Leta’s Book Review: Bravely by Maggie Stiefvater

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC copy to read and review.


I’m honoured to have received an advanced copy of Bravely by Maggie Stiefvater. Stiefvater is one of my favourite authors and I was already planning on preordering a copy (and I still did), but reading it early was such a treat. As such, I wanted to make sure that this review came out today, on Bravely’s publication day.

Bravely is a YA novelization sequel to the Disney movie Brave. Our heroine, Merida, has grown up a few more years and has just returned from a year of travelling and learning about the different peoples outside of DunBroch. The night before Christmas brings an unexpected visitor, Feradach, a god set on rooting out the rot and stagnation that has taken hold of the family DunBroch. Merida, in her stubbornness and goodness, strikes a deal with Feradach and Cailleach (a god of creation). She is given one year to change each of the members of her family and destroy the rot and stagnation herself. If she fails, DunBroch and all within will be destroyed forever.

I loved Merida’s motivation in Brave: to change her fate. Though the execution is not what she wants or expects, she achieves her goal and learns valuable lessons about perspective and love during her journey.

Changing fate continues to be a theme in Bravely and drives Merida’s actions. She learns even more about perspective and objectivity, while each member of her family has their own lessons to learn. Bravely shows great examples of how the change in one’s life is ongoing; and that one must continue changing in order for life to move forwards. I loved Merida’s journey most of all: just because she “learned her lesson” during the previous movie, doesn’t mean that she’s done growing and changing and learning. She’s a great example of how growing up is a process that can’t be over in a day, a week or even a year. It takes many years to gain the experience necessary to become the person you are meant to be. Oh, and as Merida would remind you: you have the power to change your fate. To choose the person you are meant to be.

If you liked the movie, read Bravely. It’s an amazing extension of Merida’s journey and Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is well-suited to Merida’s unique voice. I read an advanced copy from Netgalley so it self-destructed, but I can’t wait to receive my finished hardback in the mail so that I can read it again.   

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


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