“Chivalrous” by Dina L. Sleiman
Book Two in the Valiant Hearts Series
Review copy source: Influencer copy from publisher and author
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
About the book:
Strong and adventurous Gwendolyn Barnes longs to be a knight like her chivalrous brothers. However, that is not an option for her, not even in the Arthurian-inspired Eden where she dwells. Her parents view her only as a marriage pawn, and her domineering father is determined to see her wed to a brutish man who will break her spirit.
When handsome, good-hearted Allen of Ellsworth arrives in Edendale searching for his place in the world, Gwendolyn spies in him the sort of fellow she could imagine marrying. Yet fate seems determined to keep them apart. Tournaments, intrigue, and battles–along with twists and turns aplenty–await these two as they struggle to find love, identity, and their true destinies.
Wow, what a book! I was so excited to read this one, and it certainly didn’t disappoint!! It was quite a thrilling ride, and so satisfying! This book really caught my fancy because the main character, Gwendolyn, wants to be a Knight. And that has long been a silly wish of mine. ^.^ Most girls want to be princesses, and though I’ve dreamed that one too, I am vastly attracted to the idea of being a Knight. :) So this book is right up my alley. Besides that, there is the fact that it is the sequel to “Dauntless”, and Allen is the hero in this book which pleased me to no end!
This book just felt like home – you know how some books do that? I just felt soo happy reading it. Like there would be references to scenes in the first book, and it was just like being there – so familiar! I loved it.
The characters were so well written. I loved each one, and was super impressed by even the villain. He thought he was right – that really added to the depth and reality of the book. I was quite impressed. :)
Gwendolyn was a superb character. I really liked her, and found it fairly easy to relate to her. I don’t know who I like more – Merry from Dauntless, or Gwendolyn from Chivalrous – I just don’t think I can choose! I love them both very much. As for hero’s…I did really like Timothy from Dauntless, but Allen was my favourite, and so he has remained! He’s a great character. Another minor character in this book I loved was Sir Randel – he was a doll! I am so excited that the third book in this lovely and adventurous series spotlights him and Rosalind who also was a great character – I greatly look forward to reading their tale!! But yes, back to “Chivalrous”!
In the beginning, I was just slightly concerned about a couple things (“Divine Order” and Pride) but they were followed through with just beautifully! So, I really don’t have any lasting concerns! :)
A quick quote: “I prefer to think of a man and woman standing side by side, offering mutual support” (Page 69) – yes! I was so happy when one of the characters said this, because I was a tad bit afraid that it would start to portray that woman are stronger than men, etc. but this is so true, and I agree. :)
I loved how the characters sought God so much, and felt His peace. One prayer I really loved, and noted in the book, was this one: “Lord, not my will but Thine be done today. Let me move by Your power and Your spirit. Give me courage, strength, speed, and agility. But most of all, give me wisdom and peace to accept if Your plans are not the same as mine…” (Page 70)
The Duke was a great character, and this speech of his delighted me:
“Brave Warriors, as we commence the game today, be honorable, be courageous, be chivalrous, and be strong. But most of all, go hand in hand with the God of all creation.” (page 72)
There was so much good to this book! I love the plot; it was exciting and engaging. There were some twists I didn’t expect, but was happy with nonetheless! Very good. It was all so well written, that I felt like I was there. Like, at the jousting Tournaments! I could picture every scene so vividely in my mind, and that was lovely.
As Gwen and Rosalind grew in their Faith, their discoveries were realistic, and so precious. This thought of Rosalind’s I found quite profound:
“It occurs to me,” Rosalind whispered in reverence of their holy conversation, “that if these ideas are true, one cannot simply go on one’s way and ignore them. They require a change in how we live.” (Page 128) – How true is that with all that we believe in and because of our faith? It reminds me of this verse from James 4:17: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” – it’s kind of a humbling verse, but well worth the thought. We can’t turn our faces away from things that have been brought to light. We can’t say anymore that ‘we never knew’.
There was mention of magic, and sorceresses in this book, which normally would make me very hesitant. But how it was handled and viewed in this book was, in my opinion, accurate and showed it was the hand of the devil. There is evil in this world – we can’t hide from it – but it is important to know where it comes from, so we can battle it more properly. “Know your enemy”!
I loved the Code of Chivalry, I must say, which is why I made the following image. :)
So yes, I really enjoyed this lovely tale and greatly look forward to more!!! I’ve also so enjoyed being apart of Mrs. Sleiman’s influencer team!!! It’s been great fun. :)
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review which I have given.