Book Review: The Seventh Blessing

The Seventh Blessing (Tales of Gymandrol #1)
By: Melissa Buell
Release Date: Aug. 15, 2011
282 pages
Buy it on Amazon
Audience: YA
Source: ecopy provided by author

My thoughts:

The book's title, The Seventh Blessing, refers to a tradition in this fantastical world that a child receives fairy blessings equal in number to the month in which he or she was born. The nature of the main character's seventh blessing is only revealed near the end of the book- and it's crucial to her survival.

Let me start by telling you about the parts of this book that I love. The main character, Samantha, fiercely refuses to bend to societal expectations of females. She remains true to herself throughout the book, even when it creates struggles within her own family. The bad guy in this book is someone that you love to hate; it's satisfying when he gets his just reward. I really like the structure of the romance subplot; it was entertaining to see that develop with the witty banter and lack of all the usual "swoony" passages. I like the world that the author has created in general; it was well-developed and easy to picture in the mind.

There are moments of brilliance in this book, especially in terms of characterization and dialogue. I think what got in the way of it being a 4 or 5 rating was that, rather than writing about a snapshot of the character's life, the author chose to integrate extensive scenes of backstory, which disrupted the flow of the plot. Rather than adding critical information, those passages were simply distracting to me. Perhaps it would have worked better to include all the prequel-like info as a chapter at the beginning of the book. There were also a few instances when the dialogue didn't seem to fit with the world the author built; it seems that a little more polishing could have worked that out.

There are definitely plenty of questions left to be answered, leaving the door open for more volumes set in this world. I hope I get a chance to read more, because since most of the backstory should be filled in at this point, the next book should flow more smoothly, making it a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Summary from GoodReads:

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. uuu... I'm really liking this Samantha character. I love strong, level headed heroines... I was lucky enough to meet Melissa at this years RT Book convention, I had no idea her book was already published. Will definitely have to check it out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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