The Beholder is an homage to fairy tales. It celebrates stories. Their ability to weave a new reality, to inspire, to bring hope, and to spell ruin.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Beholder is a story about difficult decisions. It’s about being sent away to new countries, about having your worth determined, of having to navigate uncharted waters, being armed only with the stories within your heart. It’s a testament to the power of stories to reveal truths about our lives. For legends to become reality. For hope to be (re)kindled and for love to bloom – or wither.
It is lyrical, mixing elements and atmosphere from the fairy tales you may have grown up. I rarely read stories that evoke such nostalgia. That make me rememeber the joy, the wonder, the curiosity from a fairy tale from old. Selah is an empathetic character, driven by her love for her father, she is cast out by her stepmother to find a husband – or else. She is kind, generous, and learning how to walk on her own two feet, to navigate the politics, and the corners of her own heart.
The Beholder is, at its heart, a story about stories. Their ability to map our lives. Their possibility, just out of reach of our fingertips. But only on the edge of possible, a step away from teetering into our grasp, and for us to grip the handles of our destiny. Are we just characters in other people’s stories or can we place our feet firmly on our own path?
About the Author
I believe in woods, mountains, highways, cobblestones, roller coasters, dancing, concerts, cherry Pop Tarts, books, and magic. When I’m not reading or writing on my couch, I’m dragging my husband off on an adventure, communing with Salem (my kitten/spiritual familiar), or causing trouble at One More Page Books, where I work.