Foremost by Jody Hedlund
It seems like every time I’m reading a series, I tell myself to wait until I’ve finished all of them to write any reviews, and every single time, I’m unable to wait! That’s why I’m reviewing book two of Judy Hedlund’s Lost Princesses Series #2: Foremost. Even though I haven’t finished the series, I loved the book so much, I just had to go ahead and share it with you! Typical of me, I know.
This series is about, as you can tell, lost princesses. There was an evil coup in the kingdom of Mercia in which the beloved King and Queen were murdered. Their daughters, however, were spirited away and hidden. This series is about the search for these princesses and what happens when each young woman realizes her royal heritage. Book one is about Adelaide, the true heir to the throne of Mercia.
This book, the second one, is about one of Adelaide’s sisters. Maribel has lived her entire life in a secluded abbey and assumes she will one day take her vows to be a nun and healer. However, all that changes when a mysterious visitor arrives at the hidden abbey to reveal that Maribel is one of the lost princesses. Maribel is forced to flee the home she has always known in the company of her childhood friend, Edmund, who is secretly in love with her.
Edmund was a wonderful romantic hero. Raised by nuns like Maribel after his noble parents were murdered in front of him during the coup, he is a gentle young man and a bit shy. Not that he’s weak, however. A mysterious and quiet man who acts as a guardian at the abbey has taught him how to fight. (I’m being vague because I don’t want to reveal too much!) He also knows how to train animals and communicate with them, especially his beloved pet eagle. This eagle is no ordinary bird, however. It reminded me a bit of the eagles in Lord of the Rings.
Which brings me to another aspect of this series. Even though they are faith-based, there is also a touch of fantasy in these books. In this one, for instance, there is a labyrinth with monsters and giant spiders. Many of the adventures that Maribel and Edmund face are rather frightening at times, and at others they are downright terrifying. In a few instances, the violence is rather graphic. So if you’re a parent, be aware of that. These are marketed as young adult fiction, and since they are Christian, I wouldn’t want the violence to take anyone by surprise. I don’t think they are inappropriate by any means, just be aware if you have a sensitive kid.
As for the romance, Edmund had me swooning with his care and devotion to Maribel. However, I wanted to shake Maribel constantly! She seemed to be so confused about her feelings, and at times it felt like she was stringing Edmund along. Plus, she would think things like, “why do I like kissing him so much?” Um, because you love him, you idiot! I don’t mind the characters in romances being idiots for a while, but with Maribel, it dragged on a little too long for my taste. I felt so sorry for poor Edmund!
Overall, however, I love this series with its unique mix of fantasy and faith. I look forward to meeting the final lost princess in Hereafter!
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I am a former English teacher turned homeschool mom of three who writes Christian romance novels on the side. You know, in my huge amount of spare time.