From New York Times bestselling author Amy Ewing (The Jewel) comes the exciting first book in a new fantasy duology. Rich, vivid world-building and ethereal magic combine in an epic tale that’s perfect for fans of Snow Like Ashes, These Broken Stars, or Magonia.
Sera Lighthaven has always felt as if she didn’t quite belong among her people, the Cerulean, who live in the City Above the Sky. She is curious about everything—especially the planet that her City is magically tethered to—and can’t stop questioning things. Sera has always longed for the day when the tether will finally break and the Cerulean can move to a new planet.
But when Sera is chosen as the sacrifice to break the tether, she feels betrayed by everything in which she’d been taught to trust. In order to save her City, Sera must end her own life.
But something goes wrong, and Sera survives, ending up on the planet below in a country called Kaolin. Sera has heard tales about the dangerous humans who live here, and she quickly learns that these dangers were not just stories.
Meanwhile, back in the City, all is not what it seems, and the life of every Cerulean may be in danger if Sera is not able to find a way home.
About the Author
Amy Ewing earned her MFA in Writing for Children at the New School and received her BFA at New York University. The Jewel started off as a thesis project but became her debut novel, the first in a New York Times bestselling trilogy. The other books are The White Rose and The Black Key. She lives in New York City. Visit Amy online at www.amyewingbooks.com or on Twitter @AmyEwingBooks.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I honestly can’t wait for the sequel!! Why did you leave us on a cliffhanger like this!! Hahaha <3
Will keep you enthralled
The Cerulean has an interesting world-building style that makes it sort of fantasy, sort of mid-20th century, and sort of space sci-fi. While the story begins in the City Above the Sky, which can best be described as a parthenogenic lesbian alien city moving from planet to planet, we go down to one of the two continents of the planet it is hovering over - Kaolin. When curious, misfit Sera is chosen as the sacrifice for the Cerulean to break the tether (which is like a link to the planet below, exchanging resources like a vein), she does so with the greater good in mind. However, she survives the fall, and is instead captured by two of the other main characters, a set of twins - Agnes and Leo, who are the biracial children of one of Kaolin's theater owners, Xavier, who wants to use Sera for his traveling circus show. Meanwhile, Leela, Sera's best friend back on the City, is learning a bit more about her culture and the secrets behind the Cerulean's life. One thing I liked a lot about the book was how it was a bit unexpected, and also that it discards some tropes. Another fact is the sexual diversity - while Sera discovers she is heterosexual (through a handsome actor, not Leo), Agnes is a lesbian and Leela is, well, sapphic in a sapphic utopia. The story is also unpredictable, especially in the second half, making it for an exciting read. I must say, though, that getting there is slow - the start and much of the first half takes some time to actually get into a good pace, and takes some effort to wade through; there was too much about the description of the City Above the Sky, when all that information about it could have been seen later on through Leela's POV. Agnes' perspective, meanwhile, is 'independent girl stuck in a stuffy misogynistic society' and she seeks to go to her mother's homeland to pursue the sciences. Leo's development is to get out from the shadow of his father and stop seeking that jerk's approval, and also to stop being such a frat bro. There is practically no romance in the book (but Leo and Agnes have their crushes) which was a win for this book as there were other more important things. For a lot of the second half, the plot is about getting Sera out from Xavier's clutches, so the story also feels like a part, not a whole. It is obviously set up to be a duology, so the ending seems more like an intermission. There were some parts that I felt like it took too long for the characters to realize - like how the magic of the Pelagan creatures obviously came from the City, or the link between the sleeping sickness and population control. We still haven't seen the Pelagan part of the continent, which is going to be the next book, but as far as we see from this book, it seems to be a more liberal land. Which brings me to the thing that poked at me - the way the cultures of the two continents were constructed seems pretty racist. Kaolin, the island that has POC (brown-skinned people) is more antiquated in their customs, and are restrictive and misogynistic, with homophobia and a monotheistic belief system, while Pelaga (or whatever their name is) has a culture of white people, more open values (and gay islands) and their magic comes from silver people in the sky (angel much?) and are considered heretic by Kaolin standards. The religions may be swapped, but it is clearly a reflection of colonial differences, and I can't believe that a book that with attention to sexual diversity has such a glaring oversight when it came t