May 6, 2015

Review: Dauntless by Dina Sleiman

What a fabulous take on Robin Hood! I confess that I haven’t read many Robin Hood stories, but I do know the general plotline well enough. And I can say that Ms. Sleiman has written a wonderful addition to the list. Action, adventure, romance, and a swashbuckling good time! What’s not to like?

Merry is such an intriguing young woman. Circumstances have led her to this place and these people where she has formed a new family for herself. From her men who “thieve” alongside her to the young orphans in their care, this ragtag group loves each other fiercely. And Merry, as their leader, understands all too well the way life throws some really hard knocks at you sometimes. But she determines that their present situation won’t be forever. I do love how she teaches them and cares for them. She refuses to accept defeat! Her care and concern, yet utter confidence in their abilities to save one another when needed or do their part in the care of the group is lovely to witness. Yet that courage (and fiery temper!) also cause her to be unable to accept help when it comes in ways that she hasn’t figured into her plan. So she has some learning to do herself.

I confess to not really being a fan of love triangles, so that part of the story disappointed me a bit. Even though there really is never any doubt which guy Merry is going to choose, the rejected one is such a good guy that I just wished he had more of a plotline than simply trying to convince Merry to love him. Yet the romance is cute and sweet. Most of the buildup has happened in the past since they’ve known each other for years, so present day is more focused on accepting what their hearts are telling them.

I did love the introspective moments! There are several times where Merry has a lot of time for thinking and writing. I really enjoyed her poetry as well. Even Timothy and Allen has moments where they had to do some thinking and/or plotting their next plan. Somehow the mix of narrators worked for me. I was a bit afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep track, but no worries there! And it helped keep the action going, which I appreciated. These are the times I like being the omniscient reader who knows what everyone is doing, while the characters themselves don’t! :D

So overall, this is a very fun adventure. Ms. Sleiman impressed me with her skill at writing a great story and now I’m anxious to read more of her writing. As well as go back and reread a few favorite scenes. Which is the nicest compliment I can give a book! Plus that cover is simply beautiful. The colors are perfect and that's just how I could picture Merry. Yay for great cover designers! :)

** I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

Death always spiraled about them in this realm, brushing against their shoulders, reminding them they might be next…
An odd sound met her ears from just outside the door. The call of a wood warbler…or rather a childish imitation of one.
Thanks be to God,” Allen said. “Our prayers have been answered." Robert rushed to the door and opened it.
In tumbled Gilbert, red cheeked and panting for breath. “All…is clear.” He collapsed against the wall. “But I lost….the berries."


  1. Replies
    1. It is, Hannah! A very enjoyable story. :)

  2. This looks cool! My library actually has it, so I'm hoping I'll get to read it this summer.

    1. I actually thought about you when I was reading because I know you're wanting to read more Robin Hood stories this year, Hamlette! It's a fun story. I hope you enjoy when/if you read it! :)

    2. I've been so woefully slack on my Robin Hood reading! It's because first I participated in the Persuasion read-along, then I've been hosting the Little Women read-along, and now I'm also participating in a Silmarillion one. AND been reading North & South (which I finished!) and MIddlemarch. I'm stuck in these immense books and need to just finish them already! Which I am, slowly. Then, Robin Hood. Lots of Robin Hood.

    3. Robin Hood's time shall come! I know it. ;) Also do you realize how much epicness you mention in that one little comment right above? Your TBR is awesome right now, my friend!

      Yay for finishing N&S! I was so pleased to read that you liked it! (But you already knew I'd be happy, right? I mean, I only seem to gush about that story every other post or so.)

    4. Yeah, it's not like I've been wasting my reading time, at least :-) I've finished LW now, and only have about 200 pages left in Middlemarch. I'm woefully behind on my Silmarillion reading, though. Sigh.

      Robin Hood's time shall come! In fact, I pulled out the Howard Pyle version to begin next.

      I have a friend who was telling me on Sunday how hard a time she had liking Richard Armitage as Thorin at first because she was so used to him as Guy of Gisborne on the BBC's Robin Hood. I was like, "Well, there's a movie that will 100% change your ideas of him, if you want that to happen..." :-D We'll see if she asks to borrow it!

    5. You have not been wasting your reading time at all, that I can absolutely guarantee! :) And since you're whittling down your list of current reads, that just means that Silmarillion is ready to get all the love. Right?

      I love it! And I think I'd be coming from the opposite end. I haven't seen the BBC's Robin Hood, but I figure it would take a bit for me to stop seeing him through happiness-tinted eyes. Hopefully she wants to! I want everybody to watch this this miniseries!

    6. Whenever I'm reading The Silmarillion, I really enjoy it, but as soon as I put it down, it's out of my head. I have to make myself pick it up again. Weirdest thing.

      I saw the Hobbit movies first, then N&S, then a few eps of Robin Hood. He's a bad guy, but he's still crushable. Especially in season 3...

    7. That's kind of like how I was with The Hobbit actually. I couldn't seem to make myself stick with the actual book. The audiobook on the other hand had me at hello! It does make me wonder why we are that way with some books. Hopefully you can get back into it and anticipate enjoying it soon!

      Yeah, everything I've read about the series has made me think that very thing. Pretty sure he's probably crushable in just about everything he's in. (And clearly I must watch so I can get to season 3! :)

    8. The Hobbit is not a favorite of mine either. I've read it three times, and I simply have issues with the narrator (too condescending), the pacing (too uneven), and the characters (too underdeveloped, except Bilbo). Perhaps I'll try an audio version sometime!

    9. Definitely try an audio version! It moves so slowly for me on paper, but I've been "re-reading" it on audio, and the pace feels way more comfortable. My version is unabridged and narrated by Rob Inglis. I would highly recommend it.

    10. I agree with Hannah. The audiobook is the way to go! I was able to end up enjoying the story much more through listening than reading. In fact, I think that's how I want to read the Lord of the Rings. Yes, I am still planning to get to it at some point. Just as soon as I get copies of the audio! :)


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