by Jody Hedlund (Goodreads Author)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.
My Review: 7/10
As I'm newer to Jody Hedlund's works, I'm not sure if she's done YA/Teen before. But I'm glad she is. I liked the morals and emphasis on character over looks (ewll, almost. I guess in that case, Rosemarie would have needed to believe that the man she was drawn to was NOT as attractive as his peers). I liked the christian themes, though there seemed to be more negative views than positive. But I always appreciate when authors approach the history of Christian religion, showing that there has been corruption in leaders- in flawed, imperfect people- but that does not mean that God is corrupt.
My only criticism is that I felt Rosemarie was dumbed down a little, perhaps for a younger audience? If that's the case, I think it's unnecessary and does more harm than good. Kids, teens, young adults rise to the occasion. Even as a teen, I preferred intelligent characters. If they were smarter than me, then I walked away having learned from them. Rosemarie, on the other hand, couldn't seem to figure out who the mysterious knight was, despite him mentioning his dagger and his talents with dogs. I mean, it was glaringly obvious pretty much immediately. Then there was her total lack of suspicion when characters started acting, well, suspicious and out of character. Innocence or naivete was not enough of an excuse for total lack of common sense. And she didn't seem as adverse to torture and she proclaimed; if she had been, she would have stopped at nothing less than running that sheriff out of town on his first offense. Really. If this is something you've had nightmares about for 4 years, something you can barely speak of, something you absolutely will not tolerate, you would not submit to your trusted advisor's mild mediation. This would be one issue you wouldn't back down from, if nothing else.
Other than those issues, it was a little graphic, heavy on the torture references, but again that's due to subject matter and time period. I didn't feel it was overly gorey.
Though I'll likely not read it again, it was still enjoyable and I hope to see more from this author in this genre.