf waiting to be pick up so I gave it a go and I got the biggest surprise of my life.
Illusions of Fate was everything I did not expect it to be and I’m saying that in a positive note. I thought it would be your typical fantasy book, magic and mystery and all that whatnot. I should’ve known never to trust my assumptions when it comes to Kiersten White’s books. This book had me guffawing in every single chapter. It’s unusual for me to have so much fun reading a fantasy book, usually I would either be on the edge of my seat or fascinated with the world and while I experienced those things while I was reading this book, majority of the time I was laughing over the verbal exchange of the characters or their silly actions.
Kiersten did a magnificent job in weaving the words of this book. The narration didn’t bore me to death. The characters felt so …alive. That’s the best word I could describe them. Illusions of Fate also had the wittiest character lines ever. Though I did have a hard time understanding some phrases and lines because it’s too archaic for my mediocre vocabulary. But I guess that had to do with the setting of the story so I can overlook that one.
The main reason why I loved this book so much was because of the characters. They were so adorable! >.< We have Jessamin as the main protagonist. She’s so witty, clever and you can’t help not to love her character. I had an instant connection with her. And then there’s Finn. *cue swooning and fangirling* Oh my gosh. He’s a breath of fresh air for love interest. I thought he would be one of those angsty and arrogant type that’s very common to YA books but turned out that he’s completely different with how I portray him to be. He’s smart, charming, has a drool worthy collarbones and secretly shy. It’s so fun to watch him try to woo Jessamin. Lastly, we have Sir Bird. He’s, as the name suggest, a bird or to be more specific a crow. I have never in my life thought that I would love an animal character. I mean, I did encounter animal characters before and I loved them too but those were talking animals. Sir Bird doesn’t talk. But what made me love his character was that even though he doesn’t talk, he express himself through his gestures and actions. Also, Sir Bird was a really amusing character. You have to read the book in order to understand my fascination with him.
Illusions of Fate had me swooning over the romance between Finn and Jessamin. The romance was slow burn but I like it that way. It’s fitting to both characters. I thought this book would have the blasted thing we call love triangle. Thankfully, that was not the case. Jessamin and Finn weren’t overly affectionate with each other and they don’t have that constant sizzling tension like what we read in most YA books. I love how they transition from acquaintance to frenemies to friends to lovers. It was really smooth. You as the reader can’t help but be happy with developments in their relationship. It’s like watching your child fall in love for the first time. They’re just so adorable! Also, you would appreciate every interaction between these two. I honestly love their verbal exchange. They’re both witty people and you can imagine what it ensues.
I think Illusions of Fate is an underrated standalone book. It deserves more love and attention. It was an enthralling book. There’s intrigue, witty conversations, a bird that turns into book, slow burn romance and characters that feels as if they’re alive. Not to mention that this book has a beautiful cover and diverse characters. Read it, not because I told you to do so but because it deserves to be read.
, by Alyssa