Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Review: "A Worthy Rebel" by Jody Hedlund

I realize I'm like a broken record when it comes to Jody Hedlund's medieval YA romances, but it's true: THIS is the type of book our teens should be reading!

A desperate noblewoman, a rebellious peasant, and a forbidden love. 

While fleeing an arranged betrothal to a heartless lord, Lady Isabelle becomes injured and lost. Rescued by a young peasant man, she hides her identity as a noblewoman for fear of reprisal from the peasants who are bitter and angry toward the nobility. 

Cole Warwick cannot turn his back on a person in need and soon finds himself falling for Izzy, the gentle and beautiful runaway who is mending in his cottage. As the leader of an imminent uprising against the nobility, he tries to resist his growing feelings for Izzy to protect her from the dangerous life he’s chosen. But the longer she stays, the more he hopes she’ll never leave. 

When Izzy’s true identity is revealed, Cole feels betrayed. With the rebellion underway, can Cole forgive Izzy and find a way to save her from an unhappy marriage? Or will he and his peasant army be destroyed before he has the chance to fight for the people and the woman he loves? 

Remember Aesop's Fables? Stories like "The Tortoise and the Hare" that teach a moral lesson? That's what Jody Hedlund's "An Uncertain Choice" series reminds me of. I mean that in the best way: These stories all teach moral lessons, but they're written in such a way that the reader may not even consciously realize there's anything beyond a love story being presented.

A Worthy Rebel contains themes of being the best version of yourself (not trying to be someone else), guarding your affections, treating everyone with respect, and standing up for what's right even when it's difficult. Plus, there's an amazing love story 😍.

Cole and Izzy are both highly flawed characters, yet they grow and change throughout the story. Their attraction is immediate, but their love develops in a slow, respectful manner ... yet it also feels entirely swoon-worthy! Of all of the couples in this series, they have perhaps the most barriers to surmount, thanks to the class system; I appreciated that not everyone was in favor of their relationship because of this, as it lent an authenticity to the story. (I also wanted to shake some 21st century sense into a couple characters, but if we're talking about realism, that would not be it!)

Though this is the fifth (and final) book in the series, you can read it without having first read any of the other novels. Some characters from previous novels do show up in minor roles, but not in any way that would diminish your enjoyment of this book if this is your first exposure to the series.

A Worthy Rebel is a wonderful book that I highly recommend for teens ... and for those of us who left our teen years behind long ago. 5 stars.

Note: There is some violence in the book. It's not graphic, but some of it involves children. If you're especially sensitive to violence, beware.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of the other books in the series: The Vow (4 stars), An Uncertain Choice (5 stars), A Daring Sacrifice (4-1/2 stars), For Love & Honor (5 stars), and A Loyal Heart (5 stars).

Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and Christy Award, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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