Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

Book Description

The first book in a new YA historical fiction series from bestselling author Jody Hedlund.

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:

Medieval knights. Ancient torture. A lovely Maiden. What do all of these have in common? This young Adult read by Jody Hedlund claims ownership to all three.

Jody Hedlund has been known for historical adult romance. Her debut into young adult fiction has many positives going for it. Lady Rosemarie is determined to put an end to the Medieval tortures so common during this time period. This fact causes the story to be sprinkled with the brutal facts throughout, which may be a bit much for the younger teen reader. The book is written in first person, which can be off putting to some readers. Ms. Hedlund does with skill, weave a story, that takes place over only the course of one month.

I liked how history of the time period was expertly given throughout. It would be a book that you could have a high school student read for pleasure reading while studying this time period and it would appeal to both young men and women. While there is romance, it is done more according to the correct time period tradition. Women were forced to choose a husband for convenience often in that time, as Lady Rosemarie finds herself ordered to do in the beginning of this story.

While for me, the first person style of writing was a little less enjoyable, I am excited to see more fiction written during this time period. I plan on adding this book to a list of books to be used in my My Father’s World Rome to Reformation series. Readers will find that it is something that will bring discussion after reading it.

I was given this book for review from BookLook Bloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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  1. Actually, speaking as someone who has studied this period at degree level, it seems that torture was not so common in this time period at all- at least not in England- and not for trivial offences such as stealing.
    Also, I simply have never even heard of some of the methods in the book ever having been used in the Middle Ages.

    I do find it sad that so many people unquestioningly accept such things as an ‘accurate’ and ‘realistic’ presentation of the period- including authors- when they really seem to be neither.

    1. martyomenko

      You would likely have to take that up with the author. I have learned from vast amount of historical studies, that as varied as humans were, so were people in history. There were many different cultures in the time period and since this one is fiction, is really up to much of the imagination. However, it can be good to study it out. Which books would you recommend for 8-12 for that time period? What about teens?

      1. I agree and disagree. I would say the depiction of torture struck me as unrealistic, regardless of the culture.
        Its principal purpose in most societies is to extract a confession, or to make an example of a person deemed usually to have committed an especially heinious crime. There would be no point in using it on common thieves caught in the act.

        Also, I felt Rosemarie’s attitudes and actions were often contradictory in this regard. She said she had no problem with criminals being locked up- but all she ever seemed to do when push came to shove was make excuses, let them go and stop the Sheriff from arresting them.

        I actually felt sorry for the guy- she would not seem to let him do his job at all.

        Do you mean history books or fiction books. Although I like fiction, I tend to advise people not to learn thier history from it…..

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