Friday, September 5, 2014

Review: Illusions of Fate

Illusions of FateAuthor: Kiersten White
Series: Standalone
Published: September 9th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Lenght: 288 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

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.

By once again using her trademark sense of humor combined with superior writing, Kiersten White added another work to her list of literary successes. Illusions of Fate has just about everything I’ve learned to expect from this excellent author: interesting characters, beautiful writing, dry wit and an unforgettable ending.

White penned Illusions of Fate with her usual elegance. Her writing flows fluidly and effortlessly, which makes our journey through this story a light and pleasant experience. Her chapters blend smoothly together into an enchanting tale, filled with danger, romance and unusual magic.

While the magic part of this story could have been better developed, it was interesting enough to support the romance, which was definitely at the forefront. Illusions of Fate takes place in a fantasy setting, and as such, it left a lot to be desired, but considering that it’s a rather short standalone, we were given details aplenty for our needs. And the romance itself was very successful; there was undeniable strong chemistry between Jessamine and Finn which made their love seem very sincere, but also inevitable.

Although I liked her from the very first sentence, Jessamine’s path from cautious admiration to outright love made me appreciate her so much more. She didn’t fawn over Finn or indulge him in any way. If anything, she questioned his every action, determined to keep her integrity and independence, even when his involvement would have made her life so much easier.

For his part, Finn quickly learned to abandon his high-handed ways and allow Jessamine to make her own decisions. His youth was long lost due to the tragedy that struck his family so I never blamed him for his attempts of control and overprotectiveness, and neither did Jessamine. But not blaming him and allowing him to have his way are two different things entirely, and Jessamine fought all her battles, including those with Finn, admirably.

The villain was a bit too villainous and too vaguely motivated for my taste, but the rest of the secondary characters were simply fabulous, especially Jessa’s new best friend Eleanor. The little society girl had me laughing myself into stitches, but underneath the amusement was a deep and honest admiration for the clever and underappreciated girl.

All in all, Illusions of Fate was a splendid and highly entertaining read, which is exactly what I expected from Kiersten White.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review. 


  1. Glad to see you enjoyed this one! I haven't read anything by White yet, though I do want too. I believe I own one of her novels.

  2. Omg love love the cover, well done, I'd pick it up cos of that alone

  3. I'm in love with the cover and after reading a few reviews decided to preorder it, and now I'm even more happy I did after reading your review! 4.5 stars?? Gimme!
    Cannot wait for Monday night to read it!

  4. I ,ove this author and her humor so I am sure I will love this one. The story seems interesting, the romance seems great, no insta-love, so that is a plus. Great review :)

  5. OH YAY!!! I was hoping to see a positive review from you on this one Maja, I'm hoping to start it soon and really want to love it. I'm glad the romance worked well for you, and I can't wait to meet Eleanor. I love a girl that can make me laugh! Lovely review my friend:)

  6. How can an antagonist be too villainous? I love me an evil mastermind, but their motivations do need to be clearly defined. I have yet to experience Kiersten White's writing for myself, but after reading your review I'm thinking that I should get on that...

    How are you liking Red Blooded BTW? Sadly, it wasn't for me, and I won't be giving Carlson a 3rd chance after two less than stellar installments. :(

  7. Yes! I loved this read and it was totally unexpected which made it even better.

    Lovely review Maja! I hope you have a fabulous weekend. :)

  8. Love the cover and great to hear it was enjoyable even if the magic wasn't as developed as it could have been

  9. This was my first foray into Kiersten White's books and I absolutely loved it and I totally agree it had everything we could desire for in the story..... great review. :)

    Also do check my review of the book too here

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

  10. Yay for a positive review, I wasn't too thrilled with the last White book I read but I have high hopes for this one. I do love her sense of humor and well written romance is always a plus.

  11. Okay, I'm DEFINITELY going to have to read this one! I do love her sense of humor a lot so I tend to at least like her books if not love them.

  12. I read the first book in her debut series and it was just okay for me. I read a not so glowing review for this, but now I am changing my ind reading your review, I should give this a chance :)

  13. I'm happy to see you enjoyed this one! My co-blogger just recently reviewed it and she wasn't a fan. It's always interesting to me to read opposite reviews like this. Great review! The cover is simply gorgeous.

  14. Standalone novels seem to be rarer these days more and more. However, I am really not a fan of Kiersten White, I am pleased you managed to enjoy this story though! I will maybe give her a chance again sometime soon.

  15. Oh I so want to read this one. I am curious about the villain being too villainous. I do know what you mean, I just want to see that play out for some reason. :) You really had me at the humor though. I'm adding this one to the wishlist.

  16. I haven't been a huge fan of White past Paranormlacy but I have been seeing many positive reviews of this one around quite a bit so perhaps I need to check it out after all. Plus, I'm always a sucker for the heroines who hold strong to their independence even in the face of romance. Wonderful review, Maja! :)

  17. Despite the Lillian issues this sounds splendid. I really love the cover on this and a standalone makes me want to cry for joy. Hmm, I think this would be good on audio!

  18. That's a really promising rating, Maja! I'm on the fence regarding this one due to the fact many of my friends didn't really like her previous books that much, and her previous titles didn't really reel my in from their blurbs alone. This one, I think, I can try though! I just love the cover and the premise! :)

    Faye at The Social Potato

  19. I want this book for the cover alone, I don't even care about the story with it being so beautiful. But... knowing that you've enjoyed it gives me comfort. I do prefer a bad-bad villain, hopefully I won't be bothered by his lack of motivation ;))

  20. What a lovely cover! And your review makes it sound fitting. I can just imagine this being a wonderful listen with the right narrator, I have to see if is coming out in that format, otherwise I have to play the waiting game.
    Thank you, beautiful review :)

  21. I'm thrilled to see you loved this because I got a copy at the ALA! You know I'm a romance girl first and foremost so the fact that it shines in this story makes me want to push it up in my TBR! Wonderful review, Maja! :)

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