Chosen to become a surrogate – one of the girls destined to bear a child for the royals to ensure the survival of that class, Violet is facing a life of unimaginable luxury. Or that is the story. But Violet is not sure – her status though privileged is that of a slave surrounded by secrets. It is a world of deceit, politics and danger. She must escape, but how?
Set in a dystopian imagined world in which the Royals – the founding families – live in the centre of a walled city; a bubble of luxury and a hotbed of intrigue. Inbreeding prevents them having children, they have to resort to surrogates. It is a clever idea and neatly handled. The structure of the imagined society follows well-established patterns while Violet is the traditional free spirited heroine determined to escape. Inevitably this will have a cost. Readers will have to wait until the next volume to learn how devastating this will be. Yes, it is the first in a trilogy and ends on a real cliff-hanger. It will certainly catch the attention of teen readers – especially girls – Violet is an attractive character, the plot intriguing. However, I found the author’s decision to present her tale both as first person and in the present tense a barrier to my willingness to succumb to the storytelling; others may find this style less irritating.