Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman

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. (back cover) 

My Review: Dauntless has a strong female heroine as the main character and is a good role model for girls as she takes on responsibilities, puts the needs of others above herself, and overcomes adversity. Since I usually enjoy historical fiction I did have high hopes, but I am not the intended audience for this series. I had not realized that the book was youth fiction, so I did attempt to readjust my thinking as I read. Every now and then when I would get exasperated, I would remind myself that I would have found some of the scenes much more romantic when I was a teen. I was torn between there being a high level of maturity in some areas, and getting frustrated and losing interest in other parts of the book. I did enjoy the faith aspects, and the part it played in decisions made, especially as these children had to break laws to survive. Also, although Merry and Timothy were the main characters, I found Allen to be the most interesting and would have preferred more of his story. Dauntless is the first book in the series Valiant Hearts and does show promise of being a good series for teenagers. For me, the book was 3 stars, but I would probably have put it at 4 stars if I was the appropriate age.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing, in exchange for an unbiased review.

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