Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Beholder #2

The Boundless

Rate this book
This breathtaking sequel to The Beholder will take you on a journey into a darkly sparkling fairy tale, perfect for fans of The Selection and Caraval.

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.

491 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 9, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Anna Bright

3 books722 followers
I believe in woods, mountains, highways, cobblestones, roller coasters, dancing, concerts, cherry Pop Tarts, books, and magic.
When I'm not reading or writing on my couch, I'm dragging my husband off on an adventure, snuggling my new baby daughter, communing with Salem (my kitten/spiritual familiar), or causing trouble at One More Page Books, where I work.

**note: i don't accept GR friends anymore, because of amazon review policy nonsense. please come find me on twitter or insta at @brightlyanna, and we can talk books there! <3***

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
540 (29%)
4 stars
695 (37%)
3 stars
463 (24%)
2 stars
125 (6%)
1 star
34 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 345 reviews
Profile Image for Scrill.
407 reviews232 followers
March 31, 2020
Thank you HarperCollins for the ARC!!!

As much as I loved Torden...I want to know who is next! I need her to be more fierce too!
Profile Image for ♠ TABI⁷ ♠.
Author 15 books478 followers
Want to read
November 13, 2019
if she flip flops between more guys and doesn't go back to the interesting possibilities between the Thor/Loki vibes of Torden and Alexsei I'm going to be most disappointed

Profile Image for Anna Bright.
Author 3 books722 followers
May 31, 2020
UPDATE: I have updated the page references in the content warning to correspond with the final copy of the book. Any errors here are mine. Happy (and safe) reading. <3

Hi guys! With THE BOUNDLESS now on Edelweiss, I wanted to provide you all with the book's content warning. Note that the pagination in the fuller content warning on my site is not final and may not perfectly match the pagination in the e-ARC of THE BOUNDLESS; it will be updated with the pagination of the final book once that's available.

Content warning: Readers should be advised that this novel includes subject matter related to forced marriage and grooming, violence against children and child soldiers, and content that may be triggering to readers with emetophobia. For fuller details, see www.annabrightbooks.com/novels.
Profile Image for Mary-Faith.
312 reviews94 followers
September 27, 2021
I think I'm going to spend the rest of my life trying to process what happened here.

I adored The Beholder. It was a huge surprise for me since I just picked it up at the library without knowing anything about it, but it became a favorite. I was so excited to see how the story would end. Unfortunately for me, I didn't remember quite as much from The Beholder as I thought I did. A re-read before the sequel probably would have been beneficial, but I made it work.

The main problem I had with this book (the only problem really) was the setting. In The Beholder, we were constantly moving from one place to the next and meeting new people. In The Boundless we got stuck at this evil witch lady's castle for at least two-thirds of the book. However, it didn't feel repetitive or boring because Anna Bright employed one of my favorite writing techniques ever - she didn't describe every single thing that happened. I didn't need to know that Selah washed dishes every day for a week before something new and significant happened. What we didn't need to know was summarized so we could get to the juicy stuff.

After going on this journey (literally), you know I have to share a few spoilery thoughts...

If you like retellings, or stories with fairytale vibes, or just cute books that feel like comfort reads, I definitely recommend this duology. I'm so excited to see what comes next from Anna Bright!
Profile Image for h i n d .
239 reviews139 followers
June 22, 2020
I'm VERY dissatisfied ??

and it's all my fault, more like, my expectations fault
i waited so much for this sequel i anticipated so much

and i didn't get what i wanted
so much POTENTIAL wasted,
the general direction of the story wasn't even close to what i wanted
Ideally :
- Lang would've been the love interest
- we would have spent more time on the ship and finally got to really know the crew (you know, instead of this idiot spending her time alone because she's 'mad')
- i expected the whole rebels thing to be more central so i didn't think it necessary for the whole of the second half to be dedicated to the 'palace'
- you know, scheming, danger, adrenaline
we got none of it ?? ugh

also, Selah kinda got on my nerves at times

is the ending too happy or am i just cynical?
bruh i can't get over how disappointed i am
Profile Image for JenacideByBibliophile.
208 reviews126 followers
June 14, 2020
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher, HarperTeen, via Edelweiss+ for an honest review.


Assuming you read my review of The Beholder (book 1), you will have quickly realized how much I was LIVING and BREATHING for this world.

The messy romances, the adventure, court politics and gowns, propriety, sensibility, duty, folklore and fairy tales…


But when I was knee-deep in The Boundless and sloshing around in enemy territory with a very odd tension/competition dynamic, and a heroine that seems to have blossomed into a badass over night, I was just a bit…



Le sigh.

After being rushed out of Norway and back onto The Beholder, Selah and the crew are forced to continue the tour to find Selah a husband. But the next stop on the list is the one place they have all been dreading since they embarked on their journey – Shvartsval’d. Within the territories of the Imperiya Yotne and the feared tsarytsya, whom they refer to as Baba Yaga, dangers are lurking around every corner and their moves are closely monitored. The crew plans to get in and get out as quickly as possible, but with Lang having trouble contacting the rebels to unload their weapons, Selah must take matters into her own hands. But even after having to leave the boy she fell in love with, and a confusing romantic spark growing, Selah knows that one wrong move could bring her entire world crumbling down.


This wasn’t horrible by any means, but it was just a little too dull and I was rolling my eyes a liiiiiittle too much.

The intense and emotional roller coaster I was on in The Beholder didn’t cross over into The Boundless, by any means. In the first book, I had practically ever other sentence highlighted, I was overwhelmed with feelings and dazzled by the constant misleading directions the author threw me into. I was smiling like an idiot one moment, squealing like a schoolgirl the next, and gasping like a nun at the sheer audacity and turmoil ensuing. But with The Boundless, I was left feeling like the author missed the mark.

In comparison with book one, these are pretty different books. The Beholder focused on the Selah’s stepmother shipping her off to various countries and eligible Prince’s, so it was very much a Bachelorette styled story that felt like The Selection series, with pirate-like vibes. There was court politics, wooing, and romance. But in The Boundless, the story shifts focus more towards the rebellion and the Imperiya Yotne – the “bad guys” of this tale.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a rebellion series and the shift in the focus isn’t what is irking me about this installment. It’s that the shift between YA Romance to YA Fantasy-Rebellion-Badass Female Lead felt…bumpy? In book one, Selah is SO new to being courted. She had only one crush her entire life, and she had never even kissed the guy. So obviously our girl is shy, awkward, innocent and sort of fumbling through what is expected of her. She has no idea what she’s doing, is too trusting of those around her, and seems to just rush headfirst into every emotional situation.

So when we get to The Boundless, it’s like she suddenly just figured everything out and is now wholly confident, strong, brash, forceful and a master schemer?


I know, I know.

“Those experiences helped her unlock her potential.”

Maybe so, but the transition just didn’t feel organic, and I think it’s because there wasn’t enough focus on building Selah’s character. These books are LONG and there is a lot that happens, but what I was really needing was some extra attention put towards molding Selah so that we, the readers, could actually form a strong connection with her.

After reading book 1, I didn’t completely love Selah but I felt like I had a good understanding of who she was. But now? I can’t really stand her. Her strength felt forced, her wit and quick-thinking seem to have appeared out of nowhere, and she suddenly knows how to put her emotional entanglements aside and focus on taking a dictator down?


Her “I’ll do it myself” attitude wasn’t consistent with who the author had been writing about. In one instance Selah just takes charge and says she doesn’t need anyone. But then she is always waiting to be saved. Waiting for “you know who” to come and save her. Well, which is it? Are you wanting to be saved, or are you doing your own saving?

And speaking of emotional entanglements…

Wtf was going on with that weird little almost, but not quite, love triangle?

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’m going to keep the details on the DL, but I will say this: it felt like the author was trying to emulate a Bella-Edward-Jacob situation, but the execution was just weird and left my face all scrunched up and stuck in a state of annoyed confusion. There was no connection between Selah and “he who must not be named“. In The Beholder, I was hardcore panicking about them getting together, especially after I fell in drooly love with the “you know who” guy. But the fear of it going the way I didn’t want was exciting, and he had an allure and bad-boy/NAGC/mystery sort of aura about him.

But in The Boundless, I just wanted to smack him.

Their relationship got competitive and made even less sense than before, and I was hating every second of it. He was NOT a desirable character in this sequel, and I found their banter and interactions totally strange. THANKFULLY, things turned out how I hoped. But even so, those romantic reunions were so anti-climactic. I wanted to be punched in the face with emotion, not gently handed my wishes on a silver platter by a butler.

Like c’mon, make me beg for it!

Anyways. Once again the names of places and people’s names were confusing and I had a horrid time trying to connect things. I was hoping that was going to be ironed out in this sequel, but it wasn’t. But I am pleased with the book’s outcome and the added levels of intricacies that the author wove in. I just wish there would have been more of this type of plot in the first so that there could have been a seamless transition between the books, but even so, it works.

One of my favorite aspects of this series has been the blending of this new fantasy story with a few other classic fairy tales. We had mentions of The Odyssey, similar elements to Cinderella, and the obvious comparison of Baba Yaga. In Boundless, we get a few extra tales as well. There are a few Little Red Riding Hood mentions, but my favorite was the ode to the The Twelve Dancing Princesses. This gave the story intrigue, mystery and a means to connect certain plot points.

Overall, I liked it, but I definitely didn’t love The Boundless as much as I loved The Beholder. I was riding high on swoon clouds in book 1, and sitting in an even-paced horse and carriage in book two. It was a great story that had a ton of exciting adventure and turmoil happening, and even blended in some new fairy tales that readers will recognize. I guess I just wasn’t ready for the switch in story style, and was expecting a bit more focus and attention on the romance.

Profile Image for AJ.
236 reviews92 followers
April 17, 2020
”I already know where my journey ends. It leads me home, to you.”

Thank you to the publishers and Edelweiss for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Let me start by saying that this book was definitely a step up from the first one. The storyline was interesting from the start and I loved the action and intensity of it!

I think my only complaint about this one is how Selah treats Lang. I feel like she’s constantly leading him on and I feel bad for him. I just wish she would’ve stopped being so crazy for “warmth and longing” and realized that she’s toying with other people’s feelings. *sighhh* Eh, sorry if I’m a sucker but I think I’m at my limit for “love triangles” for awhile. Hahaa

Alexei was amazing in this story as per usual and honestly, I loved everyone! New and old characters had me rooting for them until the very end. I enjoyed this book and I recommend you all read it as soon as it’s released!

4/5 🌟’s
Profile Image for Anu.
133 reviews43 followers
February 12, 2021
I put off reading this book for a while. When I finally got the courage to put it on hold at the library, it was literally an eight week wait. I knew I would hate this book going into it, mainly because I had so many problems with the first one. If the author somehow managed to fix Selah's horrid personality, I would be impressed. Really. But, sadly, this was not the case.

Let's get started with the character development. I think what the author wanted to do was make Selah become a little more mature and all together a lot more likable. This was not the case. In the last book, Selah was this helpless little thing who trusted everyone, had no damned clue what the hell was happening half the time, and always needed protecting. In the beginning of this book, Selah just starts off with yelling at every person in her sight, claiming she's not a child, and walking around like she's got everything under control when she hasn't got a clue. I wasn't sure, at this point, if I was reading about the same character from the first book. Her strength seemed forced and artificial. Selah went from helpless to an I-Can-Do-It-All-On-My-Own mindset in an extremely sloppy fashion. I wasn't entirely sure what the reason was behind all her change, but the author assures me that it was because of all the 'hard challenges' she's had to face. Hmm. Yeah, right.

On to how repetitive this book was. Selah pains to inform us every two sentences that she is 'not a child' anymore and 'not stupid.' She actually says this so much that I am led to believe that she doesn't quite agree with herself on this matter. This is not the only thing that's repeated. Oh, no. That's wishful thinking. Every chapter, someone has to remind Selah not to cry cause she's a damned baby. Yeah. And while she bursts into tears for absolutely no reason, she still insists she's not a child. I actually agree. She's not a child. She's a freaking baby.

And now, the love triangle. It was clear Lang had no chance from the beginning. And if I'm being honest, I was actually shipping Selah and Lang from the first book. I feel like Lang actually cares about her while Torden just treats her like an even bigger baby. Torden always used to carry her in the water since she couldn't swim, but she does fine in the water in this book. And to be fair, Lang deserves better than Selah. Selah's an idiot. It was also incredibly hard to care about this new plot development since neither love interest was a major part in this book. Lang was there in the beginning for, like, three scenes, and then he disappears. We only get to see Torden towards the end, when he claims to beat Lang senseless for kissing Selah. Yeah. A fight over that airhead. A huge waste of time, in my opinion. And what's worse: Every single damned time she thinks of Lang instead of Torden, or just doesn't think of Torden in general, she feels guilty. So, since all her thoughts don't continuously revolve around Torden (although, to be fair, most of them do) we are treated to many "my stomach squeezed in a fist" or "I felt a wash of guilt" or "I felt a twinge of guilt" or...well, you get the idea. At the same time, Selah is trying to quench her "burning desire" (her words, not mine) for Lang, which makes no sense whatsoever. Oh, and just a heads-up, but that "burning desire" is long forgotten about halfway through the book.

The plot was incredibly lacking. In the middle, the plot seemed so stretched out that I skimmed basically everything. Then, all matters are resolved without logic or sense, and the ending's thrown into your face. The only thing that really stands out to me from the middle, is the amount of explosions there were. Every two seconds, something explodes. What I'm actually bothered about the most is that Selah's stepmother, who was poisoning her dad, is just forgotten about. And the thing that peeved me the most was that four of the characters in this book got into Oxford. FOUR!! One of them being Selah. I don't think the author has heard of any other university, or how hard it is to get into Oxford (the acceptance rate it 2%. How the hell did Selah manage to get in?). Clearly, though, I'm wrong, since Selah, the most air headed person I've had the misfortune of reading about, got in. So obviously, it isn't as hard as I thought it was. And she got in for LAW AND LITERATURE!! Two things Oxford is known for. And two things Selah hasn't shown any interest in throughout this series. But, hey, if Selah can get into Oxford, clearly any doofus can.

Another thing that bothered me, was the world building. It appeared as if Anna Bright couldn’t decide which time period to set her story in, which made it seem like the book was going through some sort of identity crisis. The story takes place in what I believe is nineteenth century Europe, but for some reason, there are real places along with fictional ones. There are radios and transmitters used frequently in the story, but there are no planes, telephones, or other pieces of technology. I was confused immensely, because the plot seemed to be set in an older time period, but Selah is horrified to discover that one of her potential suitors is nine years older than her. But, looking back to the actual nineteenth and eighteenth centuries, having a suitor who is nine years older than you would be considered lucky. WHY CAN'T THE AUTHOR MAKE UP HER MIND??? This book had no idea what it wanted to be. I was seriously concerned for it.

Here are some quotes that stood out to me(not for good reasons):

"I'm tired of people thinking I'm stupid," I muttered.

Umm, Selah? That's because you ARE stupid. Other people can't change what you are.

"He'll trust me." I shot Lang a grin. "They all come around eventually."

Most vain thing I've ever heard her say, though that's not saying much since she's always saying stuff like this. And to Lang, no less!! What kind of idiot is she?

Fritz, one of her suitors, I believe: "His brow furrowed. "What would make it a more inviting space?"

Selah responds with the intelligible: "A table?"... "Something to eat or drink?"

Umm, I think Fritz asking this was supposed to be a rhetorically question. As in, I don't think he actually wanted a response. Either way, who just waltz into someone's room and demands food? Selah, clearly.

Most over-stated sentence:

Selah: "I'm not a child."


Selah: "I'm not stupid."


"Don't cry, Selah."

These three right here prove that, in fact, she is a child.

Highlight of my reading experience:

Selah: "I thought I was the only one with a secret...How foolish I had been."

Finally she admits she's a moron!! Yes. The only thing I would change is instead of HAD, I would make it AM.

"He was a storybook prince in disguise. He had come here for me."

Oh Selah. I don't even have the words.

Selah: "I had seen and suffered too much."

Oh please. Enlighten me. What exactly have you suffered through, you spoiled princess brat?

Most Selfish Thought(there are a lot of these):

"But I couldn't be sacrificed again and again for the greater good, set aside for a succession of causes."

I would honestly like to know how many times she's been sacrificed for the greater good. Really. Because by my count, she's been sacrificed zero times; once if I'm feeling generous.

Bear(ex-love interest): "I think Gwyn was a little worried I'd show up here and fall at you feet and beg for your forgiveness and your hand."

Selah thinks, wittily: "My shoulders unclenched with relief at this. Because it meant he wouldn't."

How highly does she think of herself? Seriously, though. Does she expect every boy she meets to fall at her feet?

Overall, I didn't like this book at all. I didn't even bother to criticize the writing, like I did in my first review, since there's nothing left to say. The cover's beautiful, but what's inside the book is horrendous, ugly, and horrific. I do not recommend this book, unless you want a good hate read, which is exactly how I found the strength to plow through 491 pages of Selah complaining, feeling guilty, claiming she's not a child, or acting stupid. Entertaining, right?

I think the main problem I had with this book was the character development, which was sloppy. The plot was slow and I was constantly bored. I wanted more of Lang and less of Torden. I also wanted to know what the hell happened to her stepmom. The only characters I liked were Lang, who was in the book for no other purpose other than to be the dramatic second love interest (and who is miserable in the end when Selah tells him to take a hike and is oblivious to his feelings about the matter. Typical Selah. Are we really supposed to like her at this point? Cause I honestly hate her so much. She is irredeemable in my eyes), and Victoria, Selah's new baby step-sister. So many things are left unresolved (like whether or not Selah's stepmom actually told Peter to decline Selah's proposal, which could've saved me from the WHOLE series. Stupid Petter. And I hate Selah's step-mom if she actually told Peter to decline her wedding proposal, since that really is the source of Selah's whining and crying) and many potholes are just ignored. Terrible ending. Terrible series. I learnt nothing new, other than Selah is an idiot. But, to be fair, I already knew that.

Happy Reading! And sorry for such a long review!!
Profile Image for ☾.
214 reviews1 follower
March 19, 2022
this book had a very very minor muslim character and yet she was the best depiction of muslims that i’ve seen in YA fantasy so far. go anna bright!!
Profile Image for Steve.
917 reviews134 followers
June 22, 2020
I enjoyed the first book, and I enjoyed the sequel. I'm guessing for most readers, that'll be the case. Having said that, I can't imagine starting with this one without having read the first - I think it would significantly diminish the experience.

I found the pages turned much more quickly in the first book, although the pace picked up for me towards the end. Frankly, in this one, I enjoyed the last 100 pages significantly more than the first 100 pages, but everyone reads for different reasons and, of course, brings different biases and preferences to the table. (But more on that below.)

- - - Some (recurring) thoughts from Book 1 to Book 2:

I feel a little badly shelving this under sci-fi and fantasy, but that's where I tend to stick stuff like Gaiman's Norse Mythology or Joyce Graham's take on various fairy tales, so I'm not going to apologize for doing so.

Full disclosure: the teen, coming-of-age romance and insecurity and ... oh, it's so hard to choose between the boys ... angles don't really speak to me, but, again, I'm not (nor anywhere close to) the target reader/audience.

I'd recommend this to teen readers (with open minds and vivid imaginations) without hesitation!
Profile Image for Tracy Banghart.
Author 13 books911 followers
September 5, 2020
This book was SOOOOO GOOOD. I loved it so much. It took everything I loved about the first one and dialed it up a million notches. More romance, more intrigue, and a TON of character development. It was so romantic and empowering and I loved Selah so so much. I think it's my favorite read of 2020.
Profile Image for Joanna Meyer.
Author 5 books695 followers
February 23, 2020
That feel when SOMEHOW the sequel is EVEN BETTER than the first book! Alllllll the feelings. Perfect ending. Brilliant book. Loved it.
Profile Image for Caylynn.
642 reviews89 followers
June 30, 2020
"And why should we trust you?" Fritz asked.

"We can trust her because she's tired of the same verdammt story-the one where a man in power makes a decision and a girl's fate is sealed."

I am so GODDAMN tired of my favorite side characters NOT getting what they deserve. #JusticeforLang, because that poor captain deserved so much better than the shit that Selah and others constantly gave him.

But that isn't even the worst thing about this sequel. The plot was all over the place. This definitely could have been split into two different books to form a trilogy. Instead of cramming Fritz-the third and apparently final suitor-into the first quarter of the novel along with the random 12 Dancing Princesses subplot and the crew's capture/sendoff to Baba Yaga's lands, the author should have extended this subplot along with introducing the briefly mentioned fourth suitor into a shorter sequel. Getting Selah embroiled more in the rebellion instead of shoving her where she has no idea what she's doing would have been a smarter idea than what actually happened.

The third book could have then centered around the rebellion itself, because my GOD that part of this book was way too short. Selah and the others spent more time captured and wasting time as maids than they did actually fighting the Imperiya.

I did appreciate Selah's character development, however. She went from a cowering teenager willing to leave her own country at the whims of her stepmother, to a woman ready to burn the enemy's tower down from the inside.
The mirror reflected a girl I believed could walk into a room of resistance fighters and negotiate. A girl who could sit down with Gretel and her Waldleute and hold her weight on the other side of the table.

I looked powerful.

While she expressed bursts of stupidity and unnecessary anger-mostly towards my boy Lang-she overall became a strong leader and I wish we could have seen how she chose to rule Potomac.

I don't know, guys. This was an okay sequel, but I don't think it'll be a conclusion worthy of remembrance. There were too many loopholes, twists, and random threads left hanging for me to give it anything more than three stars. Even though there were some brilliant scenes with gorgeous writing (cough *that scene in Lang's quarters with the sketches, UGH my heart *cough), AKA the scenes that get one star all to themselves, I can't claim this as a favorite.

I do recommend reading this if you enjoyed The Beholder. It's a decent conclusion.
Profile Image for Cara.
110 reviews21 followers
July 12, 2020

Would recommend without hesitation. Don’t ask questions. Just get on the boat. I am ready to start The Beholder all over again. A great adventure. Fantastic cast of characters. My mooshy heart was well and truly satisfied. Rock star character growth throughout the two books (you may want to choke Selah at times, but stick with her!). And clean! Yep. I loved it.

And do yourself a favor. I know I seem to be saying this a lot lately, but listen to the audiobooks on this one. So worth it. There are so many languages spoken, excerpts from writings in various languages. Characters with various accents, and Emily Rankin is an unbelievable narrator. Does she really speak all those languages? Cause she sure sounds like it.

Don’t let anyone spoil this one for you. Some rated The Beholder low because they say it was billed as an Odyssey retelling and then they were disappointed when it really wasn’t. Well, I never read anything that claimed it was an Odyssey retelling. In my opinion this story pulled inspiration from a myriad of fairy tales and the Odyssey. It isn’t a retelling of one story, it has a sprinkling is many, and that is part of its charm.

I am seriously sad I finished this story. Definitely one I will revisit. Hope to see more from Anna Bright.
Profile Image for Diana.
1,716 reviews220 followers
September 10, 2020
Much as it happened to me with "the beholder" I find myself without knowing how to rate this one. I did love how it began, the world was amazing and i really enjoyed the stories within the stories, like the dancing shoes with all the princesses, references to the big bad wolf with baba yaga... it was amazing. I enjoyed that we spent more time in the same place instead of traveling and meeting suitors, but...

Here comes my list of buts:

- the baba yaga plot ends up dragging. It could have been shorter and the story would have been better, IMO.
- the love triangle was completly not needed. So Selah loves Torden but out of sight out of mind so it's ok to lust after Lang? Even though she repeats time and time again he is an ass, that he over protects her and doesn't understand her as Torden doesn
- the romantic part of the book killed it IMO. Selah was doing ok on her own, then Torden appears and she can't stop looking at him and even trips over her own fewt 2 times (said in the book). I mean, she still holds her own, but you could have removed Torden and nothing much needed to change. Yeah, I know the big plot twist on Baba Yaga's court, but that also could have happened needing to just protect Potomac.

Honestly, towards the ending I was skipping some pages because it dragged, and then it kinda ties it all and voilà!, done.

Not a bad book, entertaining, and I love how she intermingles stories, mythos, legends inside her own story. Also, I loved the worldbuilding. The love/romance not so much, or how after so many constructing up some characters they are quite easy to topple.
Profile Image for Manon.
1,420 reviews25 followers
April 30, 2020
ARC provided by the publisher.

It's rare for me to like a sequal as much as I loved the first book. Anna Bright managed it, though.

I loved seeing Selah grow, how she grew into her own skin and became more confident.

The world-building was exquisite, I really was absorbed in the magic of this book, and although it takes place on Earth, I really left it for a while whilst reading.

Don't even get me started on the plot. Twists and turns were around every corner, and it was phe-no-me-nal. The ending was perfect, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

I will forever reread this duology, and I will forever be in the depths of despair when I finished it, like I am now.
Profile Image for Sophie.
1,131 reviews437 followers
May 19, 2020
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via Edelweiss. This in no way impacted on my view.

I sped through the first book in this series, The Beholder, and when the opportunity came up to be a part of the blog tour for it's sequel, The Boundless, I was overjoyed. The Boundless starts immediately after the ending of book 1, with Selah being separated from her fiancee, Torden, and furious with the secrets the crew of The Beholder had been keeping. As much as she wanted to stay away from the tsarytsya's control, she is sent into Shvartsval’d to court another prince. While there, she is involved in plotting and rebellion, and gets captured by the tsarytsya's army, and along with Cobie and Anya, is taken to the capital, and into servitude. Can they escape, or will they become another cautionary tale?

I just loved this book! As much as I had enjoyed The Beholder, this was was a whole new being. Selah had grown so much since we first met her, and was no longer the shy and retiring girl, but rather was fierce and ready to take what she wanted in order to survive. This book is all about rebellion, from all sides, and it was fantastic how it was done. There were a few spanners thrown that I hadn't seen coming, but all of them were done in a way that was necessary, and needed to help tie up all loose ends before we ended. The tsarytsya was the perfect villain, and the banter, I guess, between her and Selah really made this book feel whole.

Considering how big a role romance played in the previous book, it definitely took a seat this time around. Selah was missing Torden, understandably, so we had a bit of pining. There was a sub plot and sort of love triangle I was keen on, but it wasn't too big a deal - and probably could've been cut from the story and wouldn't have made much of a difference. I'm really impressed in how much more I loved this book to book 1 - and I liked that one a lot. Anna's storytelling have grown, and I can't wait to see her next foray!
Profile Image for Amanda Deur.
Author 2 books15 followers
July 14, 2020
What a fantastic read and wonderful ending to this duology! I loved it from the very first until the very last page.

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.>

I enjoyed Selah's character development a lot in this book. She has grown so much from the meek girl we met in the first book to the strong and independent woman she has become in the last book. She has turned into a fearsome leader who is willing to sacrifice her own heart for that of her people. The only thing I disliked about her is how she treats certain people in her life and how fickle she is with her own feelings. I do appreciate hers and Torsden's relationship a lot and there was a certain moment toward the end of the book where we get to see how much of an adult relationship these two have despite their youth.

This book was so much fun to read, a lot happens and it is action packed! I also enjoyed the new characters that were introduced to the story and of course the return of a lot of loved characters. We got to meet some terrifying new characters in an even crueler world, kudos to the author for being able to portray the uniquely different parts of culture in the Beholder. Some returning characters also had a lot of great character development!

There is a nice flow throughout the story that makes it easy for the reader to keep up with the plot.
The ending lacked for me though, I think the author could've taken more time to wrap that part up. Now it felt rushed and it missed a little bit of credibility. All in all I adored this book and the duology. I do hope the author will return to the world of the Beholder someday.
Profile Image for Longmei Ge.
185 reviews
August 8, 2020
Digital ARC provided by Edelweiss

I mean, what can I say...
It’s not often when an authors second book is as good as the first, but Anna Bright somehow managed to eclipse The Beholder. The characters and plot of The Boundless were really well fleshed out, and the pacing was amazing.

A few new fairytales were introduced as well, but I won’t spoil them here ☺️ (they were as unexpected- or maybe I’m just unobservant- as they were delightful). As someone who’s gotten really into story retelling, presenting them together the way Anna Bright does makes me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

The plot itself is, as they say, gripping. The Boundless takes place where the Beholder left off and the things Selah and Co. have to go through in this book are much more high stakes (and it’s brilliant). The story took a few turns here and there (or, again, I may just be unobservant), but still managed to stay true to the previous book, and add to the story. Several new characters were also introduced, and delved deeper into the stories of some characters from The Beholder.

Plus the romance. That’s a whole other can of worms.

All in all, Anna Bright took what could have been a shallow, chick-litty book and spun it into a beautiful complex story about friendships and courage while still maintaining romantic storylines (that don’t overwhelm the actual story). This is probably one of my favorite books ever.

I am sooo getting this when it comes out in hardback this summer (and would you look at that cover?!)
Profile Image for Alexandra.
1,839 reviews10 followers
May 27, 2020
I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review will also be available on *Milky Way of Books*

The second book of the Beholder series was definitely a step up from the previous one. Instead of only having the main character on a quest to find her groom, now we had intensity, action and even some very interesting surprises.

The strange mix of fairy tale characters and fantasy elements in these kingdoms was unique and Anna Bright's writing was amazing! My only (personal) complaint was that Selah once again felt like she was falling in and out of love easily over the course of the book and that she also led on a specific character who deserved all the hugs and the love in the world.

Recommended its amazing worldbuilding and action!
Profile Image for Lissa Hawley.
1,032 reviews20 followers
June 24, 2020
I feel like I should quote Doctor Who here. "We're all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?"

This book was so many stories, fairytales, legends and myths woven together into something new and wonderful (the appendix at the end listing them seemed to be missing quite a few.) But it was a delight to spot them all.

Anyway, this was definitely a good one, though it had me worried there for a bit in the middle. (That's the mark of a good book, right - all the emotions?) And happily everything was more or less resolved as I would have preferred. One character's resolution seemed a little shallow/unfinished, but for reasons...I was Okay with that.

Highly recommended but read the first book first (obviously.)
Profile Image for Lelia Nebeker.
124 reviews23 followers
July 3, 2020
*gushes* This is one of the most satisfying sequels I can remember reading. It really builds on the world--and characters--that I fell in love with in THE BEHOLDER, and being so invested makes the stakes and twists and turns even more rewarding in THE BOUNDLESS. Seriously, these characters are incredible, and I loved seeing them grow and fight for themselves, and OH MY GOSH THE STRATEGY IN THIS BOOK. It's so well plotted, and the dynamic between Selah and the villainous Baba Yaga character is outstanding, but the real jewel of story is the friendships. This book is so beautiful and just a joy to immerse yourself in!
Profile Image for Amanda .
432 reviews153 followers
June 16, 2020
You can also read my review here: https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress....

Review: 3.5 Stars

I have been looking forward to this sequel since the moment I finished The Beholder. I loved the first book in this duology, but it did feel unfinished and I really needed the second book. This second installment was great, but it also felt quite different than the first installment. The Beholder was a light hearted and fun read that reminded me a bit of The Selection, but The Boundless felt more serious and wasn't filled with as much romance.

The plot was great. There was just so much that happened throughout the course of this novel. It was truly an adventure, but I did miss all the traveling and the suitors of book one. There were several fairy tale references and I really loved that aspect of this series. The two main tales included in this story were Baby Yaga and The 12 Dancing Princesses, which is my all time favorite fairy tale. I love Anna Bright's Use of fairy tales in this series, it's not exactly a retelling of any fairy tale, but she incorporates aspects of many fairy tales into one story and she does so brilliantly maintaining an original plot of her own.

The characters that I grew to love in the first installment are back along with many new ones. I did wait a bit too long since reading the first book though, so I had a hard time remembering them all at first. I did grow to love Selah a lot more in this installment than the previous ones. All of the hard things she experienced in this book made her into a brave young woman who finally developed some leadership qualities. I wound up really loving Cobie throughout the course of this book, she is such a fierce and loyal character I couldn't help but love her.

Unfortunately there were a few aspects that I didn't love. I missed the setting of Norge a lot. A huge part of the reason I loved The Beholder was because of Torden an Norge, reading about Norge made me so happy and in this book Torden was reduced to a cardboard cut out of his previously  boisterous personality. My other bit issue was with the world building, a lot of things didn't add up. There were carriages and radios, the time period seemed to jump all over the place with very litter consistency. I understand that the book is supposed to be an alternate history, but the world built in this book felt all over the place. The last thing that bothered me was the ending. The climax was lackluster and the ending chapters dragged on forever for me.

There were so many things that I loved, but also many that bothered me. I really enjoyed the first two thirds of this book, but the last third really brough the story down to me. I was so pleased that Anna Bright included fairy tales into her plot and would love to see what else she writes, but I think I liked the first installment of this series the best. The Boundless is darker than the previous installment, but Selah is also more likable in this one. I would still recommend checking out this series though, especially if you enjoy fairy tales because it was a pretty fun and fast paced series.
Profile Image for Maci Dierking.
782 reviews14 followers
September 8, 2020
What a well-rounded duology! This was just so delightful! It was fun, it was romantic, it was super adventurous and also had a great plot with fantastic character arcs! Such a delightful surprise
Profile Image for Jackie ϟ Bookseller.
498 reviews79 followers
April 26, 2020
ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

The Beholder: ★★★★☆
The Boundless: ★★★★☆

"So what? Hearts healed. Stories twisted and turned for the better."

In The Boundless, Selah continues her journey to court princes and find a match in order to return home. However, she also now knows that the ship on which she travels is sailed by rebels whose goal it is to supply the resistance against a cruel and distant ruler. Selah decides to help them by leaving the man she has fallen for so the rebels can use her courtship attempts as a cover to sail deeper into their enemy's lands. All goes well, at first. But soon, Selah finds herself far more tightly wrapped up in the plot than she ever expected to be.

I enjoyed The Beholder, but it felt like a weird version of The Bachelorette taking place on the map of the Grishaverse. That description still holds, but unlike the first book in the duology which didn't get too "intense" until the very end, The Boundless took off almost immediately. Selah was much more likable in this installment, and Anna Bright should honestly get some kind of award for her ability to craft a character arc. Selah began this tale as a lamb, and ended it as a wolf.

While the world still wasn't that original (the most original setting was Potomac, Selah's homeland, which we see very little of), I liked the continued sprinkling of re-tellings elsewhere: Camelot, Thor/Viking mythology, the 12 Dancing Princesses, and Baba Yaga all make appearances throughout the duology, which is something that didn't quite occur to me in the first book, but became easy to appreciate in this second half. Selah, obsessed with fairy tales but ready to "write her own story" in the first book, visited many other tales before finally following her own, and I appreciate that touch.

This installment was more exciting, more romantic, and better written than the first, which leads me to recommend it to readers of the first book whether they liked that one or not. Honestly, this series was good for me at first, but it was great at the end. Twists galore, strong female characters in both hero and villain roles throughout, and a smart, well-written character leading the pack brought this story to a thrilling conclusion.
Profile Image for Nara.
937 reviews124 followers
May 30, 2020
The Beholder Duology is a series about the adventures of Selah, the Seneschal-Elect (next leader) of the nation of Potomac. She is sent by her stepmother on a journey overseas to bring back a husband. I think this series started off quite promising but was quickly bogged down by pacing issues and a disproportionate focus on a mediocre romance.

Unfortunately the biggest issue with the series was the horrible pacing. The first book was not as bad in this respect as it had a few interesting events throughout, but I felt in the second book in particular it was really difficult to concentrate on the story. Mostly this was because of the romance. It seemed like initially the author makes an effort to steer the novel away from the romance and focus more on the adventure side of things, with protagonist exploring several new countries. But then the main character has a romance with what seems like every young male character that pops up in the series, with most of these "romances" basically being mediocre instaloves.

I'm not sure I can actually recommend this series. I liked the first book somewhat in its exploration of different countries and cultures, but overall the pacing and the poorly developed romance(s) brought down the adventure aspect of the story.

Overall: 4/10
Plot: 2/5
Romance: 1/5
Writing: 3/5
World Building: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Cover: 3/5
Profile Image for Paige.
1,719 reviews76 followers
June 6, 2020
Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Boundlese

Author: Anna Bright

Book Series: The Beholder Book 2

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For...: Romance, Adventure

Publication Date: June 9, 2020

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 517

Recommended Age: language, sexism, torture, violence, gore, romance

Synopsis: 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.

Review: This was a sequel I loved more than the first one! This book had such great character development and world building. The plot was intriguing and I was interested from start to finish. And it had a very solid ending with a great message. I also enjoyed the romance. Love love love this book and series!

My only complaint is that I wish that the main character was more involved in the action scenes but, for her character I don't think she would be suited to fight.

Verdict: An amazing series! Highly recommend.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 345 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.