Sunday, 9 August 2015

Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman

Back Cover: 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 the thieves, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known. 

Review: "Dauntless" is the first book of a new series called the Valiant Hearts. The next book, Chivalrous, will be out sometime in the fall. If you haven't, you really should check out the main website for Dina Sleiman and see the new cover for her next book. It's stunning.

Dina Sleiman has written a couple of other books according to her website, though this is the first book of hers that I've read. Something I noticed from her website and the book "Dauntless" is that a main focus of her writing is the incorporation of dance and acrobats into all her books. A previous acrobat herself and now the proud mother of acrobats and gymnasts, she enjoys adding these elements to her novels.

In "Dauntless", the young Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are little mini-Robin Hoods who hide in the trees, flip through the branches, and hand-spring through the wealthy as they rid them of excess change and loot. 

If you've read or watched Robin Hood then you will have a very good idea how this book works. I found it predictable and stereotypical - HOWEVER, if you go into this book realizing that it is a creative re-telling of Robin Hood then there is room to really enjoy this read. No, it isn't original. Yes, it is a little corny at times, but it is still fun. Robin Hood in this story is a young noble lady named Merry, the Merry Men are children and teenagers, and the love interest is a ninth son living in the manor. There are some adorable moment with the children, and creative additives to this Robin-Hood retelling. 

I really liked the cover of this books - I'm always a fan of warrior women in novels. Overall, I would recommend this book to pre-teens as a fun, summer read. It's clean, entertaining, and sweet. 

Book has been provided courtesy of Bethany House and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

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