HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY TO KIERSTEN WHITE and ILLUSIONS OF FATE!!! This book. This book. When Kiersten characterized the hero as "Howl meets Mr. Darcy" I said GIVE IT TO ME NOW. Only, you know, politely. Pleeease give it to me now. Please?
And because Kiersten is lovely she did give it to me (thank you thank you thank you) and I spent a marvelous couple of days with said hero...and the heroine too of course whose book this actually is. And you should too! I love historical romance, and I love historical romance with magic even more, so this was a big treat. The system of magic is intriguing, the setting is wonderful, and the romance swoony. Stephanie Perkins called it "an absolute delight--a magical, sparkling, dangerous world with witty repartee and a romance that will light your heart on fire."
The back of the book says this:
"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."
The people of Albion are different from anyone Jessamin has ever known: harsh, uptight, and obsessed with wealth and rank. Jessamin knew as much when she left her sun-drenched island home to attend school in their gray, dreary, country. But she had no idea how different they truly were.
She never thought she would discover a house with doors that open onto a hundred corners of the city or a book that spends its days as a bird. She certainly never expected to become a pawn in a political and magical power struggle between the sinister Lord Downpike and the handsome, charming Finn Ackerly. And she never so much as imagined she'd win Finn's affections--or that one day his shadow would follow her every step.
Fortunately for Jessamin, fate has other ideas...
Publisher's Weekly describes the plot thus:
"White (A Chaos of Stars) claims the influence of Jane Austen on her latest fantasy, but the hero, Finn, is less reminiscent of Mr. Darcy than of Dorothy Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey — all nervy blond elegance. Like Wimsey, Finn has a nameless role to play in keeping the empire out of war (in this case, the magic-wielding nation of Albion). Finn falls in love at first sight, most inappropriately, with narrator Jessamin, an illegitimate 'island rat' whose father is a professor in Albion and whose mother is a marriage-obsessed native of Melei, a colony. Jessamin has blackmailed her father to gain entrance to an exclusive school, but she works in a hotel to make ends meet, a situation that allows for riffs on A Little Princess as Finn — and Finn's enemies — inflict their attention and wealth on her."
So celebrate this book birthday by going out to the bookstore or library, or ordering yourself a copy of ILLUSIONS OF FATE!