Sunday, March 29, 2015

Valiant Hearts Book 1: Dauntless

"Where Legend and History Collide,
One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent"

Bookworm's Ranking - 3.5 Worms
Storyline - Merry Ellison has lost title, home, and family when her father rebelled against the king of England. Now living in the woods with a band of orphan children, they steal to survive. The only dream she will allow herself to have is to find a safe home for the children to live while she must remain hidden. And not fall in love. Their thievery has been noticed, dubbing them the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest since they are never seen. They are a wanted band. And the first one to catch on to them is Merry's betrothed, Timothy Grey. Fighting between duty and love, Timothy will have to decide to hand over Merry for her crimes or find another way. Yet, unbeknownst to Timothy, someone is out to destroy him. Will Merry find a way to care for the children and welcome love or will choices beyond their control determine their future?

Author - Dina L. Sleiman

Publisher - Baker Publishing Group; Bethany House Publishing

Age Group - 16 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Merry fears for her honor once. The Ghosts steal in order to survive. Timothy searches to do the right thing by his duty and master yet struggles with the idea of allowing Merry to be hurt. A Lord is described to "love" often. Someone seeks to hurt another.

Personal Opinion - Merry and Timothy's struggles to care for others and find a way in their life drives their decisions and causes conflict between them. Even though they love each other, they believe the other doesn't and both have been hurt enough in their life to be cynical. This bring believability and life to the characters for different reasons. Merry can't see another life for herself because she is wanted by the king and thought dead, leaving the only option to steal to survive and protect innocent lives, believing that is the only way her life can go. Timothy is the ninth child and not going to inherit anything so has to find a place for himself yet morns the loss of the woman he loves. These two have a lot to deal with but are not the only ones. The rest of the cast are developed into players themselves with wants, desires, and struggles themselves, such as one of the Ghosts in love with Merry and leaning on God for direction and a man in the castle jealous of Timothy and plans on destroying him. While all this character development was good and interesting, I expected a little more action because the story is based off Robin Hood. The story is good, just would have liked more action sooner in the story.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, ChristianBook, Publisher,

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Bethany House.

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