Violet used to live in the Marsh, the poorest area of the One City. But she possesses a genetic variation that allows her to manipulate the world around her using what is called the Auguries. This makes her perfect to be a surrogate, to carry the child of the royalty who can no longer give birth to healthy children do to inbreeding. Once this was revealed, Violet is taken from her family and put into a special school where she is trained to use the Auguries.
At 16, Violet is sold at auction to the Duchess of the Lake and stripped of her name. The Duchess has an ambitious plan to have Violet produce a daughter within three months to be betrothed to the new born Elector (the title of the One City’s ruler). Once this is done, Volet will be steralized and sent to live the rest of her life at a retirement facility. Meanwhile her best friend Raven, who is also a surrogate, is starting to behave strangely. Violet begins to suspect that there might be more going on than she has been told. Can she take action to save herself and her friend?
This is a distopian YA novel that marries the Handmaid’s Tale to the Selection. It had the potential of eing BRILLIANT, but the author AMy Ewing threw in a romance for Violet. While well written, it was unnecessary and detracted from the main story. It would have been much better if the story had just been focused on VIolet’s journey into the Jewel, her realization that something wrong is going on and then her beginning to fight back. To have the revel hinge on the romance reduced Violent from a freedom fighter to the victim of a Victorian melodram.
Only for the rue YA distopian fan.