(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by HarperCollins on June 4th 2019
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
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.
The Beholder by Anna Bright is a book that as soon as I saw the cover, I put it on my TBR shelf. It is a beautiful cover and mirrors the description of the ship in the book! This is book one in a series and while I told myself I was going to hold on starting new series books until I finished a few, I couldn’t help myself. The summary sounded intriguing!
Selah is the main character and as the only daughter of the leader of her country, Potomac, she needs to find a husband who will help her lead her people when the time comes for her to step in for her father. Unfortunately for Selah, that time may come sooner than she thinks as her father’s health has be steadily failing. Another piece of the puzzle is Selah’s stepmother. She is clearly up to something and I’m willing to bet it is more than Selah really thinks. When Selah’s first choice for a husband falls through, her stepmother sends her away to find a husband across the Atlantic and if she doesn’t find one, she shouldn’t come home.
I liked Selah but I wished she was more willing to challenge those around her. She seemed to just go along with what everyone told her to do without once questioning or digging to see if there was something more to it. With that said, the last few chapters were fantastic in that she finally stood up and forced the people around her to give her answers, so I am hoping that continues on in book two. As for her husband options, we met 3 of them in this book…yes, 3. I’m not sure how I feel about her relationships as she really only has a few weeks before a decision has to be made and she moves on to the next one. I liked Bear and Torden but also think Selah is really just looking for a way to get back to Potomac…not to say she doesn’t have feelings for them, but she did move on really quickly from one to the next and I’m not sure how I really feel about it.
The other characters in this book are well developed and while the crew of The Beholder are keeping secrets from Selah, they still support and protect her when necessary. I loved how they all banded around her as they were leaving Bear and his family as it really showed Selah that while they might not always agree, they will be there when she needs them most. Lang, Captain of The Beholder, is definitely an interesting character and I can’t wait to see where things go with him. Some of his secrets are revealed at the end of this book but I guarantee we haven’t learned everything.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and Bright did a good job of keeping me interested in both the characters and the story. I’m definitely looking forward to book two so I can find out what happens with Selah and the crew of The Beholder as there appears to be a lot more story to tell. If you are looking for a new series to start, consider picking this one up. There’s action, swoony boys, and lots of secrets in the pages of this book…what more could you want!
Thank you to the publisher for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.