Tuesday, July 19, 2016
“Sir Randel Penigree has the purest, the gentlest heart a knight could ever possess. He threatened Sir Sebastien to protect the children, but I know he would never murder anyone. Let his guilt over the accident at Gravensworth be proof enough that he is not capable of such an intentional act of evil.”

“Why would you believe her?” The venom turned Rosalind’s way. “She is no better. Thief! Harlot! Murderer!”

Each word hurled like a dagger. Slow and sure. Straight to Rosalind’s heart.

Book: Courageous by Dina Sleiman, Bethany House Publishers, 2016

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance/Adventure
Target Audience: Girls and Boys 13+
Subjects: Guilt, Forgiveness, Crusades, Love, God’s Will
Summary: Forward. Ever forward. The words, calmly, purposefully spoken at just the right times when the dark threatens to descend bring encouragement to Rosalind and Rand’s hearts. Thirteen year old Sapphira has led them on this crusade to free captives in the Holy Land. Rosalind and Rand oversee the training, instruction and care of the children on the crusade. They find great comfort in each other’s presence, but neither one will let anyone entirely into their hearts. Guilt over the past is trapping and binding them more than any chains ever could. A dangerous crusade is not the time to lug around extra burdens though, and all too soon, the secrets will spill out and only destruction can follow in it’s wake.
Notes: Courageous is the third 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.
In this story, the maid to the main character from book two is the heroine. In book two, she made the choice to indulgence in fornication with a young man who had no intention of making a commitment to her. Pressured by her family, she surrendered to an abortion – a decision that left her torn apart by guilt and despair. In hopes of doing enough penance, she joins the crusade, following the vision of a young maiden who dreams of setting free captives.
Sir Randal, the hero of the story, also carries around guilt. His is over a battle gone wrong in which, an attack at the enemy who suddenly approached him wound up being an attack of one of his own men instead, a young man who died as a result. In fact, he was the only one in his group of soldiers who did survive the attack. He feels the need to surrender to his parents’ wishes for him since he failed at his own.
Neither one wants to let themselves fall in love with the other, even though the gentle friendship and support they offer is what sustains them through the journey. An enemy is among them though, an enemy who will stop at nothing to see them destroyed.
The spiritual aspect comes in their accepting God’s forgiveness, God’s redeeming work in their lives. There is also a strong thread of how to know God’s will. The vision of the thirteen year old is taken over by her elders and they question whether or not to listen to her or their own experience. Then she herself questions how to know if she made the right choice or not.
The spiritual threads are strongly woven all through this book and are actually an important part of the storyline itself. I highly recommend this book.
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 - Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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


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