Title: The Boundless
Author: Anna Bright
Pub. Date: June 9, 2020
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.
This will be a spoiler free review. I highly recommend the Audible Audiobook version, which is what I listened to.
So, I loved this book. I think I loved it more than the first one. So, one would think that a review should be easy to write.
I don’t know how to put my thoughts and feelings into coherent sentences.
On one hand, I 100%, absolutely loved this book. I loved how Anna wove various new fairytales into the plot, all while maintaining character relationships and fleshing out Selah’s fantastic character arc.
On the other hand, I feel mildly disappointed with the ending. Not the overall ending, how it ended – I thought how it all came together worked wonderfully and it was satisfying – but a certain aspect of the ending, a choice that felt too easy, too safe.
I can’t really go into details without major spoilers, but it pertains to Selah and who she ends up with. I just kind of find myself wishing it had been different? Which feels like a betrayal, since I really like who she does ultimately end up with.
I will say that Anna had me rooting for Lang to be endgame with Selah at the beginning of this book. Their chemistry is one of my favorite things – their constant bickering to mask other feelings, when really, they should just lock themselves in a room and make out…I’m trash for it.
But because of this, it did kind of feel like there was a forced love triangle, and I actually found myself becoming annoyed at the constant mention and reaffirmation of her love for this person. If you’ve read The Beholder, you should know who I’m talking about.
I guess I kind of got my hopes up, thinking something else was going to happen, based on what I was reading in the book, and when it didn’t happen – dashed hopes.
While I had a few little issues – mainly pertaining to that spoiler I was just talking about – I thought this book was utterly brilliant. Selah’s journey was pretty bad ass and epic and despite all that is thrown at her, she continues to stand tall. She continues to fight for what’s right, even if it could cost her. She goes from this naïve, sheltered girl, to a strong, fiercely loyal and independent, strong young woman. You legit get to see her come into herself as she watches and learns and plays the game better than everyone else. To see that change in her was so brilliant and exciting and really bad ass. I mean, damn. I definitely didn’t expect Selah to change that much, but I’m so glad she did. It made that confrontation at the end of the book so much more satisfying.
Anna does wonderful things in this book, and leaves you wanting more, wanting to see what’s next for Selah and her friends and family. I’m sad that this the end of this duology. I love how Anna expertly weaves fairytales and folklore into this alternate history fantasy. It always feels seamless and instantly recognizable. Even if you don’t outright know the whole story, you know it. Does that make sense?
I also liked the cyclical nature of it all and the way good triumphed. Selah played the game that Baba Yaga had invited her to play, and Selah played it better, because unlike those who wielded their power over others, she chose to use her power to help and lift people. I’m still so thoroughly impressed with Selah’s journey through this duology, and especially this book. Anna, I applaud you, because oh my damn
If you haven’t yet, (I don’t know what you’re waiting for) make sure you check out The Beholder and The Boundless! Both are out, so you have no excuse! Go forth and binge and figure out which of Selah’s potential future husbands you like best!
If you’re interested, you can check out my review for The Beholder!