Book Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
Genre: YA Paranormal
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.
She was in trouble. Alleys are great shortcuts but you need to be a blackbelt in at least two martial arts to safely navigate them; or you've been minding your cardio exercises. And then that blessed voice.
"There you are, darling. So sorry I'm late."
I did a double-take.
OMG! HOWL, IS THAT YOU!?!
•And that, my friends, set the tone of my mood as I read Illusions of Fate. I had the soundtrack of Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle in loop in my head. Trust me, it suited the tones of the book well.
•I couldn't help but superimpose things from the movie (I've read the book but it's easier to visualize the movie and I liked it better), finding similarities like the doors of Finn's house leading to rooms not necessarily in the same house or even the same country and the door of Howl's castle which could lead to another place by turning a dial; then, the characters themselves: Finn and Howl (although they have some different characteristics) and then Jessamin and Sophie (Jessa's more sassy and outgoing unlike Sophie's who's...soft and gentle).
•You would think that it would lessen my liking for Illusions of Fate because of the similarities - it heightened my enjoyment!
•I must be getting good at all this guessing thing; the guessing thing being speculating the effects of one scene and the significance of the other. I knew something was up when the story introduced Kelen and painted a touch awful about his lot.
•If a Finn Ackerly entered my life, he’d be too good to be true (and I'd totally want him). I would be in constant disbelief for having a boy as kind, thoughtful, playfully mischievous, and devoted as him. Was he too perfect? Meh, I didn’t care. All I cared about was where I could get one like him.
•This book was not set in our world. However, Albion and the Iverian Continent (with countries like Saxxone and Gallen) bore a significant resemblance to the United Kingdom and continental Europe. Melei would then be a representation of the British colonies.
•There was good deal of a talk about racism here. In fact, Jessamin, our sassy heroine, was a product of a short affair between a married Alben man and a Melei woman. Her father left her mother, not caring about her and their child. There was also the bullying of Jessamin at her school in Albion.
•Illusions of Fate. The question of whether you are on your right path, the choices you have to make at crossroads… and there is that, choice. Jessamin realized that her fate was decided only by her and no one else.