Note from Sherry: This book is on my list for the Once Upon a Time Challenge because Brown Bear Daughter read it and enjoyed it so much. I haven’t read it yet, but she did and here’s her review:
I wasn’t too enthusiastic about reading this book at first. I didn’t think I would like it very much, though I love a few others similar to it (Ella Enchanted, to name one). Nevertheless, I did read it, and I really enjoyed it. I like books with romance in them almost as much as I like depressing books, and this was a romantic book.
The whole book is in first person, but the chapters switch from character to character narrating, which was interesting. (I wrote a story like that except that it switched between two characters while this one switched between many more than two.) I really liked this because it gave me different views of different people though of the same situation.
It starts with Maud, the title character (Bella’s) aunt, narrating. She is sent a letter from her brother-in-law, which said that her sister, was pregnant and that he wanted Maud to be there during the birth. Maud, greatly surprised at this because her brother had never shown any interest in her family except for her sister and had moved his family away soon after the marriage, rode quickly to Sir Edward, to her brother-in-law’s, house. There, Catherine, her sister, gave birth to a baby girl named Isabel, but died soon afterwards. Maud gives the baby to Beatrice, who fosters Isabel for a time. Beatrice has also fostered Julian, a prince of Moranmoor, who, when he was about three years old, left them. He came back to visit them, however, and there he met Isabel, still a baby. He could not pronounce her name, so he called her “Bella.” Later, when many events have changed Bella’s life to where she lives with her unloving father and his harsh, new wife, Bella discovers that the life of Julian may be in danger. Julian, who is a truce hostage at a neighboring kingdom, is far away and Bella despairs of warning him soon enough to save his life.
I liked this book for its adventure and romance. It’s too bad I’m not going to give away the ending, which is one of the best parts of the entire story. You’ll just have to read it.