Hi everyone! Sorry I’m a day late. For starters, a huge congratulations to Nancy M. for winning The Sword of Forgiveness by Debbie Lynne Costello! I really hope you enjoy the book as much as I did. For everyone else, thanks so much for joining me last week! I had such a blast and I’m hoping to have a few more giveaways on my blog, so please feel free to follow. And I loved hearing from all of you! I love having a good discussion about books, so feel free to comment on any of my posts. 🙂 I look forward to hearing from you!
Now for today’s post. I figured since I started the Medieval mood, I might as well continue it with another recently released medieval tale: An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund. Now this is a YA fiction tale, so not as heavy as last week’s, but still as good with several great messages. But, before you read this book, you should read The Vow. It’s a prequel novella that tells the story that begins this tale.
This little novella is a great pre-curser to An Uncertain Choice. Rosemarie is a sweet girl, on the cusp of becoming a woman. She is so compassionate and loving, with a heart desperate to help her people. She also gets her first taste of love, and it’s really sweet watching her. Though tragedy strikes, this is still a very cute store, and has a wonderful beginning to Rosemarie’s journey. Definitely good to read, especially right before An Uncertain Choice as it helps explain some things brought up in the novel.
As for An Uncertain Choice, this is a great coming-of-age story with some great messages, and a great tale, for women of all ages. Rosemarie learned that she was bound to a convent when she turned eighteen. While she accepts her place, she also struggles with balancing how to rule her people even while being secluded from them. That is, until she learns that if she marries before her birthday she will be exempt from the vow. She is introduced to three amazing knights, each vying for her hand. Now she’s faced with some difficult choices: is God’s will for her to be in a convent or a wife, and if she’s to marry, which of the three should she choose? To this sweet romantic tale, you add a bit of suspense, a strange illness that seems to sweep across her lands, killing her people. When one of the knights is charged with some shocking crimes, Rosemarie must rely on others to help solve these mysteries, but with her birthday just over the horizon, can they solve them in time? This book definitely had me on the edge of my seat almost until the very end waiting to see how it would play out. (Did I mention that I didn’t put it down until I finished it at 2am? Lol)
Along with the wonderful story-line, I love the messages in this book. For starters there’s the debate about whether she should be a nun or a wife. While convents and monasteries aren’t as widely popular today as they were in medieval Europe, the idea of serving in the ministry is still strongly encouraged in the Churches. That, along with becoming a missionary, is sometimes pushed as God’s calling to one and all. I love how this book shows that following God’s will doesn’t always have to mean serving in the ‘ministry’, how it could also be marriage, and even accepting a leadership position. The other message I love is concerning the knights. The three men are different in their wooing of Rosemarie: you have the one who enjoys giving her gifts, the one who speaks sonnets and enjoys the artistic world, and then you have the quiet, intellectual one. If you’ve ever read the children’s tales The Princess and the Kiss or The Princess and the Three Knights you’ll have a general idea about these three knights, but the best part of this story is how all three are good men, with high qualities. For instance, there’s a few tales that warn against falling for a man who showers you with lavish gifts. But, see, my love language is gifts, so it was so nice seeing the ‘gift’ knight as being just as noble as the others, and with a good heart. Then you have the one who spouts sweet words, and even he isn’t shallow as most of his character are depicted. He is kind and compassionate as well. I love that. It just shows how the inside is important, regardless how the knight comes across, and that every one of them can be a good man. The last message I love is watching Rosemarie become her own woman. Since her parents’ death, she relies heavily on so many others to help her determine what to do. In many ways, she is still a child at the beginning of the book. But I love watching her come into her own, to be able to stand up for herself, even against trusted advisors. It’s wonderful to see her become a strong leader herself, showing that she doesn’t have to be under a man’s supervision to be the ruler of her people.
All together, this is a great story. It has such a sweet romance mixed with an edge-of-your-seat suspense. The setting is wonderful, the medieval castle and forests just jumping from the pages. The messages are clear and wonderful, great for a young woman, or any woman, in that time in her life where there’s more questions than answers. It is a book I highly recommend to anyone who wants a good read.
Interested? I hope so! You can get The Vow for either Kindle or NOOK, and An Uncertain Choice is available through Amazon and B&N in both e-book and paperback versions. And don’t forget to follow this amazing author through her website, Facebook, and Twitter. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have!