Dauntless (Valiant Hearts: 1) by Dina L. Sleiman is a book set in England with a theme similar to that of "Robin Hood." While I've never been
a huge fan of the "Robin Hood" motif but I actually did enjoy this book. I liked the strong female protagonist of the story. She had a good balance
of strength, mercy, and kindness. While she was a worthy leader, she still had room to grow and needed others and the story did a good job of showing
This book was written from a Christian perspective and there are strong Christian themes throughout that can be appreciated. I especially enjoyed the "Sunshine
Men," want to know what I'm referring to? Read the story!
There are also elements of romance in this story, and while I'm not usually a big romance reader, I believe this writer did a good job of intertwining
the romance into the story and making it a believable. I do appreciate that the story had a lot of other elements than romance though and that there
was more to the book than that (since, as I mentioned, romance isn't one of my preferred genres).
I would definietly recommend this book and have already added the second Valiant Hearts, Chivalrous to my TBR pile!
A spunky kitten on a daring rescue, a neglected mare full of love, and boys that recur like warts make teenager Ruth Deloach’s life far from boring.
For every kind person that comes to the ranch there seems to be two warts. The attitudes and temperatures of southeast Missouri starkly contrast the
suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but Ruth doesn’t have time to adjust before her father holds an open house for their horse ranch, Meredith Meadows.
Ruth’s overbearing older brother seems to just add dangerous sparks to her frustration as she tries to figure out who she has to be nice to and
who she actually wants to be nice to. At first, the horse lessons on the ranch start making Ruth feel as if she is back in her comfort zone until
she gets tossed by one of the horses. Sometimes the best way through life is to laugh through the tears, warts, and her own attempts to mow the
grass in a straight line
The Lost Pony of Riverdale (The Riverdale Pony Series) by Amanda Wills is a good book for horse lovers in the junior high age
range. Poppy moves to a new area with her parents and hears stories of an escaped pony that roams the moors. The story was fun and kept moving along.
Poppy is a well-developed character with relatable emotions and the book was well-written.
While the story is intended to be a fun read for junior high girls it also deals with serious issues and is intended to make it’s audience think. There
are plot twists that keep you intrigued and guessing. I did wish there was more about the donkey in the story, though; they can be wonderful companions!
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and believe Amanda Wills to be a talented author. I would recommend it to other readers, especially in the
intended age range!
Ruth’s father came back to where she and her grandfather were standing. The three of them walked back to the truck without conversation. After they had
gotten into the truck and grandpa Malachi had started the engine her father said, “And that would be a horse that was drugged.”
Ruth acknowledged the observation with a quick nod. “That would make sense, I’m just a bit surprised she would do that. She wasn’t the type of lady that
I would have suspected of drugging animals just to sell them. Somebody must be willing to take on a strong-willed, stubborn pony without the drugs.”
“For a lot less money and that somebody is more difficult to find,” her father stated.
“I suppose.” Ruth watched as her father set the GPS to go to the owner that was selling Embera. “Hopefully Embera is just the same today as she was yesterday.”
“Yes, we know you want to take her home,” her grandfather drawled out. “We’re going to see her, keep your britches on.”
“Um, yeah, I was planning on it,” Ruth said. “Not sure how it would help things if I didn’t.”
Her father chuckled.
During the ride to see Embera nobody said much. They soon arrived at Mr. Palmer’s drive, tumbled out of the truck, and went to the front door.
Mr. Palmer didn’t seem as surprised to see them again as the woman had been. He wore a pleased smile as he took them to the barn to see Embera. She seemed
the same as yesterday. A little young and nervous perhaps, but fairly well behaved and intelligent. Ruth felt confident enough to try her out again
and her father didn’t have any objections.
Ruth mounted with anticipation beating in her heart and palms. She hoped they would both do well so they could bring Embera home today. She was fond of
the mare. She liked Mirage, the blue roan they already owned, too, but it would be awesome to have both horses. She settled in the saddle and pressed
her legs together. The mare flicked her ears back but didn’t move. Ruth gave her a gentle kick with the legs and Embera started forward.
Ruth relaxed on her back and after a few moments took Embera into a trot. Just as the mare sped up pace Ruth felt some wetness on her arm. She looked down
at her arm but didn’t see anything. She shrugged it off until she felt a few more drops. She looked up at the sky that had suddenly turned grey and
ominous. No wonder it was so humid.
The rain quickened its pace as Ruth urged Embera into a canter. After a few minutes the rain broke into an all out downpour. Ruth groaned as she felt it
soaking through her jeans. She slowed the mare down to a walk then a halt. ‘Why Lord, why?’ Ruth thought in exasperation.
If you had fun reading this excerpt you can purchase the book with the link below. It is scheduled to release September 2016!
The Pillar of Light is a Christian Fantasy Adventure, just as the book states. The story is based around a Nani, a young teen that has lost her memory
and is living with a missionary couple in Brazil. The adventure takes us to another world where a group of teens with Nani learn about each other,
life lessons, and symbolism related to Christ and Bible stories.
I enjoyed the book overall. Anna Travis is certainly imaginative and truly envisioned and created a new world, complete with strange animals, floating
spheres, and it's own kind of magic. I enjoyed the Christian elements in the story and much of the thought put behind the symbolism. It's also nice
to read a fantasy book that isn't full of dark creatures.
There were, however, a few grammatical errors and not all of the passages flowed smoothly. With a bit more practice and editing though, I think this could
really be a fantastic author. I would certainly read more of her work after reading this book.