Book Review: The Boundless by Anna Bright

Book: The Boundless by Anna Bright

Published June 2020 by HarperTeen|512 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: The Beholder #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

This breathtaking sequel to The Beholder will take you on a journey into a darkly sparkling fairy tale, perfect for fans of The Selection and Caraval.

When Selah found true love with Prince Torden of Norway, she never imagined she’d have to leave him behind. All because the Beholder’s true mission was a secret Selah’s crew didn’t trust her to keep: transporting weapons to the rebels fighting against the brutal tsarytsya, whose shadow looms over their next port of Shvartsval’d. A place Selah hoped she’d never go.

But gone is the girl who departed Potomac filled with fear. With a stockpile of weapons belowdecks and her heart hanging in the balance, Selah is determined to see the Beholder’s quest to its end.

I LOVED The Boundless!  It’s such a great sequel, and I didn’t think I’d like it as much as the first book.  I ended up liking it more!

I just loved the story, and in this book, we see Selah go into the heart of Baba Yaga’s home.  It’s definitely not a warm and welcoming place.  In fact, it’s probably the worst place Selah, or anyone else, could be.  What the tsarytysa does to hold onto her power…it’s horrible and not good at all.  Making her happy isn’t possible, and even the slightest wrong move can mean death.  I mean, you want her favor, but it seems like its so easy to lose.

I’m glad things worked out for Selah.  She found love, things are back to normal in Potomac, and people who do horrible things get punished for it.  I’m glad Selah’s stepmother is no longer in the picture, and I’m not at all surprised at what she did.  I can understand why she did it, which doesn’t mean that what she did was okay.  It’s not at all okay.  But I am glad that everyone knew what she did, and that Selah didn’t lose her father because of it.

Selah is such a different character in this book.  She’s grown and changed so much, and she has the strength and capability to do what she needed to do to get back home to her family.  She not the quiet, unsure girl we see in The Beholder, that’s for sure.  Though I hated how she treated Lang- I felt like she led him on, and I think he deserved better.  With Torden, though, it’s not like anyone else had a chance, but I still felt bad for Lang, who seemed to have feelings for someone who didn’t return those same feelings.

I just really loved this story.  I never knew what was going to happen next, and I really liked how we saw different stories woven in.  We don’t see nearly as many as The Beholder, but the one that stands out is one that reminded me of the 12 dancing princesses.  I really like how Bright incorporated that into the story and I think she did a great job at incorporating a lot of different stories into these books.  It was fun to see the variety of stories in the book, and you saw it right down to the names of the characters.

I’m really glad I read this one!  It was what I needed, and it’s totally worth reading.

5 stars.  I loved The Boundless, and it’s even better than the first book in the series!

Book Review: The Beholder by Anna Bright

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.