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Desert Jewel

(Jewel Chronicles #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  49 reviews
She’s a princess, he’s an ex-slave. To survive, they must fight the all-powerful Elders, and Jaali's demons.


She’s a princess in a world of lush jungles and hellish deserts where the modern mixes with centuries-old traditions and superstitions. Taking a husband at the age of eighteen goes against every fiber of her being, but as a future monarch, she must follow
Published October 29th 2016 by Hot Tree Publishing (first published October 8th 2016)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  63 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Faith Rivens
I requested this book initially because of the beautiful simplistic cover, the promising premise, and the diversity of the characters. I read a lot of high fantasy, but I do not read too many set outside of European-esque worlds. It's something I working harder towards.

My thoughts in the end are conflicted. On the one hand, this was a brilliantly conceived world with visual imagery that sets the reader solidly into the world of Natale. The prose really is wonderful and manages to captivate.

Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars

Desert Jewel is a fantasy novel by Natalina Reis. There is so much happening in the story, from action, adventure, drama, romance, political power play, intrigue, Magical and Mystical beings, and so much more. The story takes place in a magical kingdom called Natale, in Africa.
Milenda is the Princess of her kingdom, the Jewel in the Crown and heir to the throne. She carries the heavy weight of responsibility and expectation- but she really longs to make her own path in life and break the
Jacquie (Rattle the Stars)
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Desert Jewel was an interesting story about love, survival and inner strength. Another impulse request on NetGalley, I was worried that it wouldn’t be as good as its fabulous cover artwork. However, I found myself staying up late at night just to finish it. I was captivated throughout and couldn’t help but keep turning the pages to see what would
N Swaffar
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
**Copy provided by Author/Tour Host, in exchange for an honest review**

***** 4.25 STARS *****

Desert Jewel is a captivating read of love and survival. It’s mellow, but intriguing and original. Milenda and Jaali met unexpectedly, but their love started fast and strong. The way they fell in love and stayed in love was sweet. Milenda is a princess who had to choose a winner from a dangerous trial that could kill any contender. But being a contender means, having a chance of being chosen as Milenda’
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ibbb-reviews
Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis Rated 4 stars

Milenda is the princess of Natale and since she is coming of age it's getting time for her to get married. In the past the Elders always hold the Trials in order to find good strong men. The princess is allowed to pick any of the men that finish the Trials or any other as long as they complete a couple criteria. The princess usually picks one of the finishers of the Trials. Milenda has met her true love and future consort, Jaali. He is a Professor of la
Jenni Bishop
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Milenda is the Jewel of the Crown of Natale and is set to become ruler. Ancient traditions state, she must select a husband upon her 18th birthday. Men vying for her hand must face the trial, which is set up in accordance with the Elders wishes. A trial that is as older than the Elders themselves and just as deadly but the men who face the trials do so without knowing that the odds have been stacked against them by these cruel and malicious old men. The men have presented themselves before the J ...more
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Desert Jewel written by Natalina Reis is a romance written in several points of views. This book was unlike anything I have read to date. The story was unique and different. The lead characters are Jaali and Milenda. Milenda is the princess of Natale and has to pick a consort/husband due to the traditions of her country. They have to go through trials that can be deadly for some. Milenda really wants no part of the barbaric custom but the elders are the ones who really rule so she's forced to go ...more
Anna Hirsch
Mar 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Desert Jewel by Natalia Reis
3 Stars

I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand the author did a fantastic job in her descriptions. The world of Natale is beautiful. The characters are both intriguing and different. The story is basically about the struggle of two people in love trying to be together. One is a princess who has to keep the needs of her people in mind, the other is an ex-slave who has a different outlook on life. On the other hand I think that the author chose to concentra
Stephanie Wilson
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Natalina has written a most astounding novel, a romantic fiction that blends what some might think quite disparate genres, African, mythological, magic, religious, monarchist and romantic. Natalina’s writing builds strong characters without being saccharine, gives you fantasy grounded in humanity.
‘Opposites attract’ may be a long standing romantic notion but the author makes is very believable with strong ties to how non-judgemental believes and practices will triumph. The yin / yang is reverse
Jean Martin
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am giving this book four stars and am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Hopefully it will be out soon.
Love has blossomed, a gift has been given. Milenda, the Jewel in the Crown of Natale has found the love of her life. The one she wants for all time. But, the course of true love never runs straight to quote the bard, and there is a catch. A trial to be exact. One which Jaali, Milenda’s love, must face before they can claim each other and Milenda can rightfully claim her
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I chose this book solely because the cover intrigued me. I did not know it’s classification until AFTER I read it and looked it up on Amazon. I was very surprised to find that it’s classified as an “interracial romance”. I would classify it more as Fantasy, maybe New Adult. At any rate, I enjoyed this story and it absolutely lived up to the cover art.
Desert Jewel is the story of a Princess who is destined to become ruler of her nation and has to choose a husband to rule alongside her. The way th
Sean Wright Neeley
A potential fairy tale

The book hooked me from the beginning. The author arouses all five senses with her vivid descriptions of colorful clothing, giant purring lizards, and the pungent odor of strong herbal tea. The lovers prove what happens with soul mates: a match made in heaven. Class, race, age do not stop two hearts that are linked by kismet. The sex scenes were steamy, but not too explicit. They built heat without making the reader feel like a shameful voyeur.

I also found the concept of re
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis
Four Stars

Desert Jewel is the first book I have read by Natalina Reis. I thoroughly enjoyed this love story with hints of intrigue, suspense and mystery. Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. I read it in one sitting. Ms. Reis developed a storyline that flowed and the character descriptions were detailed and entertaining.

Milenda, the Desert Jewel, princess of Natalie is come of age and must choose a husband. The Elders of Natalie choose trials that participant
Stefanie Carney
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Desert Jewel is a wonderful story about how far you will go for the other part of your soul. It reminds us that when you find the one that completes you they are worth fighting and surviving for no matter how bleak the world may seem. Set in a world like ours but with an almost medieval twist, this story will show you pure evil and how to fight it. It made me smile as I saw just how far people will go for love.
Milenda, the Crown Jewel of the country, is the heir to the throne of Natale, and she
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis was a deep and moving love story wound beautifully with magic and fantasy.

Princess Milenda is a princess unlike any fairy tale stereotype. Strong and independent. Unselfish and annoyed with the pampering and privileges that her station offers, she's gone against her Father and the Elders of her kingdom to attend university and broaden her horizons before she must choose her consort in the Trials. However, at the university, she meet Jaali, a former slave. The conne
Jean Lofaso
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The story and imagery made me feel that I was part of the story. A book perfect for romantics.
Spunky N Sassy
Spunky N Sassy Rating: 4.0

~~~~~~~~~~Lindsey's ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Review~~~~~~~~~~

This was an awesome fantasy story. It’s very different from anything I’ve read so far. I can’t wait for the next book.
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An African Story!!

I am really excited! I have been looking for an african story for a while now.
I can assure you that Africa says "Thank you!"
Nothing special but a nice easy read, might even buy the second book sooner or later. Plays in a fantasy version of Africa, which is always a plus with me.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome book. The premise of the plot was one I'd not read anywhere before and I was not disappointed. Characters were brilliantly written throughout as were the description of the locations. Very well written book ...more
Bethany Mcvay
Apr 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis is a fantasy novel that left me with mixed feelings.  Most;y good feelings, but still a little mixed.


First the plot.  It's a story about two lovers, Melinda the heir to the throne of Natale, and Jaali a slave in her kingdom.  Melinda and Jaail fall in love, but Melinda has to choose a husband from the remaining survivors of an ancient ritual that the Elders of her kingdom have stacked in their favor.  Jaali enters the Trial in hopes that he could be with Melinda, b
Apr 01, 2017 added it
I give Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis four stars.

Milenda is the Jewel of Natale, the heir to the throne. She has lived a content, if not lonely life. She has also been pushing boundaries and is doing more than a Jewel should do. She finally fought her way to get approval of going to college. But one tradition she has not been able to fight is that she will have to marry soon. And that the ones honored will have to be put through a very difficult journey to win her approval. Technically, after thi
Isis Ray-sisco
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Desert Jewel was a great read. I couldn't put it down once I picked it up. I enjoyed Jaali and
Milenda’s story. It was one wrought with peril. Their love was an enduring one that weathered a lot of storms. I have never read a book by this author before but I would like to read her other books. I like her writing style it flowed well and was very easy to dive into her story.

Milenda's life has always been planned for her. She is the heir to the throne. Everything she has ever learned or done has h
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis
Stars: 4

Milenda Nwosu is the Crown Jewel of Natale. Since she is the heiress of the throne, she is expected to select a consort from the survivors of the trials. Milenda hates the tradition of the trials even more since she already loves one of the competitors, Jaali. He is not a native born of Natale. He was brought to Natale when he was a child as a slave. As far as Natale’s Elders are concerned, these are only strikes against Jaali. No matter the danger or the obs
Stacie Catoe
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis

I must give this awesome book 5 stars!  This book kept me reading but also wanting to go slow so it would never end!  I love stories about young love and the trials and heartbreak involved leading to pure happiness.  Some of the words were difficult because i wasn't sure how they were pronounced or their exact meaning but there is a glossary of them at the end to help.

Milenda is the Princess of Natale and is almost to her 18th birthday.  She has to follow the old rit
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis was an interesting read. The primary character is Milenda who is the heiress of the throne of Natale. She meets Jaali, a former slave, while away at University. She has never had close friends. When she meets Jaali they form an immediate bond. She wants to be with Jaali but due to a ritual does not get the decision of who she will be with. The Trials and those who complete them are who Milenda must choose. This story is an interesting mix of fantasy, romance, and po ...more
Carissa Anelli
Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Desert Jewel
Natlina Reis

What do you do when you are royalty and quickly becoming of age and must choose a fertile spouse to continue the royal bloodline? It may seem easy you can pick any one you want from any walk of life but first there is the royal trials decided on and administered by the elders. This time the would be suitors will be dropped in the middle of desert with wild animals with minimal supplies and required to make their way back to the kingdom. When the suitors present themselve
Lene Blackthorn
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A YA fantasy with some mature content that has the potential to keep the reader alert.
Milenda is an heir to the throne, which means her future is already linked and decided upon. She has no real choices and lives up to expectations of others. Jaali, a former slave, did not recognize her immediately, and the princess’ planned and known life experiences a surprise. She falls in love with him, but once again the rules restrict her from this choice. She is expected to choose a husband from a group
Crystal aguilar
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great story!

  Desert Jewel by Natalina Reis is a great read full of love, hate, hope, joy, devastation, fantasy and magic all rolled into one wonderful story. Milenda is an Afrikan princess also known as the Crown Jewel of Natale…. she is also happens to be 17 years old. At the age of 18 she has to pick a husband, now this can be man from Natale who hasn't been married already and has passed a fertility test. Jaali is an ex slave who withstood years of hate and torment at the hands of a monste
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Desert Jewel is a quick read that seems to be geared towards young adult audiences interested in fantasy, but it also highlights on some mature topics including consensual and non consensual sexual topics.

Milenda is the Crown Jewel of Natalie, set in a constructed, fantasized Afrika. Jaali is an foreign-born, ex-slave who has endured unimaginable horrors and teaches at the local university where he meets the princess. Despite falling in love, Milenda must choose her husband from a set of conten
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