The Beholder

The Beholder

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: S...

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Title:The Beholder
Author:Anna Bright
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Beholder Reviews

  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink

    I really enjoyed this!

    The Beholder is an enchanting read, full of myths and folklore. The premise drew me in quickly. Basically, we have Selah, who is the Seneshal-elect of Potomac (meaning she'll be placed in charge one day). Potomac (from what I gather) is an island somewhere between the coast of England and New York. In order to rule, Selah must marry, but when she proposes to the boy she loves, well ... let's just say it doesn't go as she suspects. So, scrambling to fix things, her stepmoth

    I really enjoyed this!

    The Beholder is an enchanting read, full of myths and folklore. The premise drew me in quickly. Basically, we have Selah, who is the Seneshal-elect of Potomac (meaning she'll be placed in charge one day). Potomac (from what I gather) is an island somewhere between the coast of England and New York. In order to rule, Selah must marry, but when she proposes to the boy she loves, well ... let's just say it doesn't go as she suspects. So, scrambling to fix things, her stepmother orchestrates a journey across the sea aboard the Beholder, in order for Selah to find a suitable match.

    And she can't return until she's engaged.

    First of all, it wasn't what I expected at all. I don't know why, but I assumed it was a bunch of suitors on a ship together - hah, nope! Captain Lang, who Selah's stepmother hired, forces Selah along to each required stop. If Selah misses one, she risks offending said country/royal family. Worse, one of the last stops is extremely dangerous, where a scary Tsaritsya awaits. Knowing this, Selah hopes to find her fiancé in one of the first two stops, thus avoiding the third altogether.

    This book focuses mostly on the first two stops - and Selah's time aboard the Beholder, getting to know it's crew. I reaaaally enjoyed the first two visits, and I didn't expect to love each suitor! In fact, out of three potential love interests so far (I'm not telling you who my third ship is but you can probably guess if you know me at all) - I can't even decide who I want her to end up with. (Though I'm secretly awaiting meeting someone we've only heard about so far... considering Danger should be my middle name ...)

    Anyway, perhaps the best part was the twists! The book is full of fun little surprises - my favorite being the one on the first stop. Even though I saw it coming from early on, I loved it! I'm eagerly awaiting book two!

    My only complaint is that I was thoroughly confused by the world. We have England and New York and I'm assuming some alternate version of Russia and Sweden - but everything had different names and I was scratching my head half the time. I had a hard time telling what time period we were in as well. Soooo I think this was supposed to be a world * like ours * but not *exactly* ours? There were so many terms I couldn't quite grasp as well.

    Either way, it didn't stop me from enjoying the book! Honestly, I binged most of it within two days because it was that addicting! And the writing was beautiful - I looooved how it had a whimsical/lyrical feel at times, while also being easy to read and follow.

    All in all, a great read!

    ~

    ~

  • Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance

    Gorgeous book!!!

    This was such a lovely

    into one! My first to read one like this and I did not know it could be done. But it was and it worked so well!

    YA readers and fairy tale lovers don't let this one slip by, it is too enchanting of a read to be missed! And how about that cover? Simply stunning.

    Selah wants to give a budding love interest a beautiful public proposal but is turned down and humiliated. Being of marriable age, she is sent to f

    Gorgeous book!!!

    This was such a lovely

    into one! My first to read one like this and I did not know it could be done. But it was and it worked so well!

    YA readers and fairy tale lovers don't let this one slip by, it is too enchanting of a read to be missed! And how about that cover? Simply stunning.

    Selah wants to give a budding love interest a beautiful public proposal but is turned down and humiliated. Being of marriable age, she is sent to find her prince charming in a quest laid out for her by her stepmother.

    By ship and with a few possessions only, one of them a special book from her godmother, she is crossing the Atlantic to meet her prospective candidates from different countries and of various social statuses.

    From the showoff to the brave, everything is in the mix and the meet-ups vary in their intensity and all over setting and characters.

    Where can you read about so many new romances and fall in love with new characters in one book? Right here!

    But it isn't all as it seems to be at first. It never is.

    . From reaching the North to traveling the Mediterranean Sea, her quest may seem like a game to some but a dark plan hides deep within.

    As Selah receives word that her father lays very ill, tensions rise and someone close by betrays her. New friends she has made are in danger stemming of a deeply rooted Germanic conflict that needs resolve. Spinning a curveball into her plans, she not only contemplates love but also a higher purpose for life, honor, family, and friendships.

    Will she be able to find love and return to her father in time before his demise? With the stakes high her future hinges on swift decisions and sacrifices to be made...even if it costs her newfound love.

    ***

    This novel is super cute. I don't read romance novels but some YA. What drew me to this book was ultimately the cover. Yes,

    , admittedly. What I did not expect was the intrigue and beautiful imagined alternate realism of the countries visited and the voyage. Yes, there are tropes, the stepmother and the sick father, but the rest was an amazingly cute mesh-up.

    Certainly entertaining, love the worlds and vile characters and I want to read the next book as

    with:

    So, tapping my fingers, waiting...

    Anyhow, give it a try. It's lovely :)

    More of my reviews here:

  • Angelica

    Now let's move on to this review.

    Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting Anna Bright at a Stephanie Garber book signing in Washington D.C. She seemed nice and was super excited about her upcoming novel and it made me super excited about it as well. So, you can only ima

    Now let's move on to this review.

    Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting Anna Bright at a Stephanie Garber book signing in Washington D.C. She seemed nice and was super excited about her upcoming novel and it made me super excited about it as well. So, you can only imagine my excitement when I was granted the opportunity to read an ARC. 

    Then you can only imagine my disappointment when this book did not live up to the expectations raised by that beautiful cover and that interesting synopsis. This book was advertised as a mix between

    and

    That's about it.

    But false advertising wasn't really my main problems with the book.

    She's 18 years old and the next ruler of Potomac. She is the one that is supposed to lead her people into the future and keep the peace. She is also the least qualified person to do this. Her kingdom would probably thrive more without her so maybe I don't totally blame the stepmother for trying to send her away.

    Selah is the kind of person who trusts people based on their looks and falls in love days after meeting a guy. She's the kind of person who storms out of rooms when things don't go her way and who sits by and sort of just lets the plot happen to her. She's supposed to be the next leader of her people but instead of spending her time learning to lead she spends it reading fairytales and gardening.

    I'm so tired of YA trying to push the idea that all you need to be a leader is to be a nice person. Or that being noble and humble makes you qualified for anything.

    Then there was the world building. I was so confused. This book takes place in a world that is geographically like our own. The continents are all there, but they are also all different, arranged in different ways and given different names. There are different histories and myths and all of it is shaped in a different way. And I didn't understand any of it.

    There were moments where I thought I knew what was happening, and then moments where I had no idea where we were or what was going on.

    In the end, I didn't love this book. I wanted to, but no matter how beautiful this cover might be, I just couldn't fall into it the way I wanted. And yet, I was actually entertained while reading, hence my rating.

    I think this book had amazing potential and think that there will be many that like it. That said, go into it at your own risk and after taking all of this into account. I hope you all have better luck with it.

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  • Umairah | Sereadipity

    It's important for people to know exactly what they're getting into, so to avoid confusion:

    . Rather, it incorporates

    into the storyline. Also, it is most certainly

    - the characters travel on a ship to far away lands and

    but the similarities end there.

    The Beholder was an

    novel, set in a world slightly similar

    It's important for people to know exactly what they're getting into, so to avoid confusion:

    . Rather, it incorporates

    into the storyline. Also, it is most certainly

    - the characters travel on a ship to far away lands and

    but the similarities end there.

    The Beholder was an

    novel, set in a world slightly similar to ours but heavily influenced by

    and

    . It

    but it was still

    I did enjoy reading it.

    The story followed

    , the seneschal-elect of Potomac. After an embarrassing rejection, her troublesome step-mother forces her to travel across the ocean and meet a myriad of

    in various countries that she must choose from in order to 'do her duty'. Selah seemed like the average teenager trying to find her place in the world. She was quite

    ,

    and had a great love for fairy tales. During the duration of the book she

    and comes into her own which was a pleasure to see. However, some of her and the other characters' actions were very

    and the romance element was

    but

    .

    It wasn't amazing but

    and the ending leaves many

    which I hope will be answered in the next book.

  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]

    Buckle up, folks. This isn’t going to be a review.

    Let me start with my biggest issue. They seem to have taken it off the blurb now,

    And, here is the key, frustrating thing:

    Buckle up, folks. This isn’t going to be a review.

    Let me start with my biggest issue. They seem to have taken it off the blurb now,

    And, here is the key, frustrating thing:

    I can only assume that whoever came up with that marketing ploy has never read either

    or

    The only reason I didn’t DNF this thing, and thus give it one star, is because I was waiting to see if it suddenly turned into gods and sea monsters near the end. (Spoiler: it didn’t).

    There are a lot of other problems with this book, too. Let me start with the biggest one: our heroine, Selah, Seneschal-Elect of Potomac. Selah has got to be

    Let’s catalogue her multiple issues:

    ✴️

    She actually thinks she’s in a fairy-tale:

    She trusts some random man because he has ‘kind eyes’, she distrusts someone else because they ‘smirk’. You know how in Disney films, you always know who the villain is, because they’ll always look evil? Well, to Selah, life IS a Disney film. Considering she’s supposed to be the next ruler of her people, I pity the folk of Potomac. All it’s going to take is one trustworthy-looking con artist, and BOOM – there goes the country’s budget. Linked to this is the fact that she’s a huge idealist. All three boys that she has a crush on throughout the course of the book – Peter, Bear, and Torsden – are described as ‘flawless’ and ‘perfect.’ STOP IDOLISING THEM, GIRL.

    ✴️

    Like I said, she’s the Seneschal-Elect, so she’ll be Seneschal when her father dies. She’s going to be a ruler, a diplomat. Which involves NOT spilling out your heart and soul to every-bloody-body you meet, which involves NOT crying in front of foreign delegations constantly, which involves a measure of

    I realise Selah grew up very sheltered, but surely these basic tenets have somehow impressed themselves upon her? Apparently not. Her emotions were on display for all to see, and

    SO BADLY. She is going to be a shite Seneschal, because with the way she loudly broadcasts what she’s thinking and feeling, manipulating her will be easier than taking candy from a baby. She also gave her heart away FAR too easily – undying love is declared for at least two boys in the book, one of whom she’s known for a week. Helloooo, insta-love.

    ✴️

    She knows that the crew tasked with ferrying her to all these countries to meet suitors are up to something shady. But she doesn’t even try to do anything about it. You know how Scarlett O’Hara’s motto is ‘I’ll think about it tomorrow?’ Yeah, that’s Selah. Why discover today what you can discover never? Who cares if it’s happening right under my nose and is clearly deeply shady? It was so painful to read about how easily Selah was put off from finding out anything about what was happening directly in front of her. She doesn’t do a single thing throughout the whole book.

    I can’t remember the last time I encountered such a weak, easily led heroine. Literally EVERY SINGLE THING THAT HAPPENS is done by other characters. The more I think about this, the more I realise how bad it really was. It was pathetic.

    Alright, I think I’m done with Selah. Let’s move onto the worldbuilding.

    It took me far too long to situate myself within the temporal frame of the world in The Beholder. There were clearly no planes, or electric light, etc. Selah is shocked to learn about what a radio is. So: old-fashioned. But then characters said things like ‘barf’ and ‘sure thing’, which in the context became ridiculously anachronistic. You can’t have it both ways!

    Selah’s attitude towards marriage was also

    We’ve already established that this is a world where modern amenities don’t exist, where even though she’s going to be a female ruler she’ll need a husband by her side. But she acted like a potential suitor who was nine years older than her was a huge travesty. Um, no? In the actual nineteenth century, which this book was pretending to be set in, you were lucky as a ruler if your spouse was only nine years older than you! King William IV was

    older than his queen, and that wasn’t even that shocking!!!

    This book

    between old-fashioned and anachronistic. Not in a way that made Selah look like a feminist, just like a fool. Another example: she’s left her country to choose from a short list of pre-approved suitors (she doesn’t even know who’s on the list until it’s given to her), and then they’ll have a week of chaperoned courtship. Typical historical stuff. She’s making a political alliance to benefit her country, and she never once demurs. But suddenly, when it comes to her friend Anya, she’s all ‘Girls aren’t commodities! Let Anya marry whoever she wants, stop seeing her as a diplomatic chess piece!’ She’s apparently utterly blind to the fact that she is ALSO a diplomatic chess piece, and her rant didn’t feel assertive or feminist. Just

    The writing was

    . When it came to relationships, there was lots of telling, not showing. Selah somehow feels like every one of the crew members of

    is her family.

    The crowning moment came when she declared that Skop, a boy she’s exchanged three words with since she first met him, was like a brother to her. No wonder she falls in love at the drop of a hat, if people she’s spoken twice to mean that much to her. In fact, every single member of

    ’s crew feel as

    Because I was slightly charmed by this thing the author did, where there was an allusion in many of the characters’ names. Perrault, Anderson, Homer… there’s even a horse named Cotton Nero, which is the manuscript

    comes from. Speaking of

    there was a weird little attempt to weave in elements from that story, but it fell very flat. I’m honestly not sure why it was even there.

    The description of Norge was also great, but the one of Winchester severely lacking in terms of making me feel like I was actually there.

    This book is, largely, a huge disappointment. Will I read the sequel? Probably not. Don’t be seduced by the cover, or its claims to be a retelling of any sort.

    -

  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    1. "fjords" is one of my #1 synopsis buzzwords

    2. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS FREAKING COVER, MY GODS

  • Chaima ✨ شيماء

    Hello 911, I'd like to report a premise that's specifically targeting my money

  • Emily May

    I will not be seduced by beautiful covers.

    I will not be seduced by beautiful covers.

    I will not be seduced by beautiful covers.

    I will not be seduced by beautiful covers.

    I will not be seduced by beautiful covers.

    I will not...

    👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀👀

    *Adds to TBR*

    Seriously, though.

    retelling.

    |

    |

    |

    |

  • Candace Robinson

    Me: Never judge a book by its cover!

    Me: I totally just did and want it now!

    Seriously when I saw this cover, I knew I had to have it! Then I read the blurb and was like, ohhhh I have to have it even more! I mean, The Odyssey meets Cinderella? Heck to the freaking yeah!

    Enjoyed the story here! The writing sucked me right in and I couldn't let go. Selah was a great character when it came to speaking up and being strong, doing what she believed in. Loved that! Now, when it came to boys she was a litt

    Me: Never judge a book by its cover!

    Me: I totally just did and want it now!

    Seriously when I saw this cover, I knew I had to have it! Then I read the blurb and was like, ohhhh I have to have it even more! I mean, The Odyssey meets Cinderella? Heck to the freaking yeah!

    Enjoyed the story here! The writing sucked me right in and I couldn't let go. Selah was a great character when it came to speaking up and being strong, doing what she believed in. Loved that! Now, when it came to boys she was a little weak. Boys! Boys! Boys! There were THREE boys she was infatuated in this book. Count them! One! Two! Three! I can't handle it! I will say it wasn't all at one time, though. I will also say that I loved them all, but still wished the book had only had one! But Torden, you are mine! 

    There were some very nice twists in here. Two I did not see coming, so dear author, kudos to you! I really liked Selah's crew on the ship and the side characters there were very well developed. Lang and crew were just so awesome! The world building with the pit stops they made on there journey gave me perfect visualization. But with the freaking ending, I can't wait for book two! Need ittttttttttttttttt!

  • Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)

    DNF @ pg. 217

    Video review -

    I’m sorry I’ve been DNFing so much recently but I’m also not sorry because I also have way too many books I really want to read to waste my time. To sum up why I DNFed: nothing happened.

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