Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Courageous by Dina Sleiman

From the publisher:
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.

This is book three in the Valiant Heart series and by far this has been my favorite one!  The other ones were good as well but this one I feel had the richness and depth that just was perfect.

Dina Sleiman does a great job in dealing with the messiness of the Crusades.  At first when I began reading this I wasn't sure how that was going to play out but I was thankful to see her create a realistic picture while being appropriate.

The theme of forgiveness and setting the captives free was a strong and powerful.  Rosalind and Randel's separate pasts plague them with guilt and are unable to be free from the burdens they carry.  But through events and God's work in through others they come to experience in such a beautiful way.  It is so easy to see how others should have forgiveness but not ourselves and I just thought this was so well done.

Another aspect I really thought Sleiman did well was the mystery.  There is a first person narrator that keeps their identification a secret until almost the end and at each step you are guessing who it is but never quite sure. 

I highly recommend this book.

I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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