The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway by Ashley Schumacher

Published: March 14, 2023

Wednesday Books

Genre: Young Adult Romantic Comedy

Pages: 308

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Ashley Schumacher is the author of Amelia Unabridged and Full Flight and has a degree in creative writing from the University of North Texas. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s either singing Disney songs, finding new and exciting ways to pester her family, or trying to find her inside voice, which has been sadly missing since birth. She lives in a small town north of Dallas with her husband, son, and more books than is strictly necessary.

Since her mother’s death, Madeline “Gwen” Hathaway has been determined that nothing in her life will change ever again. That’s why she keeps extensive lists in journals, has had only one friend since childhood, and looks forward to the monotony of working the ren faire circuit with her father. Until she arrives at her mother’s favorite end-of-tour stop to find the faire is under new management and completely changed.

Meeting Arthur, the son of the new owners and an actual lute-playing bard, messes up Maddie’s plans even more. For some reason, he wants to be her friend – and ropes her into becoming Princess of the Faire. Now Maddie is overseeing a faire dramatically changed from what her mother loved and going on road trips vastly different from the routine she used to rely on. Worst of all, she’s kind of having fun.

Ashley Schumacher’s The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway is filled with a wise old magician who sells potion bottles, gallant knights who are afraid of horses and ride camels instead, kings with a fondness for theatrics, a lazy river castle moat with inflatable crocodile floaties, and a plus-sized heroine with a wide open heart… if only she just admits it.

“Fate can’t take away what you don’t have.”

Madeline lives an interesting life, traveling with her parents to Renaissance faires. When her mom gets sick and dies, Maddie and her dad keep moving forward. Arthur is cheerful and kind. And he is the brightness that Maddie needs, even if she won’t admit it.

This was such a charming story. I loved the whole concept. Maddie was quite stubborn throughout.

I loved Arthur as a character. He was such a pure, sweet soul. And I love how kind he was. He was the perfect balance for the carefully controlled Maddie. Their chemistry was fantastic.

This was such a sweet read, and I like how it dealt with processing grief and the various forms that it can take. I also loved how positive this story was in every aspect.

The side characters were great, and it’s so easy to get lost in the fantasy of this sweet story. I enjoyed the concept of fate versus coincidence and the way that was woven in every aspect.

This was an entertaining read and such a lovely story.

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