Dauntless by Dina Sleiman
Published Year: 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction
Subtitle: Okay (2.5 stars)
Though once a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village. Dubbed "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest," her band of followers soon become enemies of the throne when they hijack ill-gotten gold meant for the king.
Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, will he choose fame or love?
A cute light read that was perfect for vacation -- Dauntless was a historical fiction novel that was pretty much exactly what you expect! There weren't any gasp out loud plot points and the characters were pretty much predictable. This doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it -- there were parts, I did like and I definitely enjoyed the shout out to Robin Hood! Overall, it was a light read and what I was in the mood for.
Merry Ellison is an outlaw on the wrong side of King John's law, thanks to her late father's crimes. She's also responsible for all of her village's children -- and she's started training them, for better or worse. They've started to earn a bit of a reputation. I know that the "story" is when they move their encampment, but to be honest, I really enjoyed that opening scene and wouldn't have minded more scenes in that forest. It was fascinating!
Merry was the leader of the band and she did a good job. She kept them all safe and trained them all in combat and reading/writing. I really liked those aspects of her character -- that she cared enough to do those things. In terms of Merry's love life, she was a little too clinical for my tastes, and with one of her options being at least a year or two younger than her, this just made me a bit uncomfortable. Could have done without all of that meditating, Merry!
To be honest, I wasn't that big of a fan of Timothy for probably 90% of the book? So that made it really hard to buy into the romance aspect of the story (so this obviously made it more disappointing when the thievery dissipated) -- I just wasn't feeling him. He was way to focused on the wrong things and it irritated me.
Perhaps a younger demographic would enjoy this story, but personally if I had not been looking for something light and quick, I would have been ultimately disappointed!
2.5 stars out of 5.