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In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse . . . A beautiful noblewoman with a terrible secret, and a prince subjected to slavery. Upon the death of her wealthy father, Lady Gabriella is condemned to work in Warwick’s gem mine. As she struggles to survive the dangerous conditions, her kindness and beauty shine as brightly as the jewels the slaves excavate. While lab In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse . . . A beautiful noblewoman with a terrible secret, and a prince subjected to slavery. Upon the death of her wealthy father, Lady Gabriella is condemned to work in Warwick’s gem mine. As she struggles to survive the dangerous conditions, her kindness and beauty shine as brightly as the jewels the slaves excavate. While laboring, Gabriella plots how to avenge her father’s death and stop Queen Margery’s cruelty. Prince Vilmar of Scania enslaves himself in Warwick’s gem mine as part of a royal test to prove himself the most worthy of three brothers to become the king’s successor. Amidst the hardships, he doesn’t anticipate his growing compassion for the other slaves, especially tenderhearted Gabriella. As the annual summer ball looms nearer, Gabriella sets into motion her plan to end Queen Margery’s evil. When Vilmar learns of Gabriella’s intentions, he resolves to come to her aid and fight against Warwick’s queen. But doing so may require him to give up his chance of becoming Scania’s next king, perhaps even cost him his life. The real Cinderella story. The Fairest Maidens Book 1: Beholden (Sept 2020) Book 2: Beguiled (Oct 2020) Book 3: Besotted (Nov 2020)


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In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse . . . A beautiful noblewoman with a terrible secret, and a prince subjected to slavery. Upon the death of her wealthy father, Lady Gabriella is condemned to work in Warwick’s gem mine. As she struggles to survive the dangerous conditions, her kindness and beauty shine as brightly as the jewels the slaves excavate. While lab In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse . . . A beautiful noblewoman with a terrible secret, and a prince subjected to slavery. Upon the death of her wealthy father, Lady Gabriella is condemned to work in Warwick’s gem mine. As she struggles to survive the dangerous conditions, her kindness and beauty shine as brightly as the jewels the slaves excavate. While laboring, Gabriella plots how to avenge her father’s death and stop Queen Margery’s cruelty. Prince Vilmar of Scania enslaves himself in Warwick’s gem mine as part of a royal test to prove himself the most worthy of three brothers to become the king’s successor. Amidst the hardships, he doesn’t anticipate his growing compassion for the other slaves, especially tenderhearted Gabriella. As the annual summer ball looms nearer, Gabriella sets into motion her plan to end Queen Margery’s evil. When Vilmar learns of Gabriella’s intentions, he resolves to come to her aid and fight against Warwick’s queen. But doing so may require him to give up his chance of becoming Scania’s next king, perhaps even cost him his life. The real Cinderella story. The Fairest Maidens Book 1: Beholden (Sept 2020) Book 2: Beguiled (Oct 2020) Book 3: Besotted (Nov 2020)

30 review for Beholden

  1. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    “Beholden” by Jody Hedlund is the first book in the “Fairest Maidens” trilogy. It is related to Ms. Hedlund’s “Lost Princesses” trilogy (all of which I have read and loved). This series is almost like a prequel to the “Lost Princesses.” The newest installment can be read as a standalone. “Beholden” is a Cinderella retelling, with its own unique voice and a fresh spin on the original story. Gabriella, or Gabi, is our heroine with a heart like gold and bravery to match. Gabi tries to practice kindn “Beholden” by Jody Hedlund is the first book in the “Fairest Maidens” trilogy. It is related to Ms. Hedlund’s “Lost Princesses” trilogy (all of which I have read and loved). This series is almost like a prequel to the “Lost Princesses.” The newest installment can be read as a standalone. “Beholden” is a Cinderella retelling, with its own unique voice and a fresh spin on the original story. Gabriella, or Gabi, is our heroine with a heart like gold and bravery to match. Gabi tries to practice kindness, even though she has lost everything and is forced to be a slave in a mine, doing manual labor because of the Evil Queen. Even when in a horrific situation, she focuses on others and does not lose heart. I often find “Cinderella” characters one dimensional, but Ms. Hedlund writes Gabi as a much more complex and relatable heroine. Gabi has had so much taken away from her by the Evil Queen. Will she let her need for revenge or kindness win? Vilmar is the hero of the story. He must go through a Testing to prove himself worthy to be the next king. He works undercover in a mine, where he meets Gabi, and learns to be a slave to others. As Vilmar becomes more and more involved and invested in the plights of Gabi and the townspeople, he starts to realize maybe there are things more important than his Testing and becoming king. Will he give it all up to help others? This story reads like a Disney movie. I could picture the events in my head as they played out. I especially love the ending, which has such a beautiful message! I will let you read it for yourself. Fans of Melanie Dickerson, fairy tale retellings and happily ever afters will love this book! Content: This is a clean read. The only content is a brief reference to men drinking and gambling. Rating: I give this book 5 stars. I want to thank Jody Hedlund and Northern Lights Press for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    ‘Slay your enemies with the greatest weapon of all: kindness.’ I love, love, love Jody Hedlund’s medieval stories! She truly excels here, and though this genre is young adult, they are totally interesting to this adult. Each book in this series, releasing in September, October, and November, is based on a popular fairy tale. This is is the real Cinderella story. It will seriously hold your interest all the way through. I am an adult who has never tired if fairy tales. * My thanks to the author fo ‘Slay your enemies with the greatest weapon of all: kindness.’ I love, love, love Jody Hedlund’s medieval stories! She truly excels here, and though this genre is young adult, they are totally interesting to this adult. Each book in this series, releasing in September, October, and November, is based on a popular fairy tale. This is is the real Cinderella story. It will seriously hold your interest all the way through. I am an adult who has never tired if fairy tales. * My thanks to the author for a copy of this book. The opinion here is my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nicki Chapelway

    Two things I can't resist: 1. A medieval YA series written by Jodi Hedlund 2. Fairy tale retellings This book happens to be both. I loved it, the plot was amazing, it almost felt like three separate books with the way it unfolded. One a romance, one a fairy tale, and one a medieval adventure. Something I like so much about Hedlund's books is her supporting cast. Those that know me know that I'm a sucker for side characters. And the ones in this book were particularly fun and interesting. The world c Two things I can't resist: 1. A medieval YA series written by Jodi Hedlund 2. Fairy tale retellings This book happens to be both. I loved it, the plot was amazing, it almost felt like three separate books with the way it unfolded. One a romance, one a fairy tale, and one a medieval adventure. Something I like so much about Hedlund's books is her supporting cast. Those that know me know that I'm a sucker for side characters. And the ones in this book were particularly fun and interesting. The world crafted in this book is very deep and full of lore including alchemy and a berserker named Grendel who gave me Beowulf vibes. All in all this is a must read for fans of clean ya romance, medieval adventure, and fairy tales and folk lore. I received a copy of this book from the author, all opinions, however, are my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    MJSH

    "So if ye be one of the lucky ones who finds a jewel amidst the rubble, then ye best not be squandering your treasure." Oh, how I love Jody Hedlund's YA medieval stories. And this book is another example of her skill as a storyteller. Beautifully written, emotionally engaging, filled with action and anticipation, Beholden will satisfy every reader as Vilmar, one of the princes of Scania, ventures on a six-month journey of Testing to prove himself worthy of the crown. Sent to a gem mine in Warwick "So if ye be one of the lucky ones who finds a jewel amidst the rubble, then ye best not be squandering your treasure." Oh, how I love Jody Hedlund's YA medieval stories. And this book is another example of her skill as a storyteller. Beautifully written, emotionally engaging, filled with action and anticipation, Beholden will satisfy every reader as Vilmar, one of the princes of Scania, ventures on a six-month journey of Testing to prove himself worthy of the crown. Sent to a gem mine in Warwick as a slave, he meets a noblewoman named Gabriella who has been sent to the underground mine as a slave on a minor infraction. Readers who loved The Lost Princesses series will be delighted to be taken back to Warwick and Mercia during the time when evil Queen Margery ruled Warwick and Princess Aurora is on the run after the death of her mother Queen Leandra of Mercia. Since the story is told through the eyes of Vilmar and Gabrilella, it's easy to fall in love with them and cheer them on as they befriend one another. Vilmar's sense of honor, justice, and kindness is swoon-worthy even if he starts out somewhat proud and self-reliant. His Testing anthem of 'be slave to all' guides his growth throughout the book. Gabriella is one of the fairest maidens in the land, made more beautiful by her unfailing kindness, gentleness, self-sacrifice and compassion. Though kindness rules her heart, she plans to exact revenge on the evil queen responsible for her father's death. There is a horrifying secret to how the queen continues to extract her gems from the earth, a monster that needs an yearly sacrifice, nail-biting action and suspense as Vilmar fights to save Gabriella from herself, love that continues to sacrifice no matter the cost, and a gasp-worthy ending from Queen Margery's point of view that sets us up for the next book. YA medieval fiction doesn't get better than this. Anyone who enjoys medieval fiction would absolutely love this book. I am waiting anxiously for the next books to release! I received a copy of the book from the publisher/author and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Connie Saunders

    A handsome prince, a beautiful young woman, and an evil Queen are all featured in this story and I couldn't put it down! This new book by Jody Hedlund is labeled as young adult fiction but this shouldn't be a deterrent to older readers because Beholden is enjoyable reading for many different age groups! I grew up loving the story of Cinderella being saved from her wicked stepmother and step sisters by Prince Charming and Beholden is a play on this tale. This time, however, Gabriella is the young A handsome prince, a beautiful young woman, and an evil Queen are all featured in this story and I couldn't put it down! This new book by Jody Hedlund is labeled as young adult fiction but this shouldn't be a deterrent to older readers because Beholden is enjoyable reading for many different age groups! I grew up loving the story of Cinderella being saved from her wicked stepmother and step sisters by Prince Charming and Beholden is a play on this tale. This time, however, Gabriella is the young woman suffering mistreatment from her stepmother and instead of being forced to be a house servant, she is forced to slave away in the gem mines at Gemstone Mountain. Her mistreatment is often horrifying and Hedlund's description of some of the working conditions truly made me grateful for the life that I've enjoyed! When Gabriella meets Vilmar, another slave working in the mines, it appears that relief may be on the way but Vilmar is hiding a secret. Will Gabriella be rescued from further harm? Can she ever forgive Vilmar once she learns his secret? One reason that I enjoy Hedlund's books is that she often includes inspirational messages and Beholden is certainly no exception. There are many references to kindness throughout this story and Gabriella displays it time and time again. Yes, it's easy to give kindness to those who've been good to you but what about someone who intends to harm you? Extremely hard to do, but Gabriella tries to live as her late father had always taught her. There is also the suggestion of learning to be a true servant and to be willing to sacrifice for others. Isn't this what we all need to work for? Intriguing characters and a plot filled with danger, adventure, and sweet romance... all of these elements together make this an exciting and entertaining story. Jody Hedlund completely captivated me with Beholden and I'm eager to see what is ahead in book two of The Fairest Maidens series. I voluntarily accepted a copy of this book from the author. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Angeline

    I was so excited for The Fairest Maidens and Beholden does not disappoint! Beholden is the first book in Jody Hedlund’s new teen series, The Fairest Maidens! I couldn't wait to see how Ms. Hedlund made Cinderella her own story and it was as thrilling as I thought it would be. Beholden, sets the scene for a new teen series, which is set before the Lost Princesses series. Beholden features the second oldest prince, Vilmar, as he competes in the testing for the right to the throne of Scania. In or I was so excited for The Fairest Maidens and Beholden does not disappoint! Beholden is the first book in Jody Hedlund’s new teen series, The Fairest Maidens! I couldn't wait to see how Ms. Hedlund made Cinderella her own story and it was as thrilling as I thought it would be. Beholden, sets the scene for a new teen series, which is set before the Lost Princesses series. Beholden features the second oldest prince, Vilmar, as he competes in the testing for the right to the throne of Scania. In order to complete his testing he must learn what it means to be a servant of all, but is he willing to lose the testing in order to save the woman he loves and the people he has come to admire? Vilmar finds himself a slave, serving the evil queen Margery as she sends her subjects to mine for gems. As he labors alongside the other prisoners of the queens’ he finds himself seeing that he has been blessed with much. I liked Vilmar’s character and his growth as he worked alongside the other slaves. He was a kind man, but he had to learn what it meant to serve others. Gabriella was so cool. Although she was a lady, she cared for others and she was kind. Gabriella had been changed for stealing and so she was sent to the mines, where she worked. She had a secret that would change everything and she knew that she needed to fight to save others. I loved how Gabriella loved hard and that her beauty was more than just on the outside. Gabriella was so sweet and everyone could see her kindness. She was loved by all, even the guards. However, Gabriella had her own demons to work through. She needed to learn how to forgive and how to not let bitterness eat her up. She had been taught by her father to be kind and love others, but working in the mines could change a person. I loved Gabriella and Vilmar’s love story. It was a gradual thing and so sweet. They truly cared about each other and learned how to put each other first. I adored the side characters, Curly was a sweetheart. I really liked how he came off as harsh and mean, but he was actually kind and a big teddy bear. There were so many points in the book where I didn’t know what would happen. I was on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t put Beholden down. It was the perfect blend of suspense, adventure, and love. It was a Cinderella story like I have never read before. There were so many quotes that I loved from this book. But one of my favorite votes was “If someone is in need, ‘tis better to try to help, even if you fall, then never to try at all.” This quote reminded me how important helping others was. Another quote I loved was “Kindness is a commodity one can never use up.” I recalled more of my father’s advice. “And kindness is a commodity that will always be in demand.” This quote was so important to the story and reminds me how being kind of always necessary. This was a great book and a great start to a new series! I loved this book and I adored the characters! I am so excited for the next books and so happy that I only have to wait a month for Beguiled. If you love adventure, romance, and a wonderful story then you need to read this book. Beholden is a new look at Cinderella and it was amazing! I would definitely recommend Beholden! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Morgan

    Jody Hedlund never fails to delight with her stories. Beholden is no exception. I love the imagery and language she uses. She paints beautiful word pictures. I also enjoy the plot. She takes her characters on fantastic adventures with plenty of action. The theme of this book is revenge, but at what cost? Also, the idea of do you truly know your motives? Both Gabi and Vilmar are strong people but they are also willing to change and grow. I love this book and am anxiously awaiting the next two! So Jody Hedlund never fails to delight with her stories. Beholden is no exception. I love the imagery and language she uses. She paints beautiful word pictures. I also enjoy the plot. She takes her characters on fantastic adventures with plenty of action. The theme of this book is revenge, but at what cost? Also, the idea of do you truly know your motives? Both Gabi and Vilmar are strong people but they are also willing to change and grow. I love this book and am anxiously awaiting the next two! So grab your hot chocolate and a comfy blanket, then settle in for a delightful read! I was given a copy of this book by the author with no expectations. All thoughts are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Urban

    Beholden by Jody Hedlund is an exciting read. It's similar to Disney's Cinderalla tale. However, the heroine is much stronger than that of Cinderella. Gabriella is a kind, caring, and pretty just like any other princess. Her father dies and the evil Queen enslaves Gabriella. Gabriella lost the life she once knew and yet she is still a kind hearted person. However, she is plotting to take back what is hers and to put a stop to the evil queen, her step-mother. Low and behold, prince charming comes Beholden by Jody Hedlund is an exciting read. It's similar to Disney's Cinderalla tale. However, the heroine is much stronger than that of Cinderella. Gabriella is a kind, caring, and pretty just like any other princess. Her father dies and the evil Queen enslaves Gabriella. Gabriella lost the life she once knew and yet she is still a kind hearted person. However, she is plotting to take back what is hers and to put a stop to the evil queen, her step-mother. Low and behold, prince charming comes. The hero put himself into a situation and it just get stickier when he meets Gabriella. There's attraction and plenty of action to keep my full attention. Some similarities and yet many differences. It's much more than just a fairy tale. Overall, I loved reading this new book. I look forward to reading more by Jody Hedlund in the future. I received this copy from the publisher. This is my voluntary review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Ulferts

    My favorite fairy tale has always been Cinderella, so I was very excited to read an advance copy of BEHOLDEN to see what Jody Hedlund’s spin would be. Oh my. She has kicked off her new YA series with a medieval tale that captured my attention from the first sentence and held it until the last word. Vilmar and Gabi are all that a hero and heroine should be. Both are strong, loyal, and willing to sacrifice everything for others. This story is so good and so well written I forgot I was reading a Y My favorite fairy tale has always been Cinderella, so I was very excited to read an advance copy of BEHOLDEN to see what Jody Hedlund’s spin would be. Oh my. She has kicked off her new YA series with a medieval tale that captured my attention from the first sentence and held it until the last word. Vilmar and Gabi are all that a hero and heroine should be. Both are strong, loyal, and willing to sacrifice everything for others. This story is so good and so well written I forgot I was reading a YA book. It isn’t light or silly. The characters face hard things and tackle them head on. As I was reading, the skillful writing allowed the story to play out as a movie in my head which made it even easier to get into. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. I am planning to assign them to my daughters to read and discuss as part of their literature class. I personally would recommend this for ages 14 and up. I received an advance copy and all opinions are my own.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    The Fairest Maidens is Author Jody Hedlund’s new Young Adult Series. Book One, Beholden, is based on the story of Cinderella. I considered it to be a very enjoyable retelling. Nothing surpasses a damsel-in-distress with a knight-in-shining armor coming to the rescue. Characters Prince Vilmar of Scania and Lady Gabriella exhibit strength, courage, and the desire to do the right thing. Author Jody Hedlund’s Young Adult series are inspirational as well as gratifying for those of us who are no longe The Fairest Maidens is Author Jody Hedlund’s new Young Adult Series. Book One, Beholden, is based on the story of Cinderella. I considered it to be a very enjoyable retelling. Nothing surpasses a damsel-in-distress with a knight-in-shining armor coming to the rescue. Characters Prince Vilmar of Scania and Lady Gabriella exhibit strength, courage, and the desire to do the right thing. Author Jody Hedlund’s Young Adult series are inspirational as well as gratifying for those of us who are no longer Young Adults as well as being suitable for Young Adults. As Prince Vilmar and Gabi learn valuable life lessons, you will find yourself cheering for them! I am very excited for the next book in this enchanting series, Beguiled. Like me, you will not want to miss any of them! I received a copy from the author. The opinions are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Edward Arrington

    The setting of the story is in medieval times with kings, queens, knights, and ladies. The hero is Prince Vilmar, but he is not recognized as a prince through most of the story as he works alongside the slaves in the mine pits of Gemstone Mountain. Lady Gabriella, the heroine, has already been there for months before Vilmar arrives. The reasons they are there are very different but nevertheless, they are slaving away with the others who are digging for valuable gems for the queen. Gabriella has The setting of the story is in medieval times with kings, queens, knights, and ladies. The hero is Prince Vilmar, but he is not recognized as a prince through most of the story as he works alongside the slaves in the mine pits of Gemstone Mountain. Lady Gabriella, the heroine, has already been there for months before Vilmar arrives. The reasons they are there are very different but nevertheless, they are slaving away with the others who are digging for valuable gems for the queen. Gabriella has such a gentle, caring nature and spends much of her time in the evenings looking after the needs of those who are sick and injured. She has a single-minded goal of bringing an end to a horrible practice started a few years earlier by the queen that enables the continuation of the slave mine. You will have to read the book to learn what this is, because I do not wish to give away too much of the story here. Prince Vilmar has led everyone to believe he displeased his father and was sent to work in the mines for a period of time. To tell the real reason, he would have to divulge more information about who he is than he is allowed to share. In turn, that could lead to other undesirable consequences. After being there for several weeks, he realizes that Gabriella has been demonstrating through her treatment of others what he needs to put into practice if he hopes to achieve his goals. I appreciate the lessons taught by Gabriella and Vilmar. One of the most important lessons is that they continued to learn from others throughout the story. I received an advance copy of this book from the author. This is my honest review. All opinions are strictly my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    A brand new trilogy set in the same universe as Ms. Hedlund's previous The Lost Princesses Trilogy. A fresh re-telling of Cinderella, with a courageous and kind-hearted heroine. Lady Gabriella has been sentenced to Queen Margery's jewel mines, but all it not as it appears, can Gabriella end the barbaric alchemy that keeps them enslaved? An engaging new fairy-tale, with a brave heroine and worthy prince. I loved how this book sets the stage for the future books in the series, while also being a sa A brand new trilogy set in the same universe as Ms. Hedlund's previous The Lost Princesses Trilogy. A fresh re-telling of Cinderella, with a courageous and kind-hearted heroine. Lady Gabriella has been sentenced to Queen Margery's jewel mines, but all it not as it appears, can Gabriella end the barbaric alchemy that keeps them enslaved? An engaging new fairy-tale, with a brave heroine and worthy prince. I loved how this book sets the stage for the future books in the series, while also being a satisfying read all on its own. Gabriella is compassionate with a warrior's heart for truth. Vilmar is honorable, and I admired how he does the right thing, even after counting the cost. Both he and Gabriella are natural leaders who care about others, and are willing to sacrifice themselves for something greater. This book has a little more magic or alchemy (regarded as evil) than previous books, as well as a more parallel fairy tale correlation, which I thought was fun as I love a good fairy tale retelling. Romantic, exciting, with characters with strong faith. I also liked how the author took into account the setting and used fitting vocabulary to make this story some alive. An entertaining fresh Cinderella retelling, fast-paced, with strong themes of friendship, truth, honor, and sacrifice. I'm excited to continue this series, and find out what happens next! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    LisLovesReading E.Espinoza

    Beholden, by Jody Hedlund, is the first book in The Fairest Maidens series. This young adult novel is a riveting medieval, fairytale, fantasy adventure enriched with a sprinkling of classic Cinderella elements. Abounding with captivating moments of danger, intrigue, courage, faith, and romance, this novel is utterly entertaining.   Genuinely talented at crafting stories that are richly detailed and descriptive, Ms. Hedlund has penned an imaginative book that thrills and inspires from beginning to Beholden, by Jody Hedlund, is the first book in The Fairest Maidens series. This young adult novel is a riveting medieval, fairytale, fantasy adventure enriched with a sprinkling of classic Cinderella elements. Abounding with captivating moments of danger, intrigue, courage, faith, and romance, this novel is utterly entertaining.   Genuinely talented at crafting stories that are richly detailed and descriptive, Ms. Hedlund has penned an imaginative book that thrills and inspires from beginning to end. Beautifully written in the first person perspectives of the two main characters, this novel is very compelling. Interesting, complex characters who are sincere, honorable, and steadfast ensure that this book is relevant and truly irresistible. Throughout the novel, contrasting elements of peril and bravery, mystery and discovery, love and loss, and greed and self-sacrifice, enhance the plot of this story making it thoroughly moving and satisfying. Themes of kindness, selflessness, and destiny add purpose to this tale making it significant and edifying. Beholden is certainly a young adult novel that can easily be appreciated by both teens and adults. Exciting and memorable, this novel is worthwhile, clean, and absolutely enjoyable. I eagerly recommend it to all readers. *I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    I loved reading this delightful page-turning story! Adventure, mystery, intrigue, drama, and a sweet romance, this story has something for everyone. I was pulled in right from the first chapter and whisked away into this story. I didn’t want to put my book down for a moment and I certainly was not ready for the story to end! I am eagerly anticipating when the next book releases and I can once again return to Warwick! Expertly woven into the story are lessons to learn and Biblical truth shared. We I loved reading this delightful page-turning story! Adventure, mystery, intrigue, drama, and a sweet romance, this story has something for everyone. I was pulled in right from the first chapter and whisked away into this story. I didn’t want to put my book down for a moment and I certainly was not ready for the story to end! I am eagerly anticipating when the next book releases and I can once again return to Warwick! Expertly woven into the story are lessons to learn and Biblical truth shared. We are reminded of the importance of giving of ourselves to others and reminded that Jesus himself gave his life, as payment of our sins so that we might have life eternal with Him in heaven. If you enjoy fast-paced stories with a fairy-tale twist, then this is a book you must not pass up! Do yourself a favor and snag a copy today, maybe even two, so you can share it with a friend. Because I’m certain that you won’t be able to stop talking about this book once you read it! (I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions expressed are my own.)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    In the Kingdom of Warwick, beauty is a curse to its maidens. In her newest series, Jody Hedlund puts her own, unique spin on a few well-loved fairy tales, with Beholden giving a fresh take on the Cinderella story. Lady Gabriella lost her father, her home, and her freedom to the whims of a cruel queen. Now she and two loyal servants waste away in Queen Margery’s failing gem mine. Prince Vilmar of Scania wants to prove he deserves his father’s throne more than his brothers. In order to secure his In the Kingdom of Warwick, beauty is a curse to its maidens. In her newest series, Jody Hedlund puts her own, unique spin on a few well-loved fairy tales, with Beholden giving a fresh take on the Cinderella story. Lady Gabriella lost her father, her home, and her freedom to the whims of a cruel queen. Now she and two loyal servants waste away in Queen Margery’s failing gem mine. Prince Vilmar of Scania wants to prove he deserves his father’s throne more than his brothers. In order to secure his position, he submits to an ancient testing. He willingly enters the mines under a false identity, unsure of the cryptic instructions given to him. When I learned Jody Hedlund had a new Medieval YA series planned I was thrilled. She has such a way with knights, ladies, and devious monarchs! Beholden is packed with romance, more than enough action and hints of a mystery that will have you longing for the rest of the series. Gabriella struggles with vengeance and the price she’ll have to pay for it. Meanwhile, Vilmar must decide to do what he knows is right even though it goes against what he believes is expected of him. The ending promises to tie into the rest of series and I cannot wait to meet back up with Gabriella and Vilmar, hopefully in Beguiled. I also can’t wait to see if my theory about a certain huntsman is correct! If you enjoy fairytale retellings, then you’ll definitely want to check out The Fairest Maidens. I would recommend this book for fans of Melanie Cellier and Melanie Dickerson. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    With themes of kindness and selflessness, Beholden gives an enjoyable twist on the Cinderella fairy tale while setting up what is sure to be an engaging series! Gabriella is such a noble heroine, one who is willing to give up her own life in order to save others. And Vilmar, while he has some growing up to do at the beginning, turns into a wonderful hero. This is a romantic and engaging novel that's perfect for older teens and adults, and I can't wait to read the rest of the series! 4-1/2 stars. With themes of kindness and selflessness, Beholden gives an enjoyable twist on the Cinderella fairy tale while setting up what is sure to be an engaging series! Gabriella is such a noble heroine, one who is willing to give up her own life in order to save others. And Vilmar, while he has some growing up to do at the beginning, turns into a wonderful hero. This is a romantic and engaging novel that's perfect for older teens and adults, and I can't wait to read the rest of the series! 4-1/2 stars. Disclosure of material connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    A great start to Jody's newest YA series. After reading and enjoying her medieval set last year, I knew I didn't want to miss this one. I am happy to say it did not disappoint. I really liked this story that had some Cinderella woven in to the storyline. Gabriella was quite brave and Vilmar was quite the hero himself. Beholden also set the stage nicely for the next two books in the series. I am eager to read them, luckily they release one in October and one in November, so I don't have long to w A great start to Jody's newest YA series. After reading and enjoying her medieval set last year, I knew I didn't want to miss this one. I am happy to say it did not disappoint. I really liked this story that had some Cinderella woven in to the storyline. Gabriella was quite brave and Vilmar was quite the hero himself. Beholden also set the stage nicely for the next two books in the series. I am eager to read them, luckily they release one in October and one in November, so I don't have long to wait, thank goodness. I highly recommend! I received this book from the author and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chantel

    After reading many of Jody Hedlund’s previous series, I had no doubt that I would love Beholden. Jody’s vivid writing and heartwarming characters have once again captured my heart. My only complaint is that the ending left me so many questions that I can only hope will be answered in the next book in the series! If you enjoy medieval historical fiction and fairytales, you will want to make sure this book is in your library!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Definitely enjoyed this one! Lady Gabriella is kind and she shows it constantly! Vilmar is on a quest to see if he’s the one who should be king. They both are slaves at a gem mine. Lady Gabriella talks Vilmar into teaching her how to kill her enemy. To do so, they need to pretend to be interested in each other. This is a fantastic Cinderella retelling and kindness is the theme. I’m so excited for the rest of this series! As with the other YA books written by this author, they are good for YA and Definitely enjoyed this one! Lady Gabriella is kind and she shows it constantly! Vilmar is on a quest to see if he’s the one who should be king. They both are slaves at a gem mine. Lady Gabriella talks Vilmar into teaching her how to kill her enemy. To do so, they need to pretend to be interested in each other. This is a fantastic Cinderella retelling and kindness is the theme. I’m so excited for the rest of this series! As with the other YA books written by this author, they are good for YA and adults. I enjoyed taking a few hours to spend with these characters. I received a copy of this book from the author. All views stated are my own.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paty

    This is the first book in “The Fairest Maidens” Series, and wow!, I’m totally engaged and can’t wait for the second book to come out to continue these beautiful and inspiring stories! Beholden is a Cinderella Fairy Tale Retelling, yet I have to tell you, it’s the most unique and original I have read. And the most inspiring too, because of the characters. I’ll explain myself shortly... Gabriella is an orphaned noblewoman who is forced to work as a slave in the mines, after being caught “thieving” f This is the first book in “The Fairest Maidens” Series, and wow!, I’m totally engaged and can’t wait for the second book to come out to continue these beautiful and inspiring stories! Beholden is a Cinderella Fairy Tale Retelling, yet I have to tell you, it’s the most unique and original I have read. And the most inspiring too, because of the characters. I’ll explain myself shortly... Gabriella is an orphaned noblewoman who is forced to work as a slave in the mines, after being caught “thieving” for the needy. Her father was assasined after discovering Queen Margery’s treacherous acts in order to make the mines continue to produce jewels, by sacrificing the Fairest Maiden to a madman every year. Gabriella wants to avente her father and kill the infamous Beast once and for all, to stop the murders. But will this ultimate plan cost her her own life? Vilmar is the eldest of the three Princes of Scania and he, as well as his brothers must start a 6 month journey called the “Testing” where each one must prove their worthiness to be the heir to the Throne. Vilmar is destined to work as a slave in the Mines of Warwick, along with his companion Ty, who will reccord everything for the “Lastings” to judge. He’s determined to prove his worthiness to his father and the Lastings, by being a faithfull servant and work as the most dutiful slave. But meeting Gabriella changes his world upside down. She’s the most noble and kind woman he’s ever met, always sacrificing herself for the others needs, singing, comforting, and working herself to the bone to earn provisions for others. Soon, he finds himself besotted by her, but she carries a secret... and she asks him to teach her how to use a knife. While giving her lessons, they must fake to be enamored to each others to justify their outings and hidings. But will the fake love become real before long? Will Gabriella get her revenge and will Vilmar finish his Testing with honor? Their lives seemed to be directed in opposite ways, will they be forced to part and say a forever farewell? This story touched my heart deeply because of the huge heart of the main characters, as well as the secondary. Gabriella, other than stunningly beautiful, is kind to the bone, always thinking of others, and wanting to end the slaves unfair sufferings and abuse. Her real beauty is that of her heart. Vilmar is an honorable man, with a heart of gold too. He wants to earn his claim to the Throne with dignity, respect and service to others... But is that what God truly wants from him in this perilous journey? I liked that they were relatable characters and not truly perfect. Gabriella is embittered by her past, and Vilmar discovers he may be conceited and vain. This journey will be enlightening to both of them. Can they both discover what God truly wants from them and be generous enough to sacrifice whatever the cost? The plot kept me captivated. There’s enough action, intrigue, adventure, and a sweet and clean romance along the way. There are so many messages to learn from through the characters struggles. It’s a book that’s classified as Young Adult Fiction but I found that it’s perfect for older adults as well! A beautiful story that reaches the core of your heart and won’t leave you without a change for the better! I really couldn’t put it down and can’t wait for the next installment! Highly recommended!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Beholden by Jody Hedlund is the first in a new series titled: The Fairest Maidens. This is an excellent historical fiction/fantasy/romance novel that has it all. This book has action, a fantasy element, good vs evil, romance, knights, shining armor, suspense, battles, and is just an all around excellent story with wonderful lessons sprinkled throughout. This book is labeled under young adult, however I really feel it appeals to adults as well. Anyone can appreciate an excellent plot, well drawn Beholden by Jody Hedlund is the first in a new series titled: The Fairest Maidens. This is an excellent historical fiction/fantasy/romance novel that has it all. This book has action, a fantasy element, good vs evil, romance, knights, shining armor, suspense, battles, and is just an all around excellent story with wonderful lessons sprinkled throughout. This book is labeled under young adult, however I really feel it appeals to adults as well. Anyone can appreciate an excellent plot, well drawn out and complex characters, and honest morals and lessons creating a nice undercurrent throughout. The King Christian (of the Holberg kings) of the land of Scania has three sons: Mikkel, Vilmar, and Kresten. As is the ancient custom, each one must be assigned a task, moral code, and destination to each overcome their own respective obstacles. In turn, the King and his court of elders will make a decision based on the outcomes of the assigned journeys, which candidate will end up being crowned as the successor of the country. Each book will focus on one of each of the young men. This book focused on Vilmar the middle son. Vilmar is sent to Warwick into the jewel mines where slaves work to recover the dwindling supply of precious jewels for the cruel Queen Margery (a cousin to Vilmar). He is sent with the message of "Be slave of all.". Here he meets the beautiful and kind Gabriella, a young noble Lady that was sent with her faithful servants to the mines after her father mysteriously dies under the watch of her evil mother in law. Despite being wronged, Gabriella is kind, sweet, helpful, selfless, and finds a place for herself with this village of people, most wrongly imprisoned through no fault of their own. Both are drawn to one another, the chemistry is palpable. Both hold their own secrets. Vilmar here on his Task, Gabriella determined to rescue the village, and to end the barbaric custom of sacrificing the fairest maiden of the land each year to the beast Grendel that is kept alive by Queen Margery for a multitude of reasons the reader will discover. I loved being able to follow along with Gabriella, Vilmar, Ty, Curly, and their seemingly unattainable quest. Will they be able to escape this desolate prison of mines, will they be able to both overcome their obstacles and save many in the process, and finally, will they be able to finally be together in the end? An excellent novel that had a well developed plot. The pacing and descriptions kept me interested. I really enjoyed Vilmar and Gabriella. Both were realistic, flawed, but yet strong characters. Both had believable moral compasses, and are great together. I really enjoyed how the tale wrapped up and also how the author was able to create an ending that left us in suspense, and bridges this story perfectly into the next installment. Very impressive. 5/5 stars Thank you to the author (Ms. Hedlund) and Northern Lights Press for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR, Bookbub, and Instagram accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, B&N, and Instagram (again) accounts upon publication.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Amey Madjeski

    I always get sucked in to a Jody Hedlund fairy tale. Her young adult fiction keeps me turning the pages as quickly as her adult novels. Beholden, the first in her new trilogy called The Fairest Maidens, is no exception. A wonderful, fresh take on Cinderella, Beholden introduces us to the lovely Gabriella. Her father was an advisor to the queen of Warwick until she had him killed for knowing too much about the real reason for her cruel practice of sacrificing the country’s fairest maiden each yea I always get sucked in to a Jody Hedlund fairy tale. Her young adult fiction keeps me turning the pages as quickly as her adult novels. Beholden, the first in her new trilogy called The Fairest Maidens, is no exception. A wonderful, fresh take on Cinderella, Beholden introduces us to the lovely Gabriella. Her father was an advisor to the queen of Warwick until she had him killed for knowing too much about the real reason for her cruel practice of sacrificing the country’s fairest maiden each year. Gabriella has been sent to Warwick’s gem mines as a slave by the duchess and her daughters who had taken over her father’s estate after his death. But Gabi’s hope is to gain revenge for her father’s death by convincing the duchess to send her as a substitute for one of the daughters at the yearly ball where the fairest maiden is chosen. And instead of being a sacrifice, Gabi plans to face Grendel the berserker and win, thus ruining the queen’s practice and plans. Biding her time in the mines, Gabriella spreads hope everywhere she goes, showering kindness on her elderly servants sent to the mine with her, and all her fellow workers. She quickly becomes everyone’s favorite person, who they protect at all costs. Prince Vilmar of Scania is no exception. At the mines for his country’s tradition of Testing, where the King’s sons are sent out for a season to determine who is most worthy to become the next king, Vilmar is shocked by the conditions and shocked by Gabi’s presence in the mines. It’s clear that neither of them really belong among the slaves. His mission for the Testing is to learn how to be a slave of all. He begins by trying to model his behavior after Gabriella, serving others however he can. So when Gabi asks him to teach her self defense, he can hardly refuse her, even though she won’t tell him why she needs to learn to wield a knife. In order to have time to practice alone, the two must pretend to be a couple. Neither counted on the real feelings that come into play. She’s planning a dangerous future and he’s a prince... it hardly seems like they could have a future. But when the time comes for Gabriella’s plan to be set in motion, Vilmar realizes there’s nothing he won’t do to protect the girl he has come to love. While mostly concluded, this story does end on a cliffhanger and not entirely resolved, as the trilogy is meant to be read as a whole. I’m so thankful for the quickly successive release dates because I can’t wait to continue the story! This story is full of wonderful lessons and truths. The emphasis placed on the power of kindness is a lesson we all need, young and old. Vilmar’s Testing mission is to learn to be a slave of all. That’s straight from the teaching of Jesus- whoever wants to be first should make himself last. Vilmar learns about putting others before himself. About being willing to lay down his life for a friend. There is no greater love. Gabriella also learns the truth about revenge, and how it never really satisfies and can come with consequences. All great lessons for YA readers, I give this the highest rating. It’s so much more than a lovely clean romance. I also enjoyed venturing back into the world Jody created in last year’s Lost Princesses series, though this is set much earlier in time. I want to thank Jody Hedlund for access to this story as an early reader. I enjoyed it immensely!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    As always Hedlund writes amazing stories including this one! I was up until 4 a.m. so that I could finish Vilmar's story. It's so very gut!! I couldn't put it down! Oh and I will say that this story is told in multiple voices. I will also be honest and say that sometimes it was very confusing but once I caught the jest of it I was ok with it. All of the characters except maybe Curly was easy to get to know but then after awhile I began to respect him too. I feel like that once you've made friends As always Hedlund writes amazing stories including this one! I was up until 4 a.m. so that I could finish Vilmar's story. It's so very gut!! I couldn't put it down! Oh and I will say that this story is told in multiple voices. I will also be honest and say that sometimes it was very confusing but once I caught the jest of it I was ok with it. All of the characters except maybe Curly was easy to get to know but then after awhile I began to respect him too. I feel like that once you've made friends with Curly you've got one for life. I will once again be be honest and say that I've never cared for this genere until I picked up one of Hedlund's stories. Now, I'm hooked for life and can't wait for the next book to come out. These stories are always fun to reread too! I generally always miss something the first time through. I felt sorry for some of the other supporting characters because I felt that they didn't deserve to be where they ended up at. I certainly didn't like the rats. Big ol ugly things. Gave me nightmares! I could just imagine how the workers felt! I was afraid right along with them! Oh my! I am going to figure the rats were the main villains. They're worse than snakes! My favorite character though was Gaberiella. She was so sweet, kind and always thought of others besides herself. I like that in a person. She's made me hold my breath in several places in this story that's for sure! I think that if everyone were like Gabby the world would be a better place. I wish more people could be more like her. I've enjoyed watching Vilmar coming into his own. I believed along the way he learned a very important lesson. My mom and grandmother said that if someone doesn't like you kill them with kindness. Kindness is that person's worst enemy. Maybe something happened in that person's life to make them that way or whatever the case is. I have to keep reminding myself that whenever I run into someone that is unkind. I had to relearn that at work too. It wasn't easy but it could be accomplished. This wonderful story releases Sept 22, 2020! Be sure to grab your copy when it's available or you can still preorder it. I highly recommend this story. I believe that you will recognize this awesome story by Jody Hedlund. I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bethani Monson

    In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse…a beautiful girl with a dark secret, and a prince subjected to slavery. Will their love be able to conquer all? I am not typically one to read a book set in a medieval setting, but I will always read anything Jody Hedlund writes. This book is an enchanting fairytale filled with intrigue, romance, sacrifice, and characters you grow to love and cherish as you watch them grow throughout the story. We open the story with three princes vying equally In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse…a beautiful girl with a dark secret, and a prince subjected to slavery. Will their love be able to conquer all? I am not typically one to read a book set in a medieval setting, but I will always read anything Jody Hedlund writes. This book is an enchanting fairytale filled with intrigue, romance, sacrifice, and characters you grow to love and cherish as you watch them grow throughout the story. We open the story with three princes vying equally for an opportunity to become the new king of their country by participating in the Testing, where each must go out and learn a particular character trait. I loved that this concept was introduced, really providing background for the male lead of the story. Gabriella is harboring her own deep secrets when Vilmar is sent to the same mine that she has been sent to. Together, they build a bond, balancing out each other’s weaknesses and working together to become the people God called them to be. With each twist and turn, you find yourself cheering them on, being fearful when things get tough, and falling in love right alongside them. They are willing to sacrifice it all for the good of many…but will they succeed? Hedlund truly is amazing at developing her main characters equally as well as developing supporting characters you fall just as deeply in love with. She has a unique way of showing their thoughts and showing character’s gradual growth throughout the whole story. This book sets the tone for her next two novels in this series coming out later this year. I am so excited to read about the other two brothers. It will be hard being patient! You will not want to miss out on reading this series. Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book and all opinions are my own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    After reading author Jody Hedlund’s The Lost Princesses last year, I quite literally gasped when I learned this author would release another series in 2020 in the genre. Author Jody Hedlund shines in her ability to craft history into stories that grasp ones imagination and entertains the reader. With this new dive into fairy tale like series, The Lost Princesses and now The Fairest Maidens, the author shows brilliant storytelling skills. Beholden, the first in The Fairest Maidens, takes the read After reading author Jody Hedlund’s The Lost Princesses last year, I quite literally gasped when I learned this author would release another series in 2020 in the genre. Author Jody Hedlund shines in her ability to craft history into stories that grasp ones imagination and entertains the reader. With this new dive into fairy tale like series, The Lost Princesses and now The Fairest Maidens, the author shows brilliant storytelling skills. Beholden, the first in The Fairest Maidens, takes the reader to the land of an evil Queen who holds her subjects captive as slaves mining gems, and a prince set to prove his right to rule the neighboring kingdom. Completely unexpected, Prince Vilmar soon discovers a hidden gem amongst the slaves; a beautiful young woman full of heart who loves and cares for the others. A woman who had endeared herself to a group of slaves who would do what it takes to protect her, especially from the newcomer. Lady Gabriella lands in the mine after the death of her father; knowing the horrible secret of the mines and the cruel queen that controls it, Gabriella had to be stopped from sharing what she knew. Gabriella becomes more determined to escape the mines, carry out her plan to reveal the queens evil misdeeds, freeing the slaves in the mine and the entire kingdom. Can Lady Gabriella trust the handsome newcomer with her plan to escape? Or will trusting him lead to her own peril, leaving hundreds of slaves buried underground working the mines until they too perish? I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, and am not required to provide a positive review. All thoughts and opinions therein are solely my own, and freely given.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carol R.

    Award-winning author  Jody Hedlund pens a new young adult trilogy, especially geared to teens ages 13-18 who enjoy a fairy tale retelling. In Beholden, the death of Lady Gabriela’s father also means a loss of her privileged life. She is sentenced to work in Warwick’s gem mine as a laborer, excavating jewels for Queen Margery. Despite her circumstances, Gabriela maintains her kindness and tenderheartedness. Gabriella wants to expose Queen Margery’s evil secret (her need for the gems from the mine) Award-winning author  Jody Hedlund pens a new young adult trilogy, especially geared to teens ages 13-18 who enjoy a fairy tale retelling. In Beholden, the death of Lady Gabriela’s father also means a loss of her privileged life. She is sentenced to work in Warwick’s gem mine as a laborer, excavating jewels for Queen Margery. Despite her circumstances, Gabriela maintains her kindness and tenderheartedness. Gabriella wants to expose Queen Margery’s evil secret (her need for the gems from the mine). First Gabriella must escape the mines, then get to the palace in time for the summer ball. After that, she plans to sacrifice everything in order to succeed.  Meanwhile in a neighboring kingdom, Prince Vilmar and his brothers are being sent on a royal test, one that will prove which son is worthy to become the king’s successor. Vilmar is sent to Warwick’s gem mines as a laborer, to learn about serving others. Will Vilmar help Gabriela in her quest, even if it means sacrificing the success of his own?  Hedlund is known for her young adult series (The Lost Princesses, and The Noble Knights), and this book looks like the start of another excellent one.  Hedlund creates a world based on elements of fairy tales and the real world, even providing a map of the Great Isle, where these kingdoms are found. Beholden is a clever twist on the familiar Cinderella fairy tale. Readers will find alchemy, slavery, and superstition as a result of the queen’s secret. But fear not, sacrificial love, kindness, and redemption are also in this tale!   Hedlund is planning a rapid publication of the three books in this series. Fans of fairy tale retellings, whether they are young adult or adult readers, will want to watch for Beguiled (Book 2, October 2020) and Besotted (Book 3, November 2020). Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia

    In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse… A beautiful noblewoman with a terrible secret, and a prince subjected to slavery. Another enchanting medieval fairy tale from Jody Hedlund! With sweet romance, powerful sacrifice, and amazing inspirational characters and lessons, Beholden is a wonderfully unique take on the classic Cinderella story. From the beginning, the story is captivating. The premise of three princes who each have equal opportunity to become king of their country by going t In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse… A beautiful noblewoman with a terrible secret, and a prince subjected to slavery. Another enchanting medieval fairy tale from Jody Hedlund! With sweet romance, powerful sacrifice, and amazing inspirational characters and lessons, Beholden is a wonderfully unique take on the classic Cinderella story. From the beginning, the story is captivating. The premise of three princes who each have equal opportunity to become king of their country by going through Testing, without the constraint of birth order, is new and exciting. Vilmar and Gabriella are perfectly flawed characters, as they recognize their weaknesses and strengths without despair and work to become better people. As always, Hedlund’s cast of supporting characters make as significant an impression on the reader as the heroine and hero, and there are plenty of moving moments in this story where readers will find valuable lessons. Hedlund also sets up two exciting books to follow Beholden, and I can’t wait to read more about Mikkel and Pearl, and later Kresten and Aurora. With Hedlund’s great talent for writing young adult stories in a medieval setting, this series will be one readers won’t want to miss. 5/5 stars “Beholden” is the first book in Jody Hedlund’s The Fairest Maidens series. “Beguiled” will release on October 20, and “Besotted” will release on November 17. All three books are available for preorder. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    K P

    Beholden, by Jody Hedlund, tells the classic story of Cinderella in a brand new way. You meet Vilmar, the second son of King Christian, on the opening pages of this tale. The King has decided that it is time for Vilmar and his two brothers to undergo the Royal Testing: to determine which son will be the next King. Vilmar is sent to the mine pits of Warwick to seek his Testing and live out the ancient wisdom Be slave to all! Shortly after arriving at the gem mine, Vilmar meets a beautiful young wo Beholden, by Jody Hedlund, tells the classic story of Cinderella in a brand new way. You meet Vilmar, the second son of King Christian, on the opening pages of this tale. The King has decided that it is time for Vilmar and his two brothers to undergo the Royal Testing: to determine which son will be the next King. Vilmar is sent to the mine pits of Warwick to seek his Testing and live out the ancient wisdom Be slave to all! Shortly after arriving at the gem mine, Vilmar meets a beautiful young woman named Gabriella. He soon sees the kindness of this woman. It is a difficult life in the mine; however, Gabriella takes the time to help anyone in need. You soon learn that Gabriella left a life of filled with riches before ending up at the mine. Following the death of Lady Gabriella's father, the Duchess of Burgundy and her two daughters move into Gabriella's family home. Shortly thereafter, Gabriella's is unjustly accused of a crime against the Duchess and is sent to work in Warwick's gem mine as punishment! When a friendship begins to grow between Gabriella and Vilmar, Gabriella decides to ask Vilmar to train her to fight against an unknown foe. After the training is finally completed, Vilmar learns that the foe is a monster, no young woman would have a chance against! Hold on to the final page of this tale to see how Gabriella fights when she finally comes face-to-face with her foe!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    An exciting begining to a brand new series! Full of adventure, romance, and intrique, Beholden has everything you want in this fairytalesque story! Containing many elements from the classic fairytale Cinderella, Beholden goes above and beyond adding adventure and plot twists while keeping the love conquers all theme that we all love. Beholden gives us flawed but good characters who through hardships learn how to be better people. I love this theme because none of us are perfect and it is very in An exciting begining to a brand new series! Full of adventure, romance, and intrique, Beholden has everything you want in this fairytalesque story! Containing many elements from the classic fairytale Cinderella, Beholden goes above and beyond adding adventure and plot twists while keeping the love conquers all theme that we all love. Beholden gives us flawed but good characters who through hardships learn how to be better people. I love this theme because none of us are perfect and it is very inspiring. Vilmar starts out with one goal in his mind- to complete his testing and become king. Throughout the book as he sees more people and the evil in the world he comes to realize how selfish his original motives where. He then faces the conflict of staying with his original mission or abandoning it to help those in need and put an end to the curse of being the fairest maiden. Gabrielle is a beautiful women who is willing to sacrifice everything - even her life- for the good of her country. Even the side characters do alot of sacrificing for the good of others.. All of this made me enjoy the book so much more and helped me engage with the fast moving plot. Overall this was a wonderful book and I am eagerly waiting to read Beguiled the second book in the fairest maiden trilogy! Disclaimer: I recieved an advanced complimentary copy of this book and all opinions are strictly my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Are you looking for a good clean romance for your teens or young adults? Well, Beholden is good for them. It deals with princes and knights. It also has a sweet story about beauty. What a way to have action and adventures. The heroes have to work together. I enjoyed learning about the gem mines and the slaves. We get a bit of an evil queen and slavery. It seems it is a modern-day fairy tale of Cinderella. Jody does well with the plot and storyline. What a way to pull into the story. It keeps you Are you looking for a good clean romance for your teens or young adults? Well, Beholden is good for them. It deals with princes and knights. It also has a sweet story about beauty. What a way to have action and adventures. The heroes have to work together. I enjoyed learning about the gem mines and the slaves. We get a bit of an evil queen and slavery. It seems it is a modern-day fairy tale of Cinderella. Jody does well with the plot and storyline. What a way to pull into the story. It keeps you wanting to turn the pages once the action starts to pick up. The adventures begin to heighten up once Gabriella is released from the mines. Who will win? The princes are to do testing to see if they are worth the kingship. The princes are given a phrase that is different for each prince. I wonder what each means and for that prince. Slave for all what can that mean. You will be trying to figure it out along with Vilmar. What is Gabriella's plan? Can Vilmar find the true meaning to Slave to all and find help from the slaves and Gabriella? My rating for this book is 4.5 stars (Moons) on my rating system. Which make my rating system will have it marked 4 stars (Moons). This book good for teens and young adults. It got romance and fantasy. If your teen or young adult enjoy fairy tales, this book has it and more.

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