Sunday, April 5, 2015

"dauntless" by dina l. sleiman

A young woman whose life was turned upside down by her father's treason finds a new life as the leader of a band of orphaned children.

Where Legend and History Collide, 
One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent

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.

Dauntless has a decidedly Robin Hood feel to it, yet Merry also evokes some recent dystopian heroines like Katniss and Tris. Merry does what she has to do to survive, yet she gains no pleasure from stealing. Her only goal is to keep the children safe—even if that means sacrificing her own happiness.

From the opening pages, when Merry and the Ghosts steal a chest of gold and become more notorious than they'd wished, the plot moves at a rapid rate. There's definitely no time for boredom! As Merry and the Ghosts seek freedom, there's grand adventure to be had, and I found myself latching onto the excitement.

There's also romance, because what would a YA title be without romance? I loved Merry and Timothy's back story, which comes out slowly through the book, and I loved how their current story turned out.

I really enjoyed Dauntless, and I look forward to seeing what comes next in the Valiant Hearts series! 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read an excerpt.

Dina L. Sleiman holds an MA in professional writing from Regent University and a BA in communications with a minor in English from Oral Roberts University. Over the past eighteen years, she has had opportunities to teach college writing and literature, as well as high school and elementary classes in English, humanities, and fine arts. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three children. She can be found online at

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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