The Beholder Readalong: Day 2

This beautiful photo is by @paperheartsink

Happy Tuesday, friends!

Welcome to day 2 of our The Beholder readalong! After such a painful beginning to the story, having to leave her sick father behind in a company that she really doesn’t trust, our main character is now on her way to start this suitor hunt she really could not care less about! But nobody knows what lies ahead, she might find allies she desperately need!

If you had to guess now, which country do you think will be the host of the winner of her heart? I’d love to know!

We’re onto chapters 13-24 today! Let’s go!

Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for chapters 1-24 of The Beholder by Anna Bright . Read only if you’ve finished those chapters!


Ooooof commenting on her food intake was a mistake.

So well played by her though!

“A lady is someone who knows how to help people.” Damn right. The girl drops a golden phrase from time to time!

Interesting weave of classic Greek legends into the fantasy story! Especially one that’s not a retelling, I don’t think I ever saw it included in this way. I kind of like it. It’s always nice to notice something of your own world in a fantasy.

As a result, Selah has dreams of Penelope who tells her to make a plan and always be one step ahead. The dream feels much more vivid and impactful than her usual ones.

Something finally clicks! I was wondering what does the stepmother has to gain by sending her out to find a powerful suitor! It’s because they are first in line! Meaning she would have to stay with them and would seldom come back, if at all! Even though she is also first in line. Seems unfair but painfully accurate, or is that just me. Sure glad we are moving forward with this these days. still a long way to go, but dang they really had it unfair back then! (I say that as if this is reality. But you know what I mean haha)

Another character is named after a legend, Anansi, a spirit of stories! Have you guys read or seen the show adaptation of American Gods? This bit made me think of it! (P.S. highly recommend!)

We finally reach our first stop, England!

On the way, however, I feel we had a couple of slight tension and suggestive spark moments between Selah and the young captain of the Beholder, no?

What is the problem with that guard, Bear? He seems so snarky for no reason at all! And the Prince seems to be wayyyyy in his 40s. Now I know this is not entirely unusual even in our history but it sure is a bit unsettling!

Perrault saying she should accustom herself to breathing in close quarters, as it would be a pity to see her suffocate and smiling whilst walking out – what a creep!! I wonder what favour he owned the stepmother to be sent on this mission. Doesn’t sound like fun for him either. No sympathy from my end for him though, no sir.

Speaking of going on this mission, Lang was the only one willing to travel through the Imperial waters thus he was selected. But why? Why did he want to?? What is he running from? What is he hiding??

What’s your theory? I’m sure there’s something we still don’t know about his story.

You can feel how painful the dull, polite chit chat days are for her, when every day her father might grow weaker and weaker. It was quite sad when she is told by a Dutches “Don’t all mothers?” (Have high hopes for their daughters), and she thinks she has no strength to say she wouldn’t know. I just wanna hug her a bit.

Aw okay, Bear promised he will take her to see the library so maybe we can all give him a chance after all. He knows how to charm us bookish folk.

Interesting that flowers had meanings! “I picked a flower that means death and destruction, didn’t I?” Hahah

The castle is preparing for the tournament but something feels off to Selah. The flowers reaction, the forced promise to report all victories (what does that mean?) and the changes in the play.

What do you suspect is going on??

After day 2 we definitely have more questions than answers! But all that means is that we get to share some conspiracy theories! Make sure to leave yours down below and reply to the ones by your Fairy Friends!

Let’s see what day 3 answers!

See you then!


37 thoughts on “The Beholder Readalong: Day 2

  1. I don’t trust Perrault or the prince AT ALL! They both seem to have ulterior motives. At first I wondered if Bear was the prince, doing a classic switcheroo, but I don’t think so now. He’s growing on me, the scene with them and the kids is adorable. I love Lang, definitely think he’s the right romantic attachment! I don’t know how I feel about the myths woven in, Homer’s tale just seemed odd. Again, it’s the mix of fantasy and truth, it he meant to be Homer who we know or not? It is the Greek Odysseus or not? If any book needs a map it’s this one!

    1. If any book needs a map it’s this one! Yes!

  2. Yes! I agree with all you said!
    However, I have a theory, might be completely off, but here it goes! I feel like something is off with Bear. I think he might be the real English prince. Maybe Bear wants to get to know Selah and see how she is without a prince around. Maybe they didn’t list the picture in his file, maybe because they didn’t want her (or other girls) to just automatically be fine with it, I mean he’s the PRINCE OF ENGLAND! I’m sure there would be some crazy people/kingdoms trying to get in on that. So I don’t know, but my theory is that Bear is the actual prince.
    Also, I just love Lang! But I want to know what he’s hiding.
    Selah is such a sweet girl. She’s what you would want in a ruler, loves her people and isn’t afraid to work hard or for others.
    I’m really enjoying this book!

    1. Yeah I’m feeling the same about bear!!

    2. Yes! I also think Bear is the real prince ??

    3. I was thinking the same thing! Everything with Bear and doesnt he follow the description that she was given in the folder?

    4. I thought the same thing! The way he and the prince always interact and other people around Bear. That would be an explanation why there was no photo or background story or even the age. Also, why would they care about the age gap? She had to meet him anyway so why not prepared?

  3. I’m still not sure about this book. Like there’s so many characters and character descriptions. I have no idea who’s who and what any of them look like. There’s just too many potential love interests.
    I’m also unclear of the world – like it’s an alternative earth but why is it different?
    I don’t know I’m enjoying it but I feel like I’m still waiting for it to get started.

    1. Glad I’m not the only one still on the fence!
      I’m intrigued enough to continue and be intrigued, but really can’t get my head around the world!
      Is Potomac the whole of America? Where does New York fit in? Why is England still England, but Scotland is Alba, and other countries are… something else again?

      also hoping it starts to pick up a little more in future chapters.

  4. I agree with you all – I thought Bear was the real prince too! Let’s see what his story is…

    I really don’t like Perrault!!
    I can’t believe he said that about her food – what a jerk!

    I’m still loving Selah, she’s such a sweetheart. The scene with the kids was so cute plus her pitching in and working is lovely.

    These tournaments sound fascinating but I can’t help but think something is about to happen…

  5. Lang has secrets, and I want to know. What’s the whole thing with not trusting her with fire? It made me think of the legend where someone’s lifeline is linked to a piece of wood. Maybe Lang’s life is linked to the Beholder. But seriously, what is he doing in England when the other sailors have zero plans? Why does it look like Bear hates royals even though he’s part of the dinners, and the Duchess saying his name while thinking about the prince? Is he like a brother that did something wrong and is now forced to live as guard?

    Also, the romance is happening so fast. Lang casually touches her, making her heart burn inside, but it also does that when a guard she knows for 2 days does that? And she is still thinking about Peter? Girl has got to do something about her hormones.

    What’s happening in England? What did Homer and Anansi keep from her, and why does she need a guard ‘as a precaution’ ? Maybe, since everyone saw Selah choosing the flowers, the ‘group of evil people’ will come find her, and that’s what the prince is hoping to get out of her?

  6. It’s a bit lengthy but these were my notes as I went!
    It’s a bit strange that there’s no portrait of the Prince of England- what’s wrong with him? Is he fat? Ugly? Old?

    There’s definitely something brewing between Lang and Selah! But are they going to make us believe there could be a romance there, or will they evolve into being dear friends?

    Brief thought- maybe she’ll still end up with Peter in the end? Highly unlikely but a tiny possibility I’m not discarding just yet!

    I have a feeling Perrault is going to snap and either hit her or maybe try to kill her at some point.

    Hahahaha! He’s OOOOLLDD!

    Is he the true person she’s been sent to meet though? Is Bear the bodyguard the real prince, disguised to test her or something?

    Lol she bowed to armour! I apologised for walking into a tree once, so I can empathise greatly.

    I love how great the crew are and feel like they’re going to be there at the end with Selah when the inevitable bad thing happens. Cobie is literally my role model.

    Hmmm, the duchess made an error with the names? Suspicious much!

    I adore how Selah is so for the people- she reminds me of Sybil Crawley from Downton Abbey. I just hate how Perrault makes her feel unworthy because she is so caring and humble.

    There’s definitely more to Bear than meets the eye. The way he smiles at her, the fact he stumbled over his knowledge of Oxford and Cambridge? Yeah, I’d bet money that he’s the actual prince.

    Hmm, I wonder if Perrault has seen the way Lang and Selah seem to have bonded and has been keeping Lang busy to keep the pair separated as much as possible?

    Ah, why do I have to stop reading there!? There’s so much to know!!!!

  7. 100% convinced Bear is the Prince. It’s just all too suss otherwise.
    Want Selah and Bear to be happy please so she doesnt have to be scared and alone anymore. Still not sure about her but also want her to be ok!
    Lang is confusing me so much he’s definitely up to something? Now I’m just totally convinced everyone is a secret hidden prince though tbh.

  8. Still loving the pacing. Its such a breeze to read. Although at this point I am a bit worried just how much we will cover in this book considering there are still 3 suitors left to visit.

    This Prince feels wierd. Like everything is going too smoothly and too perfectly planned. I quite adore Bear tho. He reminds me of Chaol and I am a sucker for Chaol!! Their interactions are very cute. Perrault is too stern with Selah though. I think he needs to cut her some slack. I hope she proves him wrong and ends up being a badass.

    On the downside, I feel there are way too many characters and not enough time to know them. I don’t remember half of the people who are around. Its a bit confusing. And while I like the mixture of fairytales and folklore, its too much at this point and feels more overwhelming.

    Another is the world. I. Need. A. Map.

    Other than that, this book is enjoyable so far. And I am looking forward to reading more!

    1. The fear of not reaching all the suitors is real! Is this a series and we meet two suitors a book? That’d be okay, maybe.
      Oh and G I’m glad someone else has read/watched American Gods too! Anansi is a great character and true to his legend in both this and that 🙂

  9. I think Perrault is up to something more than just what Selah’s stepmother put him up too. I see a lot of people talking about Bear and I thought he might be the prince too or his just keeping secrets or something I dont know but I also can’t stop thinking about the flowers, the cowslip and the group they are associated with and how that will come to be a part of Selah’s story.

  10. What is Lang hiding!?!? My theory is that I think he is importing explosives into Imperiya! That was why Selah couldn’t have a candle lit when it was dark.

    Also, Bear I don’t think he is who they say he is. I think he is going to be the illegitimate son of the Prince she is meant to be courting. Selah has such a cute budding relationship with Bear.

    There are so many secrets being hidden from Selah and the readers. I can’t wait to get some answers. What is the English crown hiding? And the stepmother does she just want rid of Selah or to just show her up with these suitors?

  11. Hi fellow fairylooters ?

    So, todays chapters were better and in some parts worse than yesterdays. Felt a little better about Selah. However, the whole story feels super predictable.

    I love these fairychats so I will keep reading, but otherwise I think I’ DNF this…

    Hope the next chapters are more enjoyable.

  12. This isn’t super noticeable, but we also got a character named Homer (as in, the guy who wrote the Illiad and the Odyssey) which I thought was super cool, especially with the reference to those books in Penelope and the usage of the invocation to the muses.

    Meanwhile, I really want to know who Lang is! He definitely seems like he’s going to be a love interest.

  13. 2 things:
    1. I’m still rooting for lang, but what is his secret?! Love the idea of someone here with the explosives. That would explain his caution about fire!
    2. Bear is definitely the prince, right? They made him a guard to see how she really is. After his remark about the libraries i’m almost 100% sure! And after they had a nice moment on that walk, “suddenly” the (fake) prince has no time so now she has to go with Bear alone. How convenient 😉

    Can’t wair for tomorrow!

    1. OMG YAS! So I had mentioned yesterday that I was wondering what was in the barrels/crates on the ship and they could possibly be explosives or weapons. But I was so caught up in heart eyes during the candle scene I didn’t even make the connection!!! Good catch. Now I’m super curious. Hah.

      Oh I didn’t think about the fact that the “prince” bailing meant she was stuck alone with Bear more. Reason number 654472929966 that he is really more than just a guard. WE’RE ONTO YOU BEAR!

    2. I don’t know if I’m rooting for Lang because I feel like he’s a bit flat for a character right now– aside from being nice and having a secret. But I WANT to get to know a lot more about him for sure. I could definitely learn to ship it.

  14. I agree, that there are so many more question. The duchess doing the name slip, the extra items in the hold, sneaky-secretive people. I did like interactions with the baker, jeweler and florist. And her visits with Bear. It made Selah more personable.

  15. I think Bear is the real prince and the other old dude is just pretending (smother’s idea so she doesn’t come home too soon) so Selah doesn’t choose so fast and just keeps going on her trip. And I hope we see more of Bear ?

    And yeah I feel Lang is hiding something, but that’s also how I feel about everyone else in this book ?

    I’m enjoying this book a lot! Can’t wait to read what’s gonna happen ?

    1. I think that’s part of it but it’s also got to be some kind of means of trying to weed out deceit or dissent or something. There has to be some kind of larger threat or history to Bear as prince that would necessitate this kind of large scale lie/production. Right?

  16. There is so much happening in my head after reading these chapters.

    I am totally unconvinced her REAL suitor is the supposed 40 year old prince. Too many weird things happening for me to believe that. For one, why was there no photo of him in the file and no mention of his age, unlike the others? Secondly, Bear, her GUARD is described as lanky. Unless I missed something, nothing about him screams guard to me so far. My theory? He’s her REAL suitor and it’s a possible test. The older lady at tea (I forget what she was called) had “accidentally” asked her first about Bear instead of Bertilak, for one. Secondly, despite his sudden (it really did catch me off guard) outburst at dinner, Selah now has some space and who was the one who overheard her asking Perrault for just that? That’s right. Bear. Idk much about royals and such, but the fact that he’s (a guard) eating at the table with them and the children trust him so much has me completely unconvinced that he’s just a guard. One of my thoughts is that he could be one of Igraine’s sons since she mentioned she has kids her age. If he is just a guard, my next though is that Anna is going to torture us by Selah developing feelings for people around her suitors instead of the men themselves which would obviously lead to bigger issues.

    I am curious about the change in the play. The dragon is clearly being used to indicate some other party that still exists but who? Imperiya maybe? Hmm…

    I can’t stop thinking about the dinner “outburst.” Is he asking her to be his spy? Why? Does he really believe the flower incident was intentional? I was so caught off guard by that.

    Anyway, let’s take a moment to ask a very important question. WHERE ARE YOU LANG?! Look, if you read my day 1 post then you know I’m going down with this ship, and after that moment in the dark on the Beholder (THAT WAS SOOOO FLIRTING DON’T ANYONE DENY IT) I’m only more set on sailing away. But where has he been?! Since arriving he’s been scarce and I’m starting to wonder if he’s part of this… whatever group that the flower is associated with. I’m just very confused by him and I’m still wondering if he’s possibly an exiled prince himself. Perhaps he’s from one of the Imperiya territories that were taken over by Baba Yaga? Idk but I am curious to know more. I am quite smitten at this point. I’m ready to hand off my unborn daughters to him. I mean what?

    I just feel very sorry for Selah because she’s trying to get through this but EVERYONE HAS SO MANY STUPID SECRETS! It doesn’t feel like anyone around her is being honest and open with her. Even the crew (I have come to love them so much but…) seems like they’re hiding things from her. Who can she/we really trust at this point? Aside from godmother Althea, who’s so far away she can’t really be an option at the moment, I can’t think of anyone. Even her own father seems to have signed off on sending her away.

    At this point, I don’t know what to think or believe or hope for. Must keep reading!!!

  17. Bear is definitely the prince. Where is Lang and what has he been doing????

  18. So I already like the book better and these last chapters have made me even more interested in the book. Sadly I don’t have that much time to read each day so it’s going a little slow but I’m getting there.
    I really liked the last chapter where Lang came in her room, he seems si nice so I am hoping a little that she can be allowed to choose him instead of a prince.

  19. I love bear! I also think he could be the prince which would be awesome! Yes! There are SO many questions I just have to keep reading!

  20. Selah is such an absolute darling! I love how she treats everyone with kindness and respect.
    I think that maybe Bear is the prince, and this is all a ruse to see her true colours.
    Cora |

  21. Okay so I kinda feel like Bear is the actual prince and there’s some kind of danger or insurrgency (or a previous issue with someone that’s led them to be super suspicious– especially after the Duchess’s slip of asking how she found Bear. Why would she know a random guard’s name?) Also, Berilak and Bear? That seems like an easy nickname.

    I’m most interested in whatever is happening with the cowslip flowers and the change to the St George story. I think it’s gotta be related to some kind of larger looming threat (maybe the threat of Imperiya gradually encroaching on everything else?) The fact that the stepmother was so eager to get her to Imperiya and “establish ties” with them seems like it could be part of a larger political coup rather than just a random “I want you out of the way” type thing. Anyway! Reading on!


  22. Interesting about Brar being the prince now that I looked at it he probably is especialy what the duchess said bair is prine hmmmmm…..

    I have this crazy theory that Lang is somehow royal or nobeleman what if he is the prince from imperya

    I so feel ju Selah dont tell me how much I can eat hehe and the frase lady’s help people soo true I just love her she is so inocent and sweet but also caring

    Uuuuh tha Paralaut is soo annoying what is he scheming with her stepmother I dont like him

  23. I just wanted to share some of my favorite lines from Day two’s reading:

    He swore daintily, a feat I’d never before witnessed but sort of wanted to inspire again.

    Homer frowned. “What’s got you bothered girl? I can toss Perrault overboard, if need be.”

    “This is pretty, very ladylike,” he’d said, almost as if to himself, as he plucked it from among my things. “Tasteful. The right first impression.”

    “This.” Perrault thrust a hanger in my direction.

  24. Bear is confusing me with his different personalities for real… Nah I just ship Selah and Lang at this point. I won’t be surprised if they actually end up together. There’s something between them

  25. Yeah… I also think that there’s something fishy with Bear… kind of expecting a twist where he is the actual prince… Guess we will have to wait…
    Meanwhile I kind of ship Selah and Lang… Still, I’d bid that the 4th prince will be the chosen one…
    We’ll see

  26. I definitely don’t like Perrault or the English Prince. They both seem secretive. The Prince is definitely not suitable for Seleh. I don’t necessarily have an issue with the age thing as they are both adults but I just don’t think they are compatible and Seleh will hate having to live the English lifestyle if it’s anything like her current visit; it’s too structured and has too many rules and hidden meanings. Also, they are definitely hiding something from her.

    I donlike Bear though. I like what other people are think, in that he might be the real English Prince. I hadn’t thought of that but definitely like the idea of him being her suitor more. Although, why dexeive her if that’s the case?

    Iblike that’ we got some answers regarding Captain Lang but we are still missing part of this story. Why is he so willing to go into the bad area (the naming of that area reminds me of Russia)? Is there something there that he needs access to? Also, where is he disappearing to during the day instead of accompanying her as part of her entourage?

    Still so many questions!

  27. I found myself more frustrated with Selah in these chapters. After that dream about Penelope and Homer’s stories (I did really like that extra nod there), I felt like she didn’t do much apart from do what she was told and wonder at what things were being kept from her. I’m curious about so many things though and I’m with the people who think Bear is the real English Prince, or maybe the next in line for the throne and the one to marry Selah instead? I do quite like Lang for her but I really want to find out what he’s hiding. We didn’t see as much of the crew as I would have liked either, but the book is going by incredibly fast.

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