Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman is a young adult Christian novel that is set during the same time as Robin Hood. In fact, Robin Hood is mentioned several times throughout the book.
Merry Ellison was once a lady, set to marry her childhood sweetheart, Timothy, and to inherit the lands and estate that her family has owned. But when King John kills her family and the rest of the families in her small town, Merry – and the orphaned children who have escaped with her – are left to survive on their own in the woods, where they become known as “the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest.” As the head of her little band, Merry has determined that God does not exist and that she is capable of taking care of things for herself and her new-found family.
But when Merry runs into her long-lost love, Timothy, her world comes crashing down upon her. Discovering that Timothy has taken a place beside the king’s best friend, Merry questions whether he really even cared for her at all.
While the story makes for a good, light read, it constantly echoes themes that are common throughout the Robin Hood story. But instead of a man in the hero role, this time it is a woman. And it’s a man in the castle instead of a woman. There definitely seems to be a strong feminism vibe throughout the book, which I wouldn’t necessarily want my teenagers to be swallowing.
Plus, there are several times that the author eludes to extramarital affairs on the part of the baron, including an illegitimate son as a result of one of those affairs. I do not feel that these scenarios would be appropriate for a young, impressionable audience, and I would definitely not feel comfortable recommending it for teenagers.
This has to be one of the few times that I would say that I wouldn’t recommend a book for the intended audience. I think there are better choices for our teens.
*This book was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers for my honest opinion.