An Uncertain Choice
About This Book
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 convent 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.
Known for her vivid historical romances that combine real-life events and places with unforgettable characters, Jody Hedlund brings the same attention to detail, depth of characterization, and page-turning conflict to Young Adult fiction in An Uncertain Choice. Lady Rosemarie is a wonderful heroine that young girls can confidently look up to, a young woman struggling with responsibilities as she leaves girlhood behind, wise enough to seek counsel yet fearless enough to stand on her own two feet when she has to. I was immediately drawn to this heroine from the very first scene, in which she’s desperately trying to stop a cruel public torture against a man she had pardoned.
And, I freely admit, I fell in love with the hero in that very scene, too. Sir Derrick is a valiant warrior who holds duty, honor and bravery above all else, but he is also humble and chivalrous. He knows Lady Rosemarie is ruler of the realm of Ashby, and he never once seeks to undermine her authority. On the contrary, he simply goes about his business, helping whenever he sees a need and always encouraging Lady Rosemarie to be the ruler he knows she’s capable of becoming.
The writing in this story was as flawless as I’ve come to expect from Hedlund, but it was unusual, too, in that this is her first book written in first-person point-of-view—two of them, in fact—a style very common in the YA market. The pace was steady and the action and tension built from the very first scene until, by the final chapters, I was literally on the edge of my seat, dying to see how these characters could possibly overcome the many grim and life-threatening obstacles Hedlund threw at them.
Medieval romance fans will find all their favorites in this story: knights, fair ladies, dances, feasts, jousting tournaments, and more. And it’s the more I really enjoyed about this story—how Hedlund went deeper than the typical courtly fare to make her characters face grim challenges such as torture, pestilence, imprisonment, even death. This is no soft, cushy fairy tale about damsels in distress who must be rescued by men stronger than they are. This is the story of a young ruler who genuinely cares about her people and lives by a strong set of morals and beliefs founded in her faith in God. She doesn’t always know what she’s doing, isn’t always confident, but that neither stops her from seeking advice nor from taking action when she must. I have nieces very close in age to Lady Rosemarie, and I would be thrilled for them to read this book and see her as a role model for how they can live their lives today.
There is so much more I could stay about this story, but I fear I will start delving into spoilers, and this is truly a story one must experience for one’s self. It may be targeted for the YA market, but An Uncertain Choice is a dazzling, heart-pounding medieval romance that will mesmerize historical fiction fans of all ages.
Available March 3, 2015 from Zondervan