Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

d05ec217776d54c7d3b4f898caed07e4Jessamin is a quick-witted, sharp-tongued girl who is reluctant to move from her island home to the country of Albion. However, her resentment doesn’t last long as she finds herself pulled into a dangerous world of politics, power, status and magic. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a dashing young man clouded in mystery. With Jessamin in the picture, his political enemy sees his opening to make a move, and suddenly many lives hang in perilous balance — including her own. She discovers both friends and magic along the way, fighting to protect both so the nefarious Lord Downpike will not get an upper hand.

Author Kiersten White spins a complicated, heavily political tale. The book’s saving grace is its witty dialogue between charismatic, fleshed-out characters. At moments, the plot meanders, but this just allows more time for readers to delight in Jessamin and Finn’s adorable chemistry. I especially enjoyed reading Jessamin’s internal thoughts and commentary — this is a girl who knows how to stand up for herself and others. White subtlety hits on different topics such as gender equality, social status and political expansion.

The magic is gripping and tangible. With the references to teacups and rabbits, I was reminded of ALICE IN WONDERLAND. White writes with Lewis Carol’s instinct for capturing magical settings, picking out details that allow readers to visualize scenes in vivid detail.

While it’s easy to get lost in the long passages explaining political background, readers who hold on will be rewarded with an unexpected plot twist. Though their victory doesn’t feel earned, at least our two lovely main characters get to enjoy a satisfying ending. Young readers will enjoy ILLUSIONS OF FATE, a riveting page-turner with relatable characters and interesting concepts of magic.

First Published @


About Cassandra Hsiao

Cassandra Hsiao is a senior at OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and National Student Poets Program. She has been chosen as finalists of playwriting competitions held by California Young Playwrights, The Blank Theatre, Writopia Labs, and Princeton University. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in TeenReads, Jet Fuel Review, Feminine Inquiry, Aerie International and more. She also conducts print and on-camera interviews as a Star Reporter and Film Critic for multiple online outlets. She won a National Gracie Award in Student Online Video Host Category by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation .

Posted on September 3, 2014, in Books Review. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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