Saturday, April 18, 2015

Dauntless by Dina Sleiman

Read first chapter excerpt here:

Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village--a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known.

Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman was an interesting novel that was both interesting and compelling. The storyline was well written, if a bit slow at first, and it contained a good mixture of mystery, romance, danger, tragedy, and suspense. The book was written in third person, but it alternated between Merry, Timothy, Allen, and an unknown enemy. I liked how the author kept the enemy in the dark from the reader while still giving the reader glimpses into his thoughts, his hatred, and his plans.

I also thought the author did an excellent job portraying how harsh circumstances can cause people to doubt their faith and also how it is possible to return to faith and trust in God even when all hope seems lost. I thought Merry and Timothy were both intriguing characters, each with their own doubts, flaws, and strengths. I really liked Merry. She basically represented a female Robin Hood, and she was a very strong character with a great love for her band of children and intense desire to protect them at all costs. Timothy was a character that I had trouble connecting with initially. I thought at first that he was weak and easily persuaded by others, but he grew as a character as he found Merry and had to rethink what he believed about the king and about serving God. Another important character who was also a part of Merry's band was Allen. I really liked him, and while I felt really bad for him at times, I do hope he has a more major part in the next novel so I can learn more about him and what his future entails.

Overall I enjoyed Dauntless and I am very interested to see what the second novel in the Valiant Hearts series brings to the story, especially as this novel ended very well.

I received this novel from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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