Book Review | The Seventh Blessing
Author: Melissa Buell
The Seventh Blessing: Tales of Gymandrol, by Melissa Buell is an engaging read about Princess Samantha of Mittra. I’ll admit I was a bit surprised when I discovered that The Seventh Blessing was a YA Fantasy romance novel. At times the females in YA romance novels tend to be too dependent on their love interests, so I was reluctant. I was however, thoroughly relieved to find that Sam is not that girl.
In Gymandrol, Princes and Princesses soon after birth are given a number of fairy blessings according to the month they were born. Samantha was born in July; therefore, she was gifted with seven blessings. Usually baby princesses are gifted with useless blessings, such as, the ability to giggle, long fingernails and so forth. Before Samantha’s ceremony a mistake was made, when two fairy advisors to the King, were arguing about the gifts which they would give Samantha if she was a boy. Unbeknownst to them, the qualities which they listed were recorded as blessings. Panicked, her fairy godmother, Talia gifted her with a seventh blessing in the ancient tongue and hid the blessings.
In a world in which gender roles are easily defined, Sam sticks out like a sore thumb and as a reader who enjoys a strong heroine, I enjoyed Sam’s atypical behavior. At an early age she struggled to understand why she wasn’t like the other girls. She was anxious to play with the boys, climb trees and get more than a little dirty. Her father recognizes Samantha’s differences, and instead of denouncing her ways, he embraces her, even allowing her to train in hopes of one day becoming a knight. Samantha’s life forever changes when she discovers her real blessings on her 18th birthday, hidden away in the library. She uses one of her true blessings, the ability to speak foreign languages, to decipher her gifts. Only one blessing is beyond her translation, and that is her seventh blessing.
Dealing with the aftermath of the discovery, Sam’s parents send her on a tour, in hopes that she will find a suitable mate along the way. Sam is accompanied by her best friend from childhood; Prince Edric, her nemesis; Prince Nolan, new BFF; Princess Chrissy and of course, Talia. Along the way Samantha is intertwined in a love triangle, forced to play matchmaker, disguises herself and competes as a knight , all while struggling to accept her true gifts. However difficult it may be for her to accept her blessings, it is her talents which carry her through the challenges which she faces. Most importantly, it is one main blessing, her seventh blessing, which proves most useful when she faces her greatest task yet, saving Gymandrol from the clutches of evil.
Sam is a character to be reckoned with, with her feisty personality, leadership qualities and of course, her ability to throw a mean punch. Buell does an excellent job writing the evolution of Sam. Sam is forced to confront her differences, not run away from them. Only then, is she able to move towards acceptance. Sam’s journey is an enjoyable treat and one which should connect with many women, old and young alike.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*