{FTF Review} THE SEVENTH BLESSING by Melissa Buell

Sorry this review is late!  It was written, but for some reason, it didn't go live properly and I'm only just getting home!!!  Not only didn't it go live, but blogger ATE my post.  So...I'm writing it for a second time!  Sorry if it's not as concise as what I normally do!  I'm forgetting what I have and haven't said now...

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O P E N I N G   L I N E:

TALIA LOOKED UP FROM HER SCROLL, turning to the cry of anguish that came from the adjoining bedchamber.  It will be soon now, she thought with a smile, but not too soon, I hope.
(pg. 1, US Paperback Edition)

While THE SEVENTH BLESSING isn't a straight-forward fairy tale retelling, it does incorporate elements of one, especially the tale of SLEEPING BEAUTY.  In SLEEPING BEAUTY, fairies come and leave gifts for the newborn princess.  Melissa Buell latches onto this when creating the first novel in her (stand-alone) THE TALES OF GYMANDROL series.  Babies are given blessings when they're born--with a twist.  Because of something that happened in the past, babies now receive as many blessings as the month they're born in.  Princess Samantha was born in July, so she received seven blessings.

While it was intended for her to have blessings suited for a princess such as dancing gracefully, giggling gently, and sipping soup quietly, it wasn't to be. Everyone had expected the heir to be a prince and right before the blessing ceremony, two fairy advisors who always tried to outdo one another started boasting about what gifts they would have given a prince. Unfortunately, they do so right in front of a magical scroll and quill, which begins recording blessings meant for a warrior or a scholar, resulting in Samantha growing up unlike any other princess.

Her mother hides the secret and Samantha grows up in ignorance...until the day she finds a scroll revealing the truth.  Now realizing why she's so different, Samantha leaves on a knight tour, her father proud of her prowess and her mother intent on her finding a husband.  She balances between the attentions of two suitors, one prince a childhood friend and the other the crown prince of a neighboring kingdom.  She tries to keep the truth about her blessings hidden and act the way a princess would despite the fact that she's masquerading as a knight in the tournament with no one the wiser.  But love isn't all that's at stake.  What no one realizes is that a hidden evil is hiding, ready to tear the kingdom in two.  Samantha's unusual blessings may just be the thing needed to save her kingdom from ruin.

I really enjoyed the way Buell pulled the traditional aspect of fairy blessings out of the fairy tales and wove her own unique tale.  There was a little too much focus on unnecessary back story, and at times, contemporary dialogue is slipped in that pulled me out of the world, but for the most part, it was easy to slip into the world of Gymandrol.  I loved seeing a feisty princess who is able to leave on a tour.  Samantha does so much more than most of the princesses I've read about from similar time periods.  It was fun to see a princess who is more of a tom boy and struggles to be prim and proper.  I'm looking forward to reading the second novel in the series, THE HIDDEN BLESSING, in June. 
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

This cover is what first drew me to THE SEVENTH BLESSING.  I'm always drawn to books about, well, books, and looking at the cover for this one, I saw a library full of old, beloved tomes.  The girl holding the scroll intrigued me.  What was she reading?  Her dress and hairstyle led me to believe that the book would be medieval and definitely lends a medieval tone to the cover.

I also like the way the image looks like it's been ripped out of the page of a book and is full of jagged edges.  It's been plastered on top of a secondary image, giving me something new to look at all over again!

I see something new every time I look at this, from the library's beautiful arching ceiling to the intricate pattern in the floor titles.

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Melissa Buell
Release Date: Out August 15, 2011
Publisher: The Little Things Publishing Co.
Received: Purchased


Not all fairy blessings are enchanting . . .
Unlike most royal eighteen-year-old girls, Samantha finds it difficult to be a prim and proper princess. When she discovers her seven fairy blessings that were bestowed at her birth are a lie, her entire world is turned upside down. Although she can forgive the feuding fairies who made this large error on her behalf, she must find a way to control her real blessings--which may be more trouble than its worth.
Things start to become complicated when her best friend's brother becomes seriously injured just weeks before the annual knight competition. Samantha realizes the only way to help him and his family is to enter the competition by disguising her true identity. Balancing her mandatory princess lessons while hiding her secret blessings on top of this becomes difficult, but things begin to get challenging when Prince Nolan, a childhood friend, reenters her life. Samantha, bitter about their constant bickering relationship, suddenly begins to see Nolan in a new, and often confusing, light.
But when she finds out her seventh blessing has yet to be decoded from the ancient tongue, Samantha's most dangerous quest of all is discovering the true power her real blessings hold. Now, the fate of herself, her future, and her kingdom lie in her hands


  1. Thanks for the wonderful review, Bonnie! :D

  2. This sounds like a neat book! Sounds like Samantha may have had a lonely life before she found out. I'm curious about the father/daughter dynamic.

    I'm a total fan of books on book covers too! My first FTF post is here.


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