Madeline Hathaway is home-schooled and lives on the road with her parents, traveling from one city to the next on the Renaissance faire circuits. When her mother dies, she and her father soldier on despite her mother being the glue that kept their family talking. She knows her father loves her, but Madeline finds that she’s mostly on her own once they hit a new town. While checking out the changes at one of she and her mom’s favorite fairgrounds she meets Arthur, a lute playing young bard, and son to the King’s of the castle. He talks her into being the Princess of the Faire, and challenges her to be his partner on a few road-trip adventures. She is out of her comfort zone but Madeline (who he insists on calling Gwen) decides to take fate into her own hands learning some things about herself that might change her future.
This was a really sweet young adult novel about two kids who are going through personal struggles while also feeling insecure about how they fit into their teen world. Arthur is a totally sweet boy being raised by two dad’s, and despite their strong parenting he’s insecure about his looks and how he fits into his high school clicque. Madeline, who’s never gone to high school, doesn’t have that same issue, but she does have insecurity about her weight and whether she can ever live up to the beautiful free spirit that was her mother. She is also mourning her mom and struggling to communicate with an also mourning father which adds to her issues. The two of them find each other when they need each other the most and you can’t help but feel charmed by the mystical, fun Renaissance Faire setting.
I like how Madeline has so many sides to her. She is talking to a therapist, trying to hold her family together, keeping her mom’s memory alive, and also trying to be a teen age girl with her first crush- although she fights that almost to the bitter end. Despite all of her issues, her character is strong, opinionated, and funny. She was an easy girl to identify with and like, for sure. Arthur was a little bit more of a caricature, with his two gay dads and his charming personality, but once you read further you realized that despite seeming like he’s got it all he’s kind of a mess as well and you can’t help but hope he and Madi get their act together and realize they can be stronger with each other than without.
I love the whole Renaissance faire vibe. It’s a great setting for a young romance! Turkey legs, costumes, and joust’s oh my! There were moments of absolute delight mixed in with the more serious subjects that gave this story a well-roundedness that made it a delight. If you’re in the mood for a young adult novel with some depth, but is still fun, give this one a try! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review and it was honest.
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