Title: Dauntless (Valiant Hearts #1)
Author: Dina L. Sleiman
Publisher: Bethany House
Note: I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
About the 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.
This is an incredibly well written young adult novel!
I absolutely love the development of the characters in this story. The two main characters, Merry Ellison and Timothy Grey, are especially strong. Yet Merry is surrounded by a number of other fantastic people as her group of "Elders" within "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." I can’t forget to mention the sweetness of cute little Wren who stole my heart just as she did all of the others within the story.
The progression of the story was done in a marvelous way and kept my attention throughout the book. I couldn't stop reading until I knew how the story ended. I found myself hoping and praying that it would resolve in such a way that all of the orphaned children, Merry, and Timothy were safe from danger and settled down for a nice "happily ever after" life.
One of the "elders" of the group of orphans is Allen. He is a strong believer in God. Throughout the book there are times that he is encouraging others to trust God. There are even times when he challenges both Merry and Timothy to let go of things that they believe to be true so that they can learn to trust God more.