Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman
—Where legend and history collide, one young woman will fight for the innocent…
Whispers of ghosts echo throughout the kingdom. Who abides in the trees, stealing from the rich with the stealth of a cat? Could it be that the band of men from Sherwood Forest has moved to their neck of the woods? Is Robyn of the Hode lurking nearby?
Lady Merry Ellison, stripped of her title and left for dead after an attack on her father’s castle and the small village of Ellsworth, leads a group of orphaned children deep into the forest. Hiding from the evil King John and to survive, they steal food from caravans travelling through their well hidden home.
With her archery and tumbling skills, she trains the younger children and they soon become known as “The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest.” They elude the King’s forces.
But this time she steals something of greater importance–a chest of gold coins. This puts them in greater danger, so she moves them away from Ellsworth.
Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham is tired of being the runt of his family and just wants to prove himself to the Earl of Wyndeshire. What better way to do this than to capture the infamous ghosts who have descended upon the forest near his lord’s castle? But he’s shocked when he uncovers the identity of their leader. It shakes him to the core and causes him to reexamine his belief in the kingdom.
Together, Merry and Timothy must overcome their fears and decide whether or not to trust in each other and the One who reigns over all.
This brilliant medieval tale is called Dauntless, book one in the Valiant Heart series by Dina L. Sleiman. It’s listed in the YA genre, but I’m well over that age (no comments from anyone!) and I absolutely loved it!! What’s not to love? It has everything. Castles, dashing knights, bows and arrows, sword fights, mystery and mayhem, and lots more!
Ms. Sleiman has cleverly crafted The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest and given Robin Hood a run for his money. Merry and Timothy’s characters are well rounded, both showing strengths and weakness. There were times I wanted to throttle Merry and times I wanted to cheer her on. Go girlfriend!
The plot was solid and the pace kept me turning the pages with bated breath. The older English voice the author used worked well. I can honestly say there wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this book. I give it five stars.
No. Wait. Five gold coins from the chest Merry steals! 🙂
I can’t wait for book two of this amazing series—Chivalrous.
Pick up your bow and arrow, point it in the direction of this book, and be dauntless!
You won’t be disappointed.
**Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
I would like to give away my copy of Dauntless. The contest rules are simple—tell me your favourite medieval character (i.e. Robin Hood, King Arthur, etc) by leaving a comment on the blog and you will be entered. Bonus entry–if you leave a comment AND share this post on Facebook you will get two entries (tag me on Facebook or let me know in the comments). Contest closes Saturday, March 28th at midnight. Enter now! (Open to residents of the USA and Canada only.)