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Beguiled ~ Review

The Fairest Maidens #2
By Jody Hedlund

She's has fled for her life in the hopes of returning and rescuing her younger sister. But first, she must learn how to defeat and outwit her mother - Queen Margery of Warwick.  Finding refuge among the outcasts she must keep her identity hidden or she will be forced to find sanctuary somewhere other than the Isle of Outcasts. But when she takes a captive from one of the other bands of outcasts she had no idea that she was taking a royal prisoner. A prince of Scania in the midst of his testing.

Mikkel can't reveal his true identity when he is taken captive, his testing must be completed if he hopes to become king of Scania. And to reveal who he is would result in his being rejected by the outcasts who call the isle home. But can he look upon the heart and become worthy of the duty of king? 

When forced to protect his identity Mikkel reluctantly agrees to marry the young woman he has come to know as Veil. Her disfigurement hidden beneath the veil she always wears. But Veil too hides a secret - a secret that she fears will influence Mikkel's opinion of her. Can he see beyond her outward appearance? She fears the answer. But to save Ruby she reveals her true identity to Mikkel. But marriage, even to a princess, could keep him from being king if it is not approved by King Christian and his advisors. 

Queen Margery is not about to let her daughter live, not when she has need of her. But Pearl has no idea just how deeply her mother's greed and avarice goes. And if she's not careful not only will she die by her mother's hand so too will Mikkel. Can Pearl and Mikkel learn to trust one another enough to survive or will their independence be their undoing?

This is the second book in The Fairest Maiden's series and IF you have not read book one you can still enjoy this book. But it is better to read the books in order to fully enjoy the series. This is a delightful read with a fairy tale twist (no magic involved). And those who have read Jody Hedlund's previous YA series The Lost Princesses will love this series as it adds to the story world she created. 

The characters are relatable (not the prince or princess part, of course) and one can empathize with their situations. The growth of character that Pearl and Mikkel experience is believable as the story progresses. I truly enjoyed getting to know these characters and look forward to the third and final book in the series. Jody Hedlund has again created a world one will enjoy visiting again. These are most definitely going on my reread list. 

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

In a land where being the fairest maiden is a curse...

A princess rejected and hunted by her mother and a prince who lives as a shunned outcast. Princess Pearl flees for her life after her mother, Queen Margery, tries to have her killed during a hunting expedition. Pearl finds refuge on the Isle of Outcasts among criminals and misfits, disguising her face with a veil so no one recognizes her. She lives for the day when she can return to Warwick and rescue her sister, Ruby, from the queen’s clutches. Amidst his royal testing on the Isle of Outcasts, Prince Mikkel of Scania has kept his identity a secret. Captured by a warring band of outcasts and condemned to die, he finds himself making friends with an intriguing but feisty young veiled woman. Intending to win her trust and gain her help to escape, he soon finds himself coerced to wed her. Mikkel reluctantly agrees to the union to save his life, and Pearl hopes the marriage will provide protection for her and Ruby. But the queen is more determined to kill her daughter than either Pearl or Mikkel realizes and has a sinister reason neither expects—one that could rip their new love apart forever. The real Snow White story.

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~ Blooming with Books