Title: The Beholder (The Beholder, #1)
Author: 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.
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.
At first I think of this guy (just by the name):
But, in reality, this is who Bear reminds me of:
The Beholder initially gave me vibes of The Selection and The Bachelorette, however, after reading this novel, it is completely different. The motivation is to help her father.
Selah’s story starts off like Cinderella with the evil step mom. Being the heir to Potomac, Selah poses a threat to her step mom’s soon-to-be baby. However, since Selah is a woman, it is best to have a man sitting by her side. Her best friend, Peter, seems like an easy shoe-in for her, but she is rejected and humiliated when making a proposal. With her reputation at stake, she has no choice but to travel abroad and find a husband somewhere else. Of course, her evil step mom helps profusely. The only problem is that everyone on the list is heir to the throne besides for one young man.
First stop is London to find the first Prince Charming, aka Bear. Bear, her bodyguard, is actually secretly the Prince the entire time. I loved this aspect of the story and wish it would’ve ended here. It proves that it doesn’t matter what your status is if the love is real. I totally understand why the King wanted things to play out the way they did and I don’t blame them, but Selah is all butt hurt about it. If she really loved him, she would understand, but she is all self-righteous. This is how the good guys are ruined. Girls like her! Don’t even get me started on how this ended. It makes me want to eat a whole bag of gummy candies.
Then comes Thor, aka Torden. Literally, I felt like I was watching the movie and the rivalry between Thor and Loki. Torden and Selah will never work. I don’t understand the chemistry. They have nothing in common and I feel like she is trying to change who he is. He actually is setting aside his responsibilities for her. Torden told her that his people come first, but we all know that wouldn’t be enough for her.
It was clear as day to me from the beginning that you were the one.
Things seem perfect for Selah and Torden. He promises to go to Potomac with her for a little while to save her father. And BOOM! Oden finds out that Selah’s crew on The Beholder are all rebels, so no proposal for you, sweetie. At least two people found a happy ending 😉
Selah is one of the most annoying protagonists. She says she wants love, but honestly, I feel like she is selfish. She leads these guys on and wants them to fall in love with her, but will always choose something else over them. There is always an excuse for it to not work. A good leader is patient and understanding. How can she rule a country and be a good leader when she can’t even afford to give the same to people she supposedly loves?
Something else confusing was the world-building. We have I’d guess 1800’s England and Nordic Thor. I’m not sure what the time period was. The countries seem to emulate the world today, but it is slightly confusing. There are so many alliterations to other fairytales or stories, yet these are from many different time periods. There just needs to be some consistency, and I found it hard to piece it all together.
A thousand tiny moments.
Yeses and nos that change the world.
The Beholder is a story about finding love, overcoming adversity, and loyalty. Bright makes readers swoon with the introduction of princes from all over. Perfect in their own ways, yet full of flaws. The emotions that Bright was able to pull from my black heart is why I rated it so high. Team Bear!