The Beholder

The Beholder

by Anna Bright


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“Sparkles with beauty, intrigue, and romance.”—Kiera Cass, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Selection series

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.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic to visit a series of potential suitors—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From the gardens of England to the fjords of Norge, 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.

Lush landscapes, dazzling romance, and captivating intrigue await in this stunning alternate historical YA debut—perfect for fans of The Selection or Caraval.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062845429
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/04/2019
Series: Anna Bright's Beholder Series , #1
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 4,810
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Anna Bright is an indie bookseller by day and an author by night who still gets in trouble for reading when she’s supposed to be doing other things. When not hiding out among books, she loves concerts, roller coasters, and adventures at home and abroad. Anna lives with her husband and cat in a charming cobblestoned neighborhood in Washington, DC, but you can find her online at and on Twitter and Instagram at @brightlyanna.

Customer Reviews

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The Beholder 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
JillJemmett 1 days ago
I was so excited to read this book! It is set in an alternate historical world, with similar countries and empires as our world. I noticed some historical storytellers who worked on the ship, the Beholder, right away. Homer, Grimm, and Andersen were the ones I recognized. I was so excited to find these storytellers in the book. The story also had elements of different fairytales, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and The Odyssey. Selah has an evil stepmother who sends her away, like Cinderella and Snow White. She also goes on an epic journey like Odysseus. I wish there had been more storytelling throughout the book, because I loved these references to famous tales. I was hoping that there would be more time spend with various suitors in this story. I didn’t realize it would be more than one book, so I was a little confused as to why Selah was spending so much time with only two suitors when she had many more to visit. However, I loved the historical elements from all of the places she visited. The ending was fast paced and exciting. It gave a great cliffhanger for the next book! Thank you Indigo for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Gamwyn 12 days ago
Brilliant and addicting, this wholly unique book is crafted from a dizzying amount of familiar fairytale elements woven together with exquisite skill. You’ll laugh and cheer and groan and cry with Selah, and fall in love with no less than three different boys (yes, THREE!). Don’t miss this one!!
Laura-Weymouth 13 days ago
THE BEHOLDER is a dandelion of a book--it looks bright and fluffy at first, but its roots go down impossibly deep. It's about finding who you are in the middle of adverse circumstances, and holding to who you know yourself to be, no matter the cost. Selah, the Hufflepuff heroine of THE BEHOLDER, is a dandelion herself--a sweet girl with a heart of gold, full of uncertainties and doubts, who nevertheless possesses quiet strength and unshakable convictions. In a genre full of warrior princesses, Selah is a breath of fresh air. A good-hearted and refreshing read for anyone who loved fairytales as a child and believes that happily ever afters are still possible--though you may have to weather some trials and square off against some villains to get there.
Anonymous 13 days ago
Every character is delightful. Every love interest is better than the last. Selah is a nice change of pace from the cutthroat, kingdom-stealing, assassin princesses.
Anonymous 13 days ago
Beautifully written and imaginative narrative!
Anonymous 13 days ago
Anonymous 13 days ago
Selah, Seneschal-Elect of Potomac, knows that she must find a husband for the good of her country. But when she is publicly rejected in front of her father's court, her stepmother takes the opportunity to send her away across the Atlantic under the guise of securing an engagement, and Selah realizes there are more things at play in her life than her own heart. Sweeping in scale and lushly romantic, THE BEHOLDER is a shimmering debut that whispers its magic to you, wraps you up in a old cloak of fairy tales, and carries you off across a brand new ocean of its own making. A positively lovely book.
Anonymous 13 days ago
I loved being able to visit much of my favorite folklore and myth all in the same beautiful world. You will absolutely love each of these characters.
Anonymous 13 days ago
This book is a gem. YA is rife with heroines who are assassins, warrior queens, etc—in all of that, Selah is a breath of fresh air. A teenage protagonist who actually feels like a teenager, with all the sweetness and heartbreak and stormy emotions that comes with it, who is allowed to be soft and feminine in ways that the story always treats like strengths rather than weaknesses. Deftly written alternate history, steadily mounting stakes, and SO MUCH ROMANCE make this super fun to read.
NovelKnight 17 days ago
I should be clear that the primary reason I was interested in The Beholder (beyond the beautiful cover) was that I saw it marketed as a re-telling of The Odyssey. Unfortunately the closest resemblance I found was a character named Homer. . . and that's about it. I ALMOST made it halfway through the book before I completely gave up because I actually dreaded picking it up. I was bored and entirely disinterested. Usually I DNF for either the story or the character. In the case of The Beholder, it was for both. The plot resembles a colonial-esque Bachelorette and reminded me a bit of The Selection meets The Glittering Court. Which is all well and good but I had issues with both of those books so seeing it mashed together really didn't appeal to me in the least. And I wasn't really sure what the author was trying to achieve with this world because there were too many different things going on. The protagonist, Selah, was a hot mess. Honestly, how is this girl so sheltered?? And she's eventually going to lead her people? Really? I wouldn't trust her to be in charge of anything! She's so passive. I saw zero initiative from her, no motive, no agency. Nearly halfway through the book she's still just letting things happen to her. I struggled to connect with her until I finally gave up. Why should I care about what happens to Selah? It's terribly unclear and I lost focus with this book. A lot. So two strikes down, and the writing style makes three. As a reader, I don't want to be told the entire story, how the characters are feeling, what they plan to do. I want to see their emotions through their actions, be surprised when they do something unexpected. The Beholder had far too much telling which only distanced me further from the book. At 44% I DNFed this book officially. A beautiful cover it may have but this was absolutely not the book for me (though fans of The Selection may enjoy it).
Bookyogi 3 months ago
I really liked this book! It pulled me in from the start with Selah being sent to sea on The Beholder, after she proposes to a boy who rejects her and must now go find a suitable match, and not return until she is engaged. Being charged with the responsibility of leading her land one day, at times it reads like The Selection, but only in that there are a series of suitors she must chose from. The story focuses on the first two stops and Selah’s wish to gain a fiancé from one in order to come back quickly to her ailing father. I was surprised to fall for both; they were very different, endearing, and full of their own plot twists – well done! The book ends placing the story in an entirely different direction. Bring on book 2!