Review by Ava S.

Get your copy of Bravely here

Merida of DunBroch, yes the Disney princess Merida, has returned for yet another adventure in this thrilling, heart-warming, and fun read! 

While Merida has certainly grown up since we last saw her as a young princess in the original Disney film, years later she still retains her love of adventure, her wit, and loyalty to family. Unfortunately, the DunBroch family is not all that it once was. Over the years DunBroch’s power has faded as the castle and kingdom alike fall to shambles without any repairs. The royal family – jovial King Fergus, proper Queen Elinor, the mischievous triplets, and absent minded Lizzie – while as lovable as ever, have fallen ill to their own sluggishness. And alas, the repercussions of their negligence are worse than any of them could have imagined! 

Inspired by true Scottish folklore, Maggie Stiefvater introduces to the plot Feradach and the Cailleach, the God of Ruin and the God of Creation respectively. When Feradach is caught by Merida attempting to bring about ruin to DunBroch as repercussion for their negligence in maintaining the kingdom, Merida must act quickly and cleverly to buy her family more time. As a result she strikes a bargain, one that begins her quest to three different kingdoms and towards discovering more than she ever could have imagined from each of her family members, from magic, and from the God of Ruin himself! 

Will Merida be able to save her family and DunBroch… or will magic (and perhaps other unforeseen forces) wreak havoc despite her best efforts? 

“Merida was less like the mannered royal you’re imagining and more like a struck match, although matches did not yet exist. Red hair, keen eyes, quick brain, built to start fires but not to put them out.”

From Bravely by Maggie Stiefvater

I had such a fun time reading this new YA release! Personally, it reminded me of the books I read back in elementary school that made me fall in love with reading (think Percy Jackson, Wings of Fire, Keepers of the Lost Cities, etc) but for an older audience. The plot and world politics were fun and not too complicated to follow while still maintaining enough mystery to keep me constantly turning pages and continuing to read when I probably should have been doing school work… 😉 Additionally the fun quest aspect of this novel was something I hadn’t realized I missed from my days of reading middle grade and I truly found it a joy to read! 

While I would categorize Bravely as a relatively easy read, the prose still reflected Maggie Steifvater’s trademark lyrical way with words that I, along with many other readers, fell in love with while reading The Raven Boys. While the vocabulary used in Bravely is arguably simpler there is still something so satisfying about how she brings the setting and characters to life with her writing. 

And I will let you discover the rest for yourself when you (certainly) pick up Bravely by Maggie Steifvater as your next read! 

Rating: 5/5 

Genre: Action / Fiction / Folklore / Adventure