Author: Dina L. Sleiman
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Christian
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: 2015
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: With 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.
My Review: Gwendolyn longs for adventures and to be a knight in shining armor. However, because she is a baron’s daughter, she must marry for the good of her family. She must play her part as a noblewoman by doing embroidery and playing a pipe. One day, she decides to defy her parents and fight in the tournament herself. Her opponent is Sir Allen. Soon, Sir Allen captures her heart, and the two of them must brave all obstacles to be together.
Gwendolyn is a fun character. She is a skilled fighter. She is romantic and loves to hear tales of adventures. She yearns for freedom, and wants to control her own life. She is also stubborn and and strong-willed. Gwendolyn really reminded me a lot of the character, Merida, in the Disney movie, Brave. I also like that at first, she was not very religious. Yet, over time she has a strong relationship with God. It is God, who gives her strength, comfort, and love that she desperately seeks when she is encountered in rough situations.
I also liked Sir Allen. He is a man of virtue. He studies the scriptures everyday. He is also blessed with good fortune because of his good heart. During the tournament, he forfeits his competition to save a little boy. Because of his heroic deed, the duke grants him a place on the council. However, after the duke’s death the council chose him to marry the duchess and to be the new duke. Allen is blinded by ambition and greed. Allen becomes lost and blind, and he must find his way and listen to his heart.
Overall, this book is about friendship, choices, hope, and love. The message of the book is to trust in God’s love and to follow your heart. The story is fast-paced and filled with interesting characters. It is filled with action, adventure, and romance. I like how the story also has some aspects to King Arthur. While the novel is part of a series, it is a standalone. I am definitely going to read the first novel in the series, and I am looking forward to the series. I recommend this book to fans of Melanie Dickerson, Tamara Leigh, and Jody Hedlund.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars