Monday, September 5, 2016

Courageous- Dina L. Sleiman

My Rating: 4 Stars

Description: 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 Thoughts: Crusade stories can be hit or miss for me, as I do not always agree with the author's interpretation of what happened. This story started out a bit shaky on that ground, though as the story progressed I found more that I agreed with. While I cannot say I was satisfied with all the characters' decisions and conclusions toward the end, I can say that I was overall satisfied with the story.

Randel and Rosalind are two characters who have committed tragic acts in the past and continue to punish themselves. Like many people who went on Crusade in history, their goal is to find some form of absolution. Instead, they come to terms with the realization that there is nothing they can do, only God's grace is sufficient. It was a worthwhile message, along side that of Lady Sapphira, who struggles with the weight of following God's call on her life.

Overall, the story is less a love story between to characters and instead a love story between the characters and God. That is what I most appreciated about this story and would recommend it to anyone looking for more than the typical romance.

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

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