For Love & Honor / by Jody Hedlund. 7.10.2017

Zondervan ISBN 9780310749301

YA     Grades 9-12     Rating: 5

Award-winning historical fiction author Jody Hedlund presents the third book in her trio of related medieval young adult novels. For Love & Honor gives a nod to Beauty and the Beast.

In For Love & Honor, Lady Sabine is a young noblewoman. Although she is beautiful and wealthy, she has a physical flaw that could prevent her from making a good marriage as well as endanger her life due to 14th century superstitions.

Meanwhile, Sir Bennet is called home to rescue his family from financial ruin. His brother has incurred a debt that cannot be easily repaid. The only recourse is to marry a wealthy noblewoman, but Bennet doesn’t want to marry just for that.

Sabine travels to Bennet’s home, thinking she is purchasing some valuable art and unaware that her grandmother has her own plan. When Bennet’s home is attacked while Lady Sabine is there, they are forced to trust one another. Will they build a relationship based on love and honor? What will happen when Sabine’s blemish is revealed and she is called a witch?

Written from a dual viewpoint, the book employs two different fonts. Hedlund excels at showing how others judge by external appearances while God judges by the inward beauty. The spiritual element is evident but not heavy-handed.

Filled with descriptive narrative and endearing characters, For Love & Honor is an entertaining read–except for the necessary violence in the fighting scenes and Sabine’s imprisonment. Its believable plot has enough twists to keep the reader engaged. Fans of Lisa Bergren’s River of Time series, Dina Sleiman’s Valiant Hearts series, and Melanie Dickerson’s medieval young adult books will also enjoy Hedlund’s medieval stories. Recommended for teen collections in public libraries and school libraries.

Carol R. Gehringer, worthy2read.wordpress.com

Earlier Related Titles Reviewed by CLJ An Uncertain Choice ( Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr 2015); A Daring Sacrifice (Jul/Aug/Sep 2016).