Skip to main content

Courageous (Valiant Hearts series #3) by Dina L. Sleiman: A Book Review

Courageous (Valiant Heart series #3)
Author: Dina L. Sleiman
Genre: YA, Christian, Historical Fiction,
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: 2016
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Valiant Hearts: Where Adventure and Romance Meet

     Inspired by the vision of the Young Lady Sapphira, Rosalind of Ipsworth joins a group of men, women, and children as a defender of the cross, seeking to free captives from prisons near Tripoli. She gladly gives herself to the cause, as she's haunted by a tragic mistake and no longer deserves such joys as marriage and family might bring.

   Sir Randel Penigree was reared to serve in the church, but dreams of protecting the innocent as a knight. Joining a crusade to escape humiliation at home, he finds himself drawn to Rosalind as they partner to train and protect a group of young adolescents. When they face political machinations, danger, and an unknown enemy bent on their destruction, they are forced to reconsider their priorities and the very nature of the God they serve.

   My Review: Rosalind has sworn an oath to join the Crusade. Among the men, women, and children going is her best friend, Sir Randel. Sir Randel has decided to go so that he can start on his journey to become a Templar Knight. Both Rosalind and Sir Randel train and protect the young adolescents that have become a part of the Crusade. As danger looms near, both Rosalind and Sir Randel find themselves drawn to each other. Can the two forgive their past mistakes and let love in their hearts?

   I was happy that Rosalind was given her own story! She was a tragic figure in Chivalrous, and I wanted to see her have a happy ending. After the act that she committed in the previous book, Rosalind is full of self-loathing and regret. She doesn’t feel she is worthy of love. Yet, while Rosalind may not yet love herself, she loves those around her. She wants to protect the young women from making the same mistakes as she. Rosalind was a very sympathetic figure, and I loved watching her come to terms with herself.

   Randel was a good hero for Rosalind. He also has a tragic past that haunts him. He is also full of self-loathing. He hopes to find redemption for his past mistakes. I also like how Randel was a conflicted character. He had to make tough choices to either follow his family wishes so he wouldn’t be disowned or to follow his own path. Thus, Randel had to trust in God to help him make the right decision.

    I really loved the relationship between Randel and Rosalind. They were a perfect match for each other. They started out as friends. Eventually, their friendship deepened into something more. They truly understood and loved each other. Both of them have been haunted by their sins, and are constantly searching for redemption. They both feel that they are unworthy of love. Yet, it is because of their sins that they are able to love each other and forgive themselves. They are able to see God’s love and that they are worthy of happiness, too. Thus, out of the Valiant Hearts series, I thought that they were the most interesting couple.

   Overall, this book is about loss, regret, redemption, and forgiveness. The message of the book is to love yourself. Courageous was a darker story than the two previous novels, which were very light and fun. Because of the characters and the Crusade setting, this was a more mature novel. Thus, this book is more suited to teenagers sixteen and up. I also thought the setting was perfect for these two characters. They were looking for healing amidst the backdrop of a violent war. This helped make a compelling love story. The only thing I did not like about this book was the switching of the points of view from, Rosalind, Randel, Sapphira, the girl and who inspired the Crusade, and the villain. This was a bit confusing for me, and I would have liked it only from Rosalind and Randel’s perspectives. Also, while Courageous can be read as a standalone, I suggest that you read Chivalrous first to understand the background story for the two main protagonists. Still, Courageous was an excellent conclusion to Valiant Hearts, and it was a great pleasure to read this series! If you love Melanie Dickerson, Jody Hedlund, and Tamara Leigh, I urge you to read Dauntless, the first book in Valiant Hearts, for you definitely do not want to miss out on this series!


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

Tituba: The Intentional Witch of Salem by Dave Tamanini: A Book Review

Tituba: The Intentional Witch of Salem Author: Dave Tamanini Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy Publisher: David F Tamanini Release Date: 2020 Pages: 317 Source: Publisher/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: If you love historical fiction... come revisit Salem's terror in this provocative new telling of enslaved Tituba, no longer a caricature, but a fully human woman with magical powers.      Come! Let Tituba cast its spell with a unique and tantalizing tale that explores the wild emotions driving accusations of witchcraft in 1692.      A Promise and a Hope      Enslaved Tituba has been faithful to a promise to her dying mama in Africa. She has appeased the masters from Barbados to Boston to Salem and waited for her magic.      A Mother’s Agony      When Tituba’s only son dies trying to escape slavery, her life changes forever. After enduring the crush only a mother can feel, she rages and turns to vengeance.      Witches Tear into Salem      The villagers see wi

Interview with Tessa Afshar

     It was my honor to do an interview with Tessa Afshar! Ms. Afshar is one of the top-selling Christian fiction authors in the genre. Her books have won numerous awards in the field and her books show the love she has for the roots of Christianity. I asked Ms. Afshar about her latest work, Daughter of Rome . The novel focuses on Priscilla and Aquila, who had once brought Paul into their home  for 18 months. I appreciate Ms. Afshar taking the time for my interview, and I hope you enjoy looking into the latest work by Tessa Afshar, Daughter of Rome ! What attracted you to the story of Aquila and Priscilla? Although we know little about this extraordinary couple, what we do know is spellbinding: they saved Paul’s life, set up house churches in different cities in the Roman Empire, shared the gospel with many Gentiles, and became influential spiritual leaders through some of the most harrowing years of the church’s history. Their marriage must have been remarkable! Ther