Book: The Beholder by Anna Bright
Published June 2019 by HarperTeen|435 pages
Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library
Series: The Beholder #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.
But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.
From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.
I wasn’t sure about The Beholder at first, but I ended up really liking it! It’s a pretty cool book, and I’m glad I read it.
Selah has an interesting journey, and the book in general reminded me of a fairy tale combined with an alternate history of the world. I wish I could more specific but the book really felt like it was an alternate world and yet, it was a lot like ours. There’s New York, the Potomac, Russia, England, King Arthur, Baba Yaga…I could go on and on about the myths and stories we see in the book.
Everything was done pretty well, and it was fun trying to figure everything out, and how everything was connected to stories I was familiar with. It makes me wonder if there references to stories I’m not familiar with, and what we’ll see in the next book. I wonder if we’ll meet the other suitors, or if Selah will try to not go meet them. And with what was really going on with everyone on her ship, I’m curious to see what will happen.
I’m not sure about the time period the book is supposed to be set in, because there are some very familiar places, but also some pretty unfamiliar ones as well. I’m having a hard time with that, because it feels so old, but it also feels modern in a way. Either way, it’s a pretty interesting read.
I feel like it’s definitely set up that she’ll have to pick someone to marry, and I’m honestly not sure who I would choose. She could go with anyone, and I’m glad that, for once, it’s not obvious who’s she going to go with. After what happened in England, I’m not sure if she’ll go with him, but it really seems like she’s genuinely into both guys. We’ll see what happens, of course, and I’m intrigued. The next book feels so far away, but I’ll definitely wait and see, because I really want to know what happens.
4 stars. I really liked The Beholder, and liked the combination of places and myths that come to life in this book.