Jessamin has grown up on a tropical island with her mother, who has raised her on her own. She loves her warm and colorful island of Melei but has chosen to come to the gray and dull country of Albion to attend school, though there she is ostrasized for being an outsider, dark of hair and skin.
Soon enough, though, she happens to meet a young man who clearly has every advantage in life, and though she doesn’t think highly of the Albens, she is drawn to him. When fate or other interventions continue to throw them together, Jessa is pulled into a strange world of magic, political maneuverings, and danger. She finds eventually she will have to make some choices, whether she wants to be involved in a world that is not her own or not. And she will learn how strong she truly is, not to mention that she can allow herself to fall in love.
Illusions of Fate is practically perfect. Kiersten White has created a world not unlike ours, set in a time much like that of the early 20th century, but has imbued its nobility with magical powers only they know about and use. Her heroine is smart and courageous and all too human, and though she is “just an ordinary girl,” she is a force to be reckoned with. That’s what makes her — and the book — so great. I just lost myself in the setting, the characters and their interactions with each other, and the story. I absolutely adored this book.
Rated: Mild, for a few instances of violence and some brief references to unsavory things. No language, no sexual content. Clean!