Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Release Day Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Title: Illusions of Fate
Author: Kiersten White
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: HarperTeen (September 9, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:
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.








I think the description for this one is actually pretty fitting. A rare time when other authors and books being compared are actually quite right.

This was a lot of like Downton Abbey meets Casandra Claire.

I don't know how to express how very much this book took me by surprise. I was all prepared for being thrown into a world that wouldn't make sense or to be trapped in another awful love triangle or any other common tropes that seem to be riddling the YA genre right now and you know what? None of them happened. Not a single one of them. Or at least if they did, I was so enchanted with the writing that I didn't even notice them happening. 

I love White's work. She hooked me after her stunning duology that is Mind Games so I really shouldn't have been shocked or surprised that I loved this every bit as much as I did it. 

This had the perfect blend of historic with the magical. With secondary characters I loved and adored (Sir Bird, I love you!) ever bit as much as I loved the Finn and Jessa.

And even though not all of the mysteries were uncovered (like where magic came from exactly) it didn't matter because this book was so alluring, so enthralling that anything left undone just added to the appeal of it. 

Even though I would absolutely adore a sequel, I don't need one because this ended so nicely and lets face it, it is so refreshing to get a good solid stand alone these days.

White exceeded my expectations with this and I was sad to see it end. I loved the world, the characters and the fast paced plot every bit as much as I have loved all of her other work. 







*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

50 comments:

  1. It's definitely hard to find a standalone these days! Two standalones I've loved, I've just found out are now being made into duologies LOL. So, uhm, yeah.

    This sounds magical and mysterious and just wonderful! Great review :D

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    1. I know what you mean, it is hard to find them and more often than not they end up being a duology like you mentioned, which is sometimes great because you aren't ready for them to be over yet.

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  2. Hmmm I don't know... I heard a lot about this book and it wasn't that good so I think I'll wait to read more to know what to decide but I'm glad to see you had a good time.

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    1. I hope you do eventually decide to give it a try Meilliane.

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  3. I have seen this one around and it's really hard not to be intrigued by that cover. I'm so happy that the book was what you expected from it :) Also supporting characters sound amazing. Great review, Ali :)

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    1. All of the characters really were amazing.

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  4. YAY! It makes me so happy to hear this book doesn't follow the path of so many YA novels before it with love triangles and other nonsense, I've read so many lately that haven't managed to do that. *sigh* Definitely looking forward to this one Ali!

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    1. I bet you will really like this Jenny. :D

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  5. Kindlemom, thanks for this wonderful review. I'm not a big YA fan because of all the drama that usually occurs inside, now granted that time of life is a dramathon I know but come on. So I think I'm going to cut my YA teeth on this one. Thanks xo

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  6. I'm so excited to hear you loved this. I've been hearing great things and it's a historical so I will definitely be reading it soon! Plus, a standalone! That's a rarity in YA! :)
    Lovely review!

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    1. So very true Nick. I am so glad you are going to read this. :)

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  7. YAY! I've been hearing great things about this, I think it's one I definitely need to read! And yay for the good ending and not a cliffhanger!

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    1. I totally think you will love this one Candace. :) I am excited for you to read it!

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  8. I have read some promising reviews on this, and you and Maja both seem to agree on this so I think I had better make time for it.

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  9. Yaaay for enjoying this just as much as I did! I liked the light worldbuilding, the romance, the historical elements and the magic. And I absolutely adored White's sense of humor.
    Great review, Ali!

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    1. I agree, the light world building was the best. Too many fantasies make the world building too long and way over done.

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  10. I am so glad you liked this one too. You know how much I loved it. Sir Bird was awesome, wasn't he? And Eleanor was such an unexpected surprise for me.

    Great review! September is a super full month for YA and NA releases, itsn't it??

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  11. I saw this cover somewhere else. I love it. Sounds like a great story.

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  12. Wow, sounds and looks amazing! A new book for me, I haven't heard of it before. I'm actually quite excited to read this one. :)

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    1. I hope you do read it and end up loving it too!

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  13. I just finished reading this one a few days ago, and I too was taken by surprise as well! :D I had a lot of problems with White's Mind Games so I didn't really know what to expect with this, but I agree that it was really entertaining and well done! :) Thanks for sharing, and BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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  14. Thanks for the spoiler free review, not everyone was a fan of this but as I love KWhite's writing style, id still read it.happy to see you enjoyed this one

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    1. Thanks Braine, I hope you like this as much as I did.

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  15. So far, very polarizing reviews on this book. Yours had me curious though, since you alluded to having some Cassandra Clare influences.

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    1. I definitely saw some similarities but I don't know, you might not.

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  16. Oh? I'm not into standalones very much because sometimes those have annoying endings or are just not what I expect really but this one seems nice and you got my attention at Cassandra Clare. Love her :)

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    1. This was a pretty solid stand alone though. Hopefully if you do try it you like it too.

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  17. I loved this one! I've never watched Downton Abbey or read Casandra Claire, so I can't say. But the characters had a very strong Jane Austen feel to them. So when I had to laugh when I got to the back and saw she thanked Jane Austen. lol

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  18. Dang, I'm surprised that the compared books are actually close. I saw another series compared to Cassandra Clare and they weren't even in the same ball park. I've seen a few episodes of Downton Abbey, so this comparison interests me. Lovely review, thanks for sharing!

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    1. IT wasn't exactly like it or anything I just got that vibe from it I guess would be a good way to describe it.

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  19. I'm so glad this was a wonderful surprise and ended up being such an enjoyable read Ali! Darn, now I wished I had got my copy earlier. Wonderful review, I'm going to make sure this is on my tbr list :)

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    1. Yay! I hope you do end up reading it, I think this is your type of read for sure Kim. :)

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  20. I have to read this, and I love the blending of genres. Mr. Bird you say? I love when secondary characters rock for me!

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    1. Sir Bird is an awesome but silent secondary character that added so much to the story, I really did love him.

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  21. There is a lot of YA books right now being compared to Downton Abbey, do teenagers watch that? I am just curious in general ha...

    but great review, this one sounds fun!

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    1. Good point! I doubt it honestly but you never know. I would have but I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to all things historic. ;)

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  22. Do you know what I loved too? The female protagonist didn't have real magic and was still just as an important figure as those that did and she wasn't the majority white. The author wasn't afraid to let her characters get hurt or killed either, to an extent (sir bird) and it shocked me a little, but was so well handled. So glad you loved this one, Ali!

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    1. You make some great points Tressa and are absolutely right!

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  23. Downton Abbey meets Cassandra clare? That sounds awesome! I love Kiersten White's writing in general so I have a feeling I'm going to love this one too!

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    1. I bet you will love it, especially already being a fan.

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  24. Sounds like a great fantasy. I don't read too many of those anymore, but I do enjoy one occasionally and this sounds like one worth checking out. Great review.

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    1. This is one that is worth it to read.

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  25. YAY! I am glad you enjoyed this one so much. I thought it was the start to yet another series, that's why I kind of put off reading it. Now I know it's a standalone, I really want to read it!!!!

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    1. Nope stand alone. There could be a sequel but I think it ended lovely.

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