Besotted By Jody Hedlund
In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse . . .
A young queen trying to stay alive until she comes of age to rule, and a prince turned into a pauper.
Queen Aurora of Mercia has spent her entire life deep in Inglewood Forest, hiding from Warwick’s Queen Margery, who seeks her demise. As the time draws near for Aurora to take the throne, she happens upon a handsome woodcutter. Although friendship with outsiders is forbidden and dangerous, she cannot stay away from the charming stranger.
Only two months away from completing his royal testing, Prince Kresten of Scania is ready to be finished with the poverty and hardships of being a woodcutter. When he meets a beautiful peasant woman, he doesn’t plan to fall in love, especially when he must soon leave and return to his homeland.
As Queen Margery’s forces close in, Aurora finds herself in mortal danger. Kresten knows a future with Aurora is impossible, but he is desperate to save her and bring an end to the queen’s threat. To do so, he joins the ultimate battle against the evil queen, risking everything, including his chance at true love.
Both Aurora and Kresten are much more outgoing and open to people than I am. The skeptical side of me of course was thinking, “You just met each other and you’re telling each other all this? Especially after Aurora was almost killed by her aunt?” But it quickly quieted. The author did a fantastic job of taking character’s with very different personalities than mine and making me understand and like them despite that.
I also love that Aurora and Kresten think about each other. Yes, they’re cute and in love and everything. But they actually think about how their actions will affect each other—a rarity in romance.
I was warned before I started reading that the ending wasn’t as out-of-nowhere-awesome-plot-twist as Beholden. But this is still my favorite book in the series. While the ending wasn’t exactly unheard of for a Sleeping Beauty retelling, it was still a beautiful ending. If anyone ever tells you that tropes don’t work . . . Plus, it was just so satisfying to see all the threads from across the trilogy come to a close.
Besotted finishes out the trilogy with a sweet familiarity for fans of fairy tale retellings.
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