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. 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. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Sep 24, Emily May rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy , , young-adult. I am no wilting Alben, I am a fierce and strong Melenese woman. And I am not the victim of any cruel jokes. Spirits below, I will make certain he knows I am not to be toyed with. Messy ending aside, I enjoyed this novel a lot and am thankful I didn't realize initially that the author was the same one who bored me with both Paranormalcy and The Chaos of Stars. This was an all round much better book.
It's an ambitious premise that blends a fantasy world with historical parallels, which clearly allude to colonialism. Amazingly, this wild combination of fast-pacing, fluffy banter, magic and an underlying look at colonial struggles somehow works well. Kiersten White works in social and political issues like racism, sexism, and cultural stereotypes, whilst simultaneously keeping the banter light and funny. There was so much to like here that I feel very forgiving towards the rushed ending.
We are introduced to action, magic and mystery almost immediately, and I was pulled in from the very first chapter. The chapters have that annoyingly addictive habit of finishing on a cliffhanger, so you find yourself forced into the next chapter in order to discover what happens. Between the supernatural omens, the evil ministers and the budding romance, it's hard to look away. She's in the middle of a world that doesn't welcome her, both as a female student and as a colonial subject from Melei.
Dark-skinned and vivacious, she stands out amid all the paleness and propriety of Albion. Little does she know that racism is about to be only half of her problems when she suddenly gets pulled into a world of magic, murder and mayhem. There was no instalove or instaobsession or general falling into hormonal mushiness after their first meeting.
Tara Belle Talking: Book Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
The build was gradual and realistic, peppered with witty and flirtatious banter my favourite kind. There's no bitterness or jealousy between them, they stick together and look out for one another, despite being two very different people. About you. Your uncle and Lord Downpike. You are smart and brave and terribly important. The twist towards the end is a little ridiculous; it attempts to tie everything up in the penultimate chapter and part of me wonders if the ending might have been stronger without the chapter after it. But it didn't matter that much. This is a strong fantasy; fun in its dialogue, friendships and romance, but also important in its look at racism and stereotyping on both sides of colonialism.
On a note unrelated to the actual story, I can't be the only one bugged by the white girl on the cover when the protagonist is clearly described as having "dark skin" and "black hair" You don't fool me with your shadow effects, Ms book cover, I can see you're white. View all 27 comments. Sep 18, Lola rated it did not like it Shelves: disappointed , fantasy , boring , did-not-finish , do-not-recommend , fast-paced , did-not-connect-with-characters. Poor to no intrigue and silly useless conversations that felt like fillers more than anything else are way too present in this story.
The main character, Jessamin, is in her teenage years but acts like an eleven-year-old one. She was annoying. Probably more because of the annoying elements that are filling the book than the style itself though. Sometimes it is obvious though. Like I said, not bad but what the author wrote about definitely did not impress nor captivate me.
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There was a lack of characterization and character development and, plus, there were way too many of them. What would have been the point, anyway? Although, it is my personal opinion. There is one thing that I liked though: the pacing. View all 84 comments. It was so well done! I absolutely adored smart and ambitious, Jessamin , her sassy and loyal friend, Eleanor , and her oh-so-cute and witty love interest, Finn.
I just want a Finn for myself, please! I have no power here". She is also insecure over the fact that she's not as dark as everyone in Melei, nor is she as light as everyone in Albion. Like many who are of mixed-race, she is unsure of where she really belongs. But what I loved the most is that Jessamin realises that her own prejudices about the Alben race were just as wrong and unfair. But it would appear you cannot get past mine'. This was such a fast and fun read despite the important themes that are also included with that definitely unputdownable quality.
I highly recommend it to anyone who desires a wonderful and magical standalone. I want more of them!!! View all 34 comments. Them fantasies are taking themselves too seriously, with too tedious backgrounds and intros, it even has to take one entire book for just these things. It was an enjoyable read. View all 8 comments. Illusions of Fate features, Jessamin is a brilliant, hard-working young woman who's trying to build herself a successful life in a country where her dark skin and her nationality are seen as shortcomings.
I loved how she never loses the strength to rebel to people's prejudices, how she rightfully and bravely keeps refusing to consider herself inadequate because of her skin, because she has to work to cover her tuition, because she's a foreigner, because she's a woman. Her tenacity and resolve are inspirational , heartening, and sometimes also lead to deliciously humorous situations.
The world-building is very simple, very neat, but I feel that some extra information was necessary. Especially in the first chapters, I was very confused about the setting: I gathered the fundamental elements as the story went on, but at the beginning everything was so fuzzy it gave me a headache, and hardly anything was clearly and purposely explained.
I expected more obviously so, since what we got is basically nothing and overall, I'm very disappointed in the story line. For a book so short, it was generally very well done. Fun fact: I never could stand those. I still don't. They always feel criminally flat and stereotypical to me, and I'd basically lost all my faith in that category of characters. But she came along: Eleanor. All the stars. So sharp, clever and witty. Yes, Kiersten White definitely know how to write her female characters.
My poor heart. I refuse to say more on the matter. I wouldn't dive into it expecting something as deep or rich or magnificent as And I Darken , but I'm sure that Illusions of Fate , adorably uncomplicated as it is, will be able to grant you a few hours of fun and leisure. View all 9 comments. Feb 20, Anne rated it liked it Shelves: kindle , romance , read-in , young-adult , mature-ya , paranormal. To me, it was a lot like The Chaos of Stars , in that the magic stuff sort of took a backseat in the book. In this, magic is something that only the nobility have running though their veins.
Commoners don't have any idea that their countries' leaders are wizards. Not wizards, Magic-users. Anyway, Jessamin comes from a made-up island called Melei, which I assumed was supposed to be 3. Anyway, Jessamin comes from a made-up island called Melei, which I assumed was supposed to be like a pseudo-Polynesian island. And she's recently moved to the made-up country of Albion, which I assumed was code for England. She's studying at the college forgot the name , and working at a hotel also forgot the name when she meets Finn.
I don't want to give any spoilers, but there is an evil villain who's pretty horrible. So there is danger. It's just the slow kind of danger. I don't think I'm explaining this right It's more about the characters than the magic, if that makes sense? The good news is, the romance isn't super-cheesy. Jessamin doesn't swoon, bite her lip, or get all weak in the knees.
The girl had a backbone, and I liked her! And Finn didn't give me the Creeper-vibe, even though there was one point where he spied on her with his shadow yes, his real shadow. It was kind of like a safety thing, and I didn't get the impression that he was watching her go to the bathroom, or anything else skeevy. I liked the story, I liked the characters, and, for the most part, I really enjoyed this book.
Did it change my life? But it was entertaining. So, if you don't go into this expecting a thrilling paranormal, you'll probably enjoy it, too. View all 19 comments. Big Edit : Basically, the author knew that she was copying and doesn't market it as a retelling, but as her own ideas. So not cool. Link to Interview. I can respect retellings but not when it isn't credited towards the original. I had to search to find if the author had had any experience with Howl's Moving Castle. This is a cheap rip off and unless the author somewhere wrote that these are not her own ideas, I'm not going to buy a single other book from her.
SorryNotSorry I'll explain the warning in a bit but I will say this first: Illusions of Fate is a cute, fluffy love story with a healthy dose of fantasy mixed in. It's adorable and I felt like animals were going to start singing and following the main character around. For that aspect of it, it was a good read. But there is a massivehugeenormousoutofcontrolabsolutelyno problem with this book. Shall I compare thee to Howl's Moving Castle? Let me count the ways Sophie Jessamin is a girl working for relatives in a hat shop hotel where she lives. She tries to stay out of the way and mind her own business but things take a wrong turn while she is out on a walk.
One day, a handsome blonde wizard magical nobleman sweeps down and rescues her from a couple of lewd soldiers creeper in the streets. He whisks her off and hopes that she won't get involved in his crazy life. The girl finds out that her rescuer uses his charm and wits to stay out of trouble while desperately trying to prevent a war from happening. She also discovers that he dyes his hair and is not a natural blonde, but who cares about that? Minor detail Somehow, the girl gets attached to the familiar of an evil queen nobleman and the familiar follows her around loyally and she becomes incredibly attached to him.
She comes to live in his house with him where there are magical doors that lead to different places. Opening a door could put you in another country or another city just as easily as it could lead you to the living room. The magical nobleman has to step up in order to prevent a war, even though he had resigned himself to inaction. This is the first time that he has really acted on his own and there are those that oppose him. And that's not even mentioning the whole bird motif that is going on throughout the movie book. It's been a long time since I've read Howl's Moving Castle but the movie is one of my favorites from Miyazaki and it is far superior to this book.
If you want this story line but with hand drawn, hand painted animation with stunning attention to detail, wonderful voice actors, and a heartwarming love story, go watch Howl's and the rest of the Miyazaki films. They will change you in wonderful ways. And if the author meant to do this and the similarities were intentional Stuff like this really makes me mad because it shares way too much for it to be just a coincidence.
Just thinking about it makes me want to rage and bitch about it but I won't. It isn't similar to the point of only the most intense fans would notice it. This is strikingly disgustingly obvious. Not okay. Do not recommend. Full review at Tara Belle Talking View all 14 comments. Sep 13, Melissa Ever So Mela rated it really liked it Shelves: buddy-reads , epic-fantasy , strong-leading-lady , too-cutewords , ya-romance , frilly-and-fluffy. But fate is a slippery thing, is it not? Paths do not only go one way. We choose which direction to take.
I refuse to believe that any outside forces can determine the course of my life. Sheer bliss for this was pure and utter fluff. I will not become Mama, dependent on a man who thinks himself better than her and grateful for the privilege of his condescension. She wants to get ahead in life and fights with nails and claws to do so.
My favorite kind of heroine, the kind that won't melt at the sign of testosterone. She's ambitious and headstrong and refuses to cowered by those who think themselves entitled. I don't think there is any other way to put it. He melted my heart with his vulnerability and made me smile with his unrelenting wit. He was adorable in every sense of the word. I can't help but gush and squeal. I'm tired of reading an amazing book to basically forget everything that happened by the time the sequel comes rolling along But I'm just saying.
Here we're given the awesomeness she just took your tittle Brit that was Eleanor and instead of outshining each other, they complemented each other's strong suits. Eleanor was funny and strong and constantly brought a smile to my face. Ok, so I bet you noticed I haven't mentioned the world building or the magic system. And that is because I refuse to do so It's glossed over and many other not so lovely adjectives. And had me hooked from the very first page. I do not resign myself to this fate. I claim it as my own. View all 23 comments. Jun 19, Katerina Kondrenko rated it liked it Shelves: historical-and-retro , magic , female-friendship , jebs-seths-mals , seeming-love-geometry , out-of , book-boyfriends , my-ship-is-burning-slow , pages , fantasy.
One is a madman who tortured me and promised to make me love him forever. The other is a madman who gave me his shadow and lives to make my life difficult. As if some plot-pieces were cut off.
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I needed more tension between main characters, more details of their romance, more information about magic, and more impressive final. But I was completely happy with the writing style I will definitely read other books by this author. The story felt like a sketch, but a good one, and it's about a dark-skin girl among white nobles.
Her kin were colonized by Albion, she is a bastard daughter of local professor and, after blackmailing him a little, she got a place in Albion's university. It's not that easy for someone like her to live in a snob-society, but she has a goal to become a teacher after returning on her island and nothing would stop her on this way. Nothing except magic-danger. I can't say you more about the plot, because of spoilers the length of Illusions of Fate is supposed that something important is happening from the very beginning. But I'll try to express my feelings.
Important note : this is a historical fantasy. The world inside the book is a mix of a real one and a high one. So don't try to find Melei on maps, I had tried and then got the point Now to the characters. Miss Jessamin is a nice heroine: clever, not whiny despite the amount of problems she has to deal with everyday , reasonable and strong. Sometimes I wanted her to be less independent or stubborn. She had got in trouble, someone was offering his protection, she refused and brought on her head even more problems.
It grows old sooner than later. Mister Finn aka lord Finley Ackerley is mysterious, vulnerable and honorable and handsome, if anyone cares. Tortured hero with a dark past. Cliche much? I didn't care and have nothing wrong to say about him and his behavior. Too bad he wasn't in focus quite all the time.
Jessamin and Finn. These two have a pretty chemistry and I adore their dialogues. Romance between them wasn't developed as good as I'd love, but I felt them and for them. Without her this book wouldn't be the same, she's really funny and can't stop teasing Jess and especially Finn there is a good reason and it calls 'shadowing', it happens when someone's shadow fused with a shadow of another person, I believe you know what it means. Other heroes are nice, but serve as tools and no more. They say what they have to say at the right moment, they appear when it's needed, they die for the sake of plot-twists and act for the same thing.
It wasn't annoying, though. But the book could have more details and lines. The plot has slow- and at the same time fast-burning romance, witty-banters, creepy birds and a loyal Sir Bird, comical and dangerous situations, magical things and so on. It's not tedious, but not epic too. I don't know what you would make of the book's ending , for me it was kinda far-fetching.
Overall , Illusions of Fate is an enjoyable read with historical decorations, ancient magic, colonization topic and a battle for power. I don't think you'd regret reading it, but I can't promise you'll fall for it either. Sep 25, Keertana rated it really liked it Shelves: swoooon , kick-ass-heroines. If you, like me, dismissed Illusions of Fate because White's debut, Paranormalcy, released when I was just thirteen and my young, teenage self fell head-over-heels for it. Admittedly, it didn't contain a love triangle and, at the time, that was enough to get me to enjoy it.
Its sequels, though, quickly highlighted the fact that White's premises was not nearly as original as I thought and neither was it nearly so well-executed. W If you, like me, dismissed Illusions of Fate because Which is why it is a pleasant surprise for me to admit that Illusions of Fate is well-written, romantic, and surprisingly unique. White's stand-alone follows Jessamin, a young woman who arrives in a foreign country, Albion, looking out-of-place with her dark skin and black hair and resolves to pursue her education.
Jessamin's relatively poor, island home is home to many women who gave birth to half-Melei, half-Albion children and Jessamin, one of them, has grown up learning the customs, language, and traditions of her father's country. A father who has never acknowledged her and a country she feels no kinship with.
Thus, when we meet her, Jessamin is working with a cousin of hers, using the wages she earns to pay for a small room and her admittance into school. She is contemplating the dreariness of Albion, a country whose temperament and society are similar to our own Victorian England, when she bumps into Finn. Outside the ring of flaming torches, the nighting sky resembled the charred insides of the cave where he bedded down his sheep and goats. Panic clutched at his stomach.
He had never been alone in the dark. Not even when hunting the wild three-horned boar. To contemplate walking alone amongst the mist-filled gravel pits without a firebrand to light his way, and then, if he did not slide into a stony grave, to face an unfriendly cluster was daunting. He shook his head to rid it of his faint-hearted thoughts and called himself tremble-squirrel and tail-less skat to shame himself for his cowardice.
Wasn't it the same for every young Easterner when they reached pushing-over season? Wasn't each of them feasted and feted beneath the Moon Goddess, and then at middle-nighting, Pushed-Over the border? Hadn't it been the same for thousands and thousands of seasons? Wasn't his own Pushing-over feast being set out in the Ceremonial Tent this very moment? Hadn't his mother, Wing, cooked non-stop for five sunnings? Indeed many of the sweetmeats and fruit puddings had been baked earlier than that so they could soak in the fermented wine of the much-loved Western Zone golden figs. His pushing-over feast would be a grand and much talked about affair; Wing was a famed presenter of food, and his father, Thorn, had invited every Zoner family they were connected to.
When his pushing-over time came there would be many hands, and not all friendly ones--possibly no friendly ones--to help Wing and Thorn push him into the Arid Zone. He would miss Wing. She, who'd protected him from those who would have banished him to the Wilderness Mountains, or would have killed him because of his differences. Yet it was one of his differences--his near-white hair--that had allowed him to stay longer in his home zone than was normal. The pale hair hadn't grown upon his face until his seventeenth year, which was much later than his double brothers, who were Pushed-Over at fourteen when the dark hair on their upper lips could no longer be hidden.
He had not lived with Ant or Bird for five summers, and had only seen them from a great distance when they came to trade at the Eastern border. Now, as he stared across at the invisible gravel wolds that surrounded the gravel pits, he wondered if he would recognise Ant or Bird. He also wondered how they were feeling about him joining their cluster.
Ant would be against it. Bird perhaps not so virulently opposed, but not happy either. Neither brother had liked him overly much. They had never invited him to play with them as they did other similar aged offspring. They had not cared for the teasing they received for having a freak for a brother. They had not wanted him with them while they tended the animals or roamed the hillsides hunting the wild three-horned boar. When Thorn insisted they take him with them, Ant had always blamed Fish when they returned empty-handed. Angrily, he would swear that grass-eyed Fish had brought them bad fortune.
That he had called up the honey-twitterer to warn their quarry that they were close by or that he had cast the evil eye on them. Two evil eyes, Bird had echoed, as the colour green--other than for animal pastures and trees--was believed to be evil. From an early age, when he heard them vowing that he was not their true blood sibling, he'd known they were ashamed of him. For although Wing dyed his hair and eyebrows with wild purple onion juice to darken them, his straight, thin nose and bright green eyes could not be disguised.
He was a Mega Throwback; and Ant and Bird had fought many a stone-throwing battle because of it. At his birth, as was done with all Outcasts, Thorn had advocated smothering him. It was the custom with all misshapen or handicapped new born. His mother's sisters had suggested abandoning him in the Wilderness Mountains for the carnivorous tree gorfs to eat, and the Lake Tsae villagers had agreed. But Wing had fought them all. She was almost past childbearing age, she argued.
This would be her last child. She would entitle him Fish, as he was born in the Cycle of the Fish deity, servant of the Moon Goddess, and she would raise him as an Eastern Zoner. And she had; but Thorn had never accepted him, Ant and Bird had openly disliked him and the villagers just tolerated him.
Yet without these double brothers he would not survive the harsh living of the Arid Zone. A quarter of the Pushed-Over Zoners didn't. His older sister, Grass, had lost her body-spirit within four seasons and Wing had sung her death-song for the same amount of sunnings. Fish did not remember Grass, as he was only seven years living when she was Pushed-Over, but he remembered Ant and Bird. Both had the same dark brown hair curling to their shoulders or tied back in Eastern fashion, wide hooked noses, deep brown eyes and arched brows, all inherited from their father.
But as alike as they were outwardly, they were the opposite inwardly. Ant, demanding and bossy, insisted on being right and always first; Bird, the handsomer, quiet and thoughtful, accepted his brother's leadership, and always there at his shoulder to back him up. Only then could they return to their Eastern Zone village, and only then if they had stolen a female from another cluster to bring back for their Joining Ceremony. As their Crossing-Back time would be before Fish's Crossing-Back time, Fish wondered if they had chosen their females and if the females had agreed.
He did not think of his own Joining Ceremony as most young males of his age did, because it was common knowledge that he would not have one. No female from his Eastern home zone or indeed from the Western or Southern Zones would agree to a Mega Throwback stealing her. As for him stealing a female from the Northern Zone To steal one of those untouchables was unthinkable.
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But if he did, where would they cross-back to? Neither zone would accept them. No, there would be no Joining Ceremony for him. This had been made clear by Thorn as his pushing-over time drew near. If he lasted his sixteen seasons in the Arid Zone, he could not cross-back without a female, so his only choice would be to go into the Wilderness Mountains and seek one there.
Should there be one to seek, as none had ever been seen other than the strange-limbed freaks exhibited by the Wilderness Circus and the disgustingly dirty Wilderness Circus gypsies. But that was in the future, and Fish had enough to worry about; what with the crossing of the gravel pits and the finding of his double brothers' cluster. A small child, tugging on the back of his leather jerkin, told Fish in an awed voice that the Pushing-over Feast was ready. Fish arrived at the Ceremonial Tent as the guests were jostling each other for places on the benches set around the long table.
Their happy voices, shrill with the expectancy of Wing's food, filled the goat-skinned tent, making it billow outwards with the force of their laughter.
Fish took his place between Thorn and Wing and watched the tent's walls suck and flap, and knew that it wasn't their laughter that caused it. It was the East Wind skimming down the Wilderness Mountains. The mischievous East Wind that couldn't wait to help push-him over into four years of inhospitable living as a scavenger of Megalopolis's rubbish tips. Wing's table was covered with wooden bowls jammed against clay bowls and carved platters jammed against woven platters, all stacked high with delicacies.
Dishes were set out on the earthen floor for the children. In a corner four musicians played on Western Zone string and reed instruments. Musicians were an unusual expense but Thorn could afford to be generous, especially as he would be more than pleased to see the back of his third son. Fish had no illusions about his father. Thorn had fed him, trained him in the traditions of their home zone village, taught him to hunt and fight, and on cold nightings sitting around their home tent fire, had passed on memories of his time as an Outcast. But he had never loved him. He had never laughingly tossed him in the air as he had Bird and Ant.
He had never held him on his knee to played finger and string games as he had his nephews and nieces, or rocked him the way he rocked little Flea. Fish knew that having sired a Mega Throwback would always be an embarrassment to Thorn, and that to not have him sleeping in his home zone tent any longer was reason enough for the buying of copious food and the paying of expensive musicians.
Wing watched her youngest son with loving eyes. As this would be the last time for many seasons that his stomach would be full, she tapped his arm to get his attention.
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When she could push no more food into his mouth, and everyone at the table had eaten so much their stomachs were tight and painful, Fish's younger male cousins came for him. Full of excited importance at being the ones to prepare him for his pushing-over, they argued among themselves as to who should lead him to the Dressing Tent. Finally the second eldest took hold of his sleeve, but not his hand.
They never touched his hand. Inside the Dressing Tent he was handed a pair of flax leggings, a blood-red pushing-over kilt, three flax shirts--worn one on top of the other--a pair of sturdy sandals that tied around his ankles, and a goat-skin belt to hold his knife and five-piped flute pouches. These clothes would have to last until he outgrew them or wore them out. There would be no more except for cast-offs gleaned from the Mega's rubbish. Outside the Dressing Tent a bevy of young female cousins waited to lead him back to the Ceremonial Tent.
They wander through life blissfully ignorant of the supernatural world around them. Nora Jacobs is different. Nora knows exactly what kinds of hellish creatures haunt the streets of Detroit. Thanks to a unique set of psychic abilities, Nora has managed to steer clear of the underworld most of her life. But all that changes the night the most powerful vampire in the city discovers her gifts and decides to use her as a tool to find one of his missing clan members.
Brynn of Haversey is a spirit whisperer - a person blessed with the ability to see and speak to the dead. In the country of Amerin, she's one of a select few with magical gifts known as whisperers. Every year, the Royal College accepts a small number of new students, all magically inclined, all whisperers. Competition is brutal and the classes, nearly impossible to pass for a half-breed angel with two left feet and a massive pair of black feathered wings.
My name is Ruby Morningstar. I run a tattoo parlor in Portland with my best friend, have a pet raccoon, a crazy ex who stalks me, not to mention this one little thing I'm a demon. Half-succubus, to be exact. For the last 23 years of my life, that's the story I believed, but on the day a handsome stranger bails me out of jail my world is turned upside down, and suddenly I don't know who I am anymore.
Because the Four Horsemen aren't the bringers of the apocalypse. Growing up, I've always lived on the wrong side of the tracks. I'm used to the stares, name calling, and disrespect. A tragic accident that leaves me short three of the only people I've ever loved has me devastated enough to try to end my own life. Just when I think there's no hope, I find a reason to live again, or four of them as a matter of fact. Lucas, Maverick, Teagan, and Goose.
But what happens when those bonds are tested? I'm not so sure that I'm strong enough to take yet another blow to the heart. My name is Kendall Davis, and what if my story doesn't have a happy ending? Surrounded by powerful Valkyries, Emberly's wingless status is viewed as a curse. She never expected to be more than a slave and a training subject for the warriors. A chance rescue by the princes of Ardenia changes her life - but is it for the better? Thrown into a world of politics, legends, and bigotry, Emberly must try to find a way to survive.
With the help of the princes - Suneel, Jett, Blaine, Hunter, and Flynn - she begins to learn not only about life outside of the barracks, but about what it truly means to be loved. I've always felt like an outsider. Until my 18th birthday, I didn't know how true that was. First, I started seeing strange things. Then, the tips of my ears began to shift.
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