Friday, February 27, 2015
Wyndemere pounded the table before him. “Then you understand that you still owe me several bodies to hang from my walls. You WILL capture the ghosts if you wish to remain in my employ. Though I imagine you have made the challenge considerably harder on yourself by spooking them deeper into the forest. Let the women and children go, but find the leaders and deliver them to me.”

Book: Dauntless (Valiant Hearts) by Dina L. Sleiman, Bethany House Publishers, 2015

Genre: Adventure, Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Girls and Boys 13+
Subjects: Faith in God, Miracles, Love, Trust, Crime, Loss of loved one, God’s WIll
Summary: Declared criminals by a cruel king who sought to punish the whole village for the crime of one man, Merry and her band of orphans are now the Ghosts of Farthingale. Stealthily dropping in and stealing gold and supplies, they are gone long before the owners even know anything is missing. It’s not a life they would have chosen, but they have to survive somehow – survive and protect the little ones. After all, little Wren is not even yet three years old! The laws say they are wrong to even be alive, God’s laws say stealing is wrong. It matters not. Survival is all Merry can focus on. At least that’s all she can focus on until someone from her past discovers their camp… someone who was once very precious to Merry… someone her heart wants to love again.
Timothy never dreamed the Ghosts of Farthingale would be a rag tag group of orphan children let by his betrothed! In fact, he did not even know she survived the king’s slaughter! Now he is faces with a terrible decision: how can he protect his position as a king’s man without betraying the one he loves?
Notes: Dauntless is first in the Valiant Hearts series. This series focuses on showing strong, independent women and the strong men who love them. The author is encouraging young girls to be bold and strong and follow where God leads them and then if/when God brings a knight in shining armor into the picture, to join together in following God.
Dauntless shows a seventeen year old girl who has lost her faith in God. How can there be a good, loving, kind God when her whole family, the whole village except for her and the children, were slaughtered by a merciless king who still reigns? How can some say God cares for her when she’s left to find her own way to survival? She relies on her own strength to get her through until the moment comes when she is completely powerless and only a miracle from God can save. It shows a twenty-one year old young man who has blindly accepted the picture of God as painted by his society until challenged by Merry that if God IS real, He can not be the way society paints Him. The system of a cruel king appointed at the whim of a pope, the system of the rich lording it over the poor, believing themselves to be more favored in God’s eyes, more worthy of His blessings – this is a system Merry refuses to believe God desires. Her challenge causes Timothy to more intentionally consider what he truly believes. There is also a couple of discussions on God’s will – is someone pursuing a certain course because they are convinced it is what God wants for them or is it just selfishness?
Overall, the book clearly shows the spiritual struggle of the characters from the very beginning and continues the theme consistently through the book.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Enjoyment Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

John 14:18-21 – I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."


Thank you to the author/publisher for providing me with a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I greatly enjoyed it!


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