“The Beholder” by Anna Bright

Out now! Gorgeous cover alert!

I super liked this muchly. It was just a lot of romantic fun and fast-paced reading. It’s a bit of a fairy tale re-telling. Selah is “seneschal-elect” of her country and will inherit the title after her father. She is eighteen, a bookworm, naive, a loner, and knows nothing about the world around her.

Well, something huge happens and her world is shattered, destroyed, eyes opened, etc. etc. She is forced to start a journey which was engineered by her (evil) stepmother.

I won’t go into the specifics about her father and stepmother because it’s a major plot point. But the meat of the story finds Selah on a ship with a crew she doesn’t know, sailing for Europe to find… a husband.

On the outside, that might appear to be cringe-worthy, but it worked for me. This was fun escapism. The two suitors we meet are Bear and Torden. Bear hails from England and Torden is from Asgard. The world is a mish mash of our world and an alternate reality. Some places can be found on our maps and some have been changed or embellished. It’s fantasy, so why not?

I think Selah starts out with self-esteem issues, but she grows by the end. The insta-love might be a turnoff for some, but in my view, it made sense based on the circumstances.

The crew ends up being a rag tag bunch made up of all skin tones, gender, and ages. I don’t recall any LGBTQ rep whatsoever, but there was PoC rep.

A rebellion might be stirring against the imperial queen who I’m sure must show up in the next book. I’m really excited to see what happens next!

Thank you Edelweiss and publisher for providing a digital copy to read and review!

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