By Dina Sleiman
Bethany House, 2015
English, 368 pgs
From the Back CoverWith Her Future In Jeopardy, This Unforgettable Heroine Won't Go Down
Without a Fight!
Strong and adventurous Gwendolyn Barnes longs to be a knight like her chivalrous brothers, but her parents view her only as a marriage pawn. When her domineering father makes plans to see her wed to a brutish man, Gwendolyn must fight for her future.
She's surprised, however, for that clash to include a handsome, good-hearted newcomer. Allen of Ellsworth arrives in Edendale searching for his place in the world, but he finds in Gwendolyn the most unexpected of women.
Tournaments, intrigue, and battles--along with twists and turns aplenty--await these two as they struggle to find love, identity, and their true destinies.
I really enjoyed this book. I have not read book one in the Valiant Hearts series but it didn't in any way impede the story of this book. There is enough "backstory" to help you understand what happened in the first book.
I'm a fan of knights and kings and that whole world of chivalry, jousting and courts. I think this book is an excellent example of that genre. The main characters, Gwendolyn and Allen, are very well developed and very easy to like. They struggle with not only their own identities but also with finding out who God is and how He relates to their lives.
The family dynamic for Gwen, while hard to read at times, was actually pretty accurate for that time and I appreciate that the author didn't gloss over the lack of women's rights at that time.
For Gwen (and even the Duchess Adela) to do the things they do in the story requires courage and no small amount of faith. They learn to set aside preconceived notions of women and become heroines of their own stories.
I liked that the author uses points of view from both main characters. It made it a little easy to figure out what was going to happen, but it was still a fun read.
I received a copy of the book in exchange for a review on this blog and a commercial book selling site. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.