“Remember, we show courage in many ways.”
Due to her parents’ promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father’s enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents’ will left a second choice. If Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow.
Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the cloister is the best place after all. If only one of the knights the one who appears the most guilty had not already captured her heart.
I will admit that I was really looking forward to this book. I thought the cover was so intriguing, and the synopsis was just as attention-grabbing- knights competing for the hand of a beautiful damsel in distress, with one of them trying to destroy the others’ chances? Totally awesome!
Well, let’s just stop right there. All the knights are friends. Like, BFFs to the point of girliness, and one has even promised not to fight for the Lady Rosemarie’s love. He gets it anyway, but really, that’s pretty predictable. I expected battles and heated fighting between the three of them, maybe a duel or two to defend her honor. Nope. They just took turns taking her on picnics. The first half of the book was kind of dull, really, and I was hard-pressed not to skim the pages looking for some action. The historical accuracy was stellar, though, and I could tell that Hedlund did a lot of research before writing.
I also was not a great fan of the main character. Rosemarie seemed too naive and confused to be any kind of ruler, even when she was supposed to be groomed for that her entire life. Of course, I understand that her personality had to be that way to an extent to play a role, but she was so passive at times that I felt robbed of what a true emotion would bring to the book- the entire situation should have been very emotional, but we read as though she’s deciding who should be chosen as her personal bodyguard instead of her husband. The love story was a little flat for me, and I wish I would have been given more insight into Rosemarie’s emotion besides ‘Am I ready to be married?’
I did enjoy the mystery that emerged toward the end of the book. It added some spice, and gave my brain something to chew on while I read of picnics and meaningless gifts. Although I knew the knight accused did not commit the crimes (as mentioned, they made a pact, one not so easily broken), it was fun trying to figure out who the would-be killer would turn out to be and what his or her motivation was.
Overall, I did like this book, but I was glad it was short (254 pages) because I found that it dragged in several places. But that’s just my opinion- I would love to hear yours!
What to Watch:
Jody Hedlund is a well-known Christian fiction author, and this was her first foray into YA novels. What this means is that really, there was very little to watch. The only thing I would caution for younger readers is the violence. As it takes place in a medieval setting, one of the struggles Rosemarie faces is that of torture- that is, whether or not to torture criminals. The book opens on a scene of the sheriff disobeying orders and attempting to both boil a man alive and pull one to pieces. It’s not graphic and it is stopped, but in process. Rosmarie’s nursemaid is also tortured, and they are kidnapped. And of course, there is the final battle between the knights and ‘the bad guys’, which gets a little bit intense. Other than those occurrences, though, there is nothing else to worry about.
Personally, I liked this book, and I think it is a solid yes for readers with a sensitive conscience. No language, no graphic wording, no drugs- it’s all smooth sailing for those looking for a clean read.
Questions? Comments? Have a book you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and tell me what you think!