Book Review: The Beholder by Anna Bright

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.


Young Adult, Romance


435 pages


The first in the Beholder Series


June 4th, 2019




Owned E-Book






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Author’s Website


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’ll admit it straight out – this book only appeared on my radar because it was on BookBub and I haven’t been able to read in a book in ages and so I thought, hey, the cover is pretty so why not. I’m definitely glad that I took the chance. I will say that the book started off very slowly to me only because things happened so quickly that it was hard to really figure out what was going on and why I cared. It seemed one minute that Selah was proposing to Peter and then she was on a boat and she was very upset about it and I was like, what on earth just happened. The meat of the story is her journey and I think to get there had to be done quickly and I understand it but it definitely did not hook me right away. I think I read up until Selah leaves and then I stopped and came back to it a day or two later.

There’s also one teensy little thing that was really hard for me and that was the name of all the countries and leaders and stuff. I feel like its OUR world but in an alternate history but there were times where they were a ton of words I just didn’t understand and it felt incredibly distracting and it took me out of the story because I felt like I was missing something.

That aside, I did truly enjoy this book. I really liked Selah as a character, this sort of mousy, easily tricked character that is so unsure all of the time who blossoms into so much more. The first place that Selah visits is England and to me, everything just felt so wrong. It seemed like Anna was building this forbidden romance that we were supposed to root for but there was just something in my gut that made me feel like it wasn’t right and I didn’t feel like Selah was truly being the person I knew she could be. It just all felt so wrong. It felt like there was this one-dimensional goal but there was stuff behind the scenes that I needed to get to and I just wasn’t yet and I just kept wanting to be like, Selah, move on! England ain’t it!

But when Selah reaches her second destination, that’s when the book just really stands out, honestly. First off, all the characters that come into play here are just…so interesting and colorful and I love them. I love Torden – there was just something so incredibly genuine about him and I really adored him. I liked him better than the suitor in England – I’ve seen reviews where people are genuinely torn between the two but I was immediately sold on Torden. I also absolutely adored his family and I think that endeared me to this part of the book as well. I’m the oldest of six children and I know the chaos that is being part of a big family and how no one is perfect but you still love them anyway because you’re so close and you grew up in the same space as them. I really felt Selah come into her own in this part of the novel and I was here for it. This felt like the story beginning and I was at the edge of my seat wondering how on earth things were going to work.

There’s an underlining story revealed toward the end, the one I was itching at while Selah was in England, and I’m 100000% here for it, but I do wish it had come in a little earlier. It felt like an add on and almost like the main story could have held its own but then this was thrown at me and I was like, oh, okay, there’s a bigger picture here. Didn’t see that coming…But I’m interested in seeing how the second book will both wrap up Selah’s main story and this story that involves…way more people. The second and FINAL (so excited, I don’t think I could handle 3 books right now) comes out in June and I’m counting down the days.


4 out of 5 Stars


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