By Jan Pease
Raechel Kelly is a friend of mine. I’ve known her for several years, and have watched her writing talents grow. Raechel has handed book reviews to me for four or five years. She now reviews books for publishing houses such as Multnomah, Bethany House, and Revell, although at this time, her payment is free books, which Raechel loves. Perhaps someday this will be a career? Raechel brought in this review as part of the adult winter reading program, and I just had to share her review. Remember, our requirement to participate in the reading program is that you give us a very short review of the book. One or two sentences will suffice, but Raechel went above and beyond. Here are her thoughts about “Dauntless,” byDina L. Sleiman.
"Dauntless" by Dina L. Sleiman is #1 in the Valiant Hearts Series (releases February 24th 2015), published by Bethany House. Raechel’s rating: Dauntless receives 4.5 out of 5 Stars.
Amazon.com said of this book, “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.”
Raechel’s thoughts: I was so pleasantly surprised by this book - it was so very good. Not that I didn't think it wouldn't be, but the depth that it had was so lovely to discover!
I read it on my Kindle, so it seems long at times (I had to listen to for the end half because my eyes grew tired, but I didn't want to stop!), but it was all really well written and carried through. Each character was marvelously strong, and yet vulnerable at the same time. I loved Merry - she was an inspiring character; strong, yet weak, and her realization at the end was perfect. I won't give away anything though. :)
I must say, though, I think my favorite character was Allen. Talk about a strong, spiritual leader kind of guy! He was so encouraging, and so faithful- and strong in his faith in the Lord. There was this one part towards the end that really touched me, amazed me, and brought me to tears through the demonstration of his faith, and the results! Wow! This author knows how to write. I was very impressed. :)
Between Timothy and Allen for Merry, I actually rooted for Timothy, because those two I thought were more suited for each other. I sure hope though, that as this series progresses, Allen gets his own story! The only thing I wished could've happened, was that Merry's belief in God could've returned stronger and that have been the main focal point of the end. The end was still handled well, it was just a bit on the 'mushy' side. ;) Nothing bad at all- it was sweet. I just was hoping for a more conclusive ending for her relationship with God. But yes, this was a fantastic story, one I greatly enjoyed and would recommend! Very medieval-y and Robin-Hood- esque, which I loved! It was an adventure. :)
Jan adds, thanks, Raechel. “Dauntless” is on the March book order.