The Boundless by Anna Bright — ARC Review

The Boundless by Anna BrightSummary:

This breathtaking sequel to The Beholder will take you on a journey into a darkly sparkling fairy tale, perfect for fans of The Selection and Caraval.

When Selah found true love with Prince Torden of Norway, she never imagined she’d have to leave him behind. All because the Beholder’s true mission was a secret Selah’s crew didn’t trust her to keep: transporting weapons to the rebels fighting against the brutal tsarytsya, whose shadow looms over their next port of Shvartsval’d. A place Selah hoped she’d never go.

But gone is the girl who departed Potomac filled with fear. With a stockpile of weapons belowdecks and her heart hanging in the balance, Selah is determined to see the Beholder’s quest to its end.

Review: 3.5 Stars

I have been looking forward to this sequel since the moment I finished The Beholder. I loved the first book in this duology, but it did feel unfinished and I really needed the second book. This second installment was great, but it also felt quite different than the first installment. The Beholder was a light hearted and fun read that reminded me a bit of The Selection, but The Boundless felt more serious and wasn’t filled with as much romance.

The plot was great. There was just so much that happened throughout the course of this novel. It was truly an adventure, but I did miss all the traveling and the suitors of book one. There were several fairy tale references and I really loved that aspect of this series. The two main tales included in this story were Baby Yaga and The 12 Dancing Princesses, which is my all time favorite fairy tale. I love Anna Bright’s Use of fairy tales in this series, it’s not exactly a retelling of any fairy tale, but she incorporates aspects of many fairy tales into one story and she does so brilliantly maintaining an original plot of her own.

The characters that I grew to love in the first installment are back along with many new ones. I did wait a bit too long since reading the first book though, so I had a hard time remembering them all at first. I did grow to love Selah a lot more in this installment than the previous ones. All of the hard things she experienced in this book made her into a brave young woman who finally developed some leadership qualities. I wound up really loving Cobie throughout the course of this book, she is such a fierce and loyal character I couldn’t help but love her.

Unfortunately there were a few aspects that I didn’t love. I missed the setting of Norge a lot. A huge part of the reason I loved The Beholder was because of Torden an Norge, reading about Norge made me so happy and in this book Torden was reduced to a cardboard cut out of his previously  boisterous personality. My other bit issue was with the world building, a lot of things didn’t add up. There were carriages and radios, the time period seemed to jump all over the place with very litter consistency. I understand that the book is supposed to be an alternate history, but the world built in this book felt all over the place. The last thing that bothered me was the ending. The climax was lackluster and the ending chapters dragged on forever for me.

There were so many things that I loved, but also many that bothered me. I really enjoyed the first two thirds of this book, but the last third really brought the story down to me. I was so pleased that Anna Bright included fairy tales into her plot and would love to see what else she writes, but I think I liked the first installment of this series the best. The Boundless is darker than the previous installment, but Selah is also more likable in this one. I would still recommend checking out this series though, especially if you enjoy fairy tales because it was a pretty fun and fast paced series.


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