In a reverse twist on the Robin Hood story, a young medieval maiden stands up for the rights of the mistreated, stealing from the rich to give to the poor. All the while, she fights against her cruel uncle who has taken over the land that is rightfully hers. Forced to live in the woods and hide with the poor people she's grown to love, she works to save and protect them, but she never anticipates falling in love with the wealthy knight who represents all she's come to despise.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 17 Years|
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A Daring Sacrifice
By Jody Hedlund
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2016 Jody Hedlund
All rights reserved.
Forests of Wessex
In the year of our Lord 1390
"Time to chop of your thumbs." The hulking soldier pinched the back of my neck through the coarse wool of my cloak. The sharp pressure forced me to kneel in front of the flat stone. "Put out your hand, you poacher."
"You can't cut off my thumbs," I protested in a gruff voice I hoped disguised my true, girlish tone.
"For hunting on the Wessex land, I'm obliged to hack off the whole hand." The solider, who was as wide as an ox, shoved me so that my false, padded belly pushed into the rectangular slab. "Count yourself lucky that Sir Edgar is in a good mood today and only ordered the loss of your thumbs."
I glanced to the road, where Lord Wessex's son sat astride his fair steed. He was surrounded by several other noblemen and women. His deep laughter rose into the air, followed by a chorus of giggles from his female admirers.
The usual hot anger spurted in my blood. I knew they weren't laughing directly at me. Even so, I was incensed that they could find any reason for amusement at such a time. Had they no pity for an old man — what they thought me to be — who was about to be savagely maimed?
My gaze lingered on the fine silk gown of one of the young women, a deep purple hue strewn with intricately embroidered lace. She'd paired the dress with pure white gloves ... and a pearl necklace. The pearls alone would buy enough grain to feed a dozen families for a week.
"Come now, old man. Don't make this any harder than need be." The soldier prodded my stooped shoulders. "Take the punishment you deserve." But even as he spoke, his gaze followed mine to Edgar, who took a swig from a flask and then passed it to a friend. When I glanced back to the soldier, his lips were pursed at the sight of Edgar's revelry.
"No one deserves this." I bent my head and made my voice raspy. I wore my long hair tucked under a man's linen coif and had smeared mud over my face, but if Sir Edgar or the soldiers took a closer look at me, they'd surely see past the disguise.
They'd discover the cloaked bandit they were looking for. And I'd potentially lose much more than my thumbs.
The tall soldier on the other side of the stone yawned and then unsheathed his hunting knife. The long silver blade glinted in the autumn afternoon sunlight.
"Lord Wessex won't miss a couple of squirrels," I spoke quickly. Time was running out. I had to figure out a way to make my escape. "Especially squirrels as scrawny as those." I nodded at the stiff creatures lying only feet away, next to my bow and quiver.
Even though I wasn't truly afraid yet, I could feel a sense of urgency beginning to take hold. My fingers twitched with the need to reach for my weapon. But with the ox at my back and tall guard across from me, I would have to make my move at just the right time. Besides, there were at least two other soldiers on the perimeter that I would be forced to outmaneuver.
I eyed the brambles and dark shadows of the surrounding forest. If I released my arrows while sprinting, I might be able to eliminate two of the guards and reach the cover of trees before the others could react.
"Doesn't matter what you take from Lord Wessex's land." The bulky girth of the soldier behind me pressed into my body, pinning me against the stone. "Stealing is stealing."
I resisted his hold. "How can it be stealing when Lord Wessex doesn't give us any place to hunt and no means to keep our families from dying of hunger?"
The soldier faltered.
"Please," I whispered. "Have mercy. My boy is all I have left. And he's always hungry. I'm sure you have a growing son and know how much food such children need to survive." Although I had no son, I prayed my words would earn the soldier's sympathy.
The ox heaved a breath laden with garlic and onion, and his grip slackened.
Maybe more of the populace was dissatisfied with Lord Wessex's leadership than I realized. My father had always believed the people should rise up and fight against the oppression — that in their hearts they disliked Lord Wessex's tactics, and that with the right leadership they could overthrow him.
Had my father been right?
I gave myself a mental shake. His faith in the populace had been his downfall. And I wouldn't repeat his mistake.
"What's taking so long?" came Sir Edgar's irritated call from the road. "Must I come over and do the deed myself?"
I had the urge to stand, face Edgar, and dare him to try. I'd been waiting for years to spit into his face. If he came anywhere near me, I probably wouldn't be able to resist the urge, even if it would lead to my death.
The tall soldier concealed another yawn and shook his head. "No, sir. We're ready." He lifted his knife.
But the hefty soldier behind me didn't move. No doubt he was thinking that if I lost my thumbs, I would be maimed for life. Most of the men who lost their fingers or thumbs were rendered useless as hunters, and many of them could no longer ply their trades. Their already starving families suffered even more.
"Cut off his thumbs now," Edgar shouted. "Or I shall cut off your hands."
The ox released another garlicky sigh and then forced my arm upward onto the stone.
I was strong for a girl of seventeen. But I couldn't resist the muscle of a full-grown soldier, let alone one who was at least double the width of a normal man. He pushed my gloved hand down against the smooth stone. The rusty stains on the rock reminded me that too many men had lost a limb upon this ledge.
The heat of anger seeped deeper into my soul. If only I could do more to alleviate the suffering of the peasants ...
As it was, I tirelessly labored day after day to provide for the many families who'd been driven from their homes and from honest work. And as time passed, more and more came to depend upon me for food and shelter ... because of Lord Wessex's greed and cruelty.
"Spread your fingers." The soldier behind me pushed my palm flat. With brute strength, he plied my fingers wider, and then nodded at his tall companion wielding the knife.
I tensed. What if my plan of escape didn't work? What if the ox didn't loosen his hold on my wrist? What if I sprang a moment too late? Beneath the layers of my disguise, a trickle of sweat made an itchy line between my shoulder blades. Even though the hint of cooler weather was in the air, the sunshine of the fall day was still warm.
The soldier began to lower the knife, and I readied myself to dodge the blow.
"Wait," the ox bellowed, making me jump. "We need to take off his gloves first."
"No," I replied.
His offer was likely made out of compassion. The gloves would impede the blade and make the severing more time-consuming. Having one's thumb hacked off in slow increments would be infinitely more painful than a swift, clean chop.
While I appreciated his kindness, I couldn't risk taking off my gloves. I might be able to hide my features in the mud and the shadows of my hat. And I could pad my tunic and trousers to make myself look like a frumpy, stoop-shouldered old man.
But if I took off my gloves, they would see my fingers. Even though they were cracked and creased with dirt, there would be no hiding the fact that they were long, slender, and womanly.
I would give away my cover, and in the process chance losing my slight window to break free.
The soldier holding the knife drew back.
"What now?" Edgar shouted.
"Hurry and take off his gloves." The tall soldier waved the blade impatiently.
"Just cut through them," I said, and this time I splayed my hands willingly.
The soft jay-jay of a blue jay called from the treetops, which had already begun to change into their vibrant arrays of gold and crimson. I tried to pretend I hadn't heard anything.
"'Twill be easier on you to have a clean cut," the soldier behind me insisted.
'Twould most definitely not go easier on me. Not when they realized my true gender. Not when they then unmasked me further and realized I was the bandit who was terrorizing Wessex lands.
And it would go even worse if Sir Edgar and his father saw my red hair and my cleaned face and eventually figured out the vigilante they had sought was the rightful heir to Wessex, that I hadn't died alongside my father after all.
"Let's have the gloves, old man." The ox began wrestling my hand and tugging at the leather hugging my fingertips.
"No!" I shouted, this time forgetting to disguise my voice.
At the sound of my much higher, clearer tone, the bulky soldier loosened his grasp. The fraction was all I needed. I yanked away, dropped to the ground, and rolled toward my bow. In an instant I had it in hand with an arrow notched and drawn.
I jumped up and was on my feet, running while shooting the arrow in the direction of one of the perimeter guards. It hit him squarely in his fighting hand, as I'd intended. The arrow had hardly left my bow before I had another pulled back and ready to loose.
But another arrow flew out of the forest nearby and hit the second perimeter guard before I could let go. I didn't stop running to think. I simply shot my arrow at the tall soldier with the knife, making sure it knocked the weapon from his raised hand rather than piercing him.
I sprinted toward the forest edge and glanced again at the noblewoman and the pearls. Did I have time to get what I'd been after in the first place?
Two horses with their riders burst through the forest and stampeded across the clearing. Amidst the shouting and chaos, I relished the sound of Sir Edgar's curses. Did Edgar really think he'd get to entertain his guests at my expense today? If so, then my cousin was stupider than he looked.
One of the horses pounded closer, and when a hand reached down for me, I latched on and swung myself up behind the young rider.
I put my head down and kicked my heels into the flank of the beast, urging it faster.
An arrow zipped past us.
I spun as much as I could on the bare back of the horse. One of Sir Edgar's friends and fellow noblemen had shot at me. I took aim and released my arrow with a ping. It ripped across the distance, and within seconds sliced through the man's hat, knocking it from his head, parting his hair and skimming his scalp in the process.
I watched him long enough to see shock widen his eyes. Then I turned back and grinned.
The horse plunged into the brambles and the darkness of the woods. I grabbed onto the rider to keep from toppling off. We charged through the tangle of trees and brush, the branches whipping us, thorns grabbing our tunics, and the windfall threatening to trip us.
But the horse didn't slacken its pace. Nor did the steed behind us.
A quick glance over my shoulder revealed Bulldog. His fleshy face was dark with anger and his scowl chastised me. His blue jay call had alerted me to his presence, and I was glad for his help. But I could have made my escape without him — I usually managed. There had been no need for him to put his and Thatch's lives in danger on account of me.
I crouched low behind Thatch, Bulldog's son. Thatch's blond hair stuck up on his head like dry straw. I gripped him tightly, and his boney body felt as thin as twigs beneath the thin, tattered clothes he wore. Together we swayed with the horse's movements, ducking low and making the kind of getaway we'd accomplished plenty of times over the past few years.
We rode hard for many long minutes, putting the distance we needed between ourselves and Sir Edgar. Thatch wisely guided the horses far from our forest home. We would likely have to spend the next day or two eluding soldiers before we could make our way back to the secret caverns, which served as the base of operations as well as shelter for the many people we helped.
When we finally reached a narrow gully, we reined our horses and hid in the shadows for several moments, our heavy breathing mingling with the snorting of the horses.
Bulldog grabbed my sleeve and growled, "Young missy, I ought to take a switch to your backside for that stunt."
"That wasn't a stunt. I was fishing. For pearls." Technically, I'd been hunting. But I hadn't been able to resist trailing the noblewoman once I'd spotted the necklace.
"It was the stupidest thing you've done to date, and that's saying something, because you've done plenty of foolish things."
"We're running low on provisions."
Bulldog folded his thick arms across his chest as if restraining himself from strangling me. "I know we'll need to make a raid soon. But not on Sir Edgar. And definitely not when you're by yourself."
"I had everything under control the whole time." Or at least mostly. "I could have gotten away just fine."
His dark eyebrows came together into a thunderous glare above his equally black eyes. "Or you could have ended up like this." He held up his hands. I didn't have to look to know what he was referring to. But my gaze was nevertheless drawn to the stumps where his thumbs had once been.
Bulldog was one of the lucky ones who'd only lost his thumbs for poaching. And he was also one of the most stubborn, determined, and strong men I'd ever met. It was due to those qualities alone he'd learned to shoot his bow again, unlike so many men who were crippled for life.
Thatch peered up at me with adoring eyes. "I think all Dad is trying to say is that, next time, make sure you bring me along. That way I can help you."
I smiled at the boy and tousled his hair, which only made the strands stand up farther.
He gave me one of his wide, crooked smiles, which revealed the gap in the top where he'd lost one of his front teeth in a fist fight.
Bulldog snarled. "That's not what I'm saying at all."
Thatch's grin slipped away.
"I trust Thatch to watch out for you," Bulldog said, softening at the sight of disappointment in his son's face. "But, Juliana, I gave your father my word that I'd protect you with my life. How can I do that if you're constantly charging into dangerous situations without telling me?"
The braying of a hound wafted on the wind.
Bulldog didn't have to say anything. One grimace of his rounded face was all it took to know his frustration. Sir Edgar already had men tracking us.
Thatch sprang onto the back of his mare and offered me his hand. I swung up behind him at the same time that Bulldog mounted his horse. He lifted his short nose and sniffed the air. Then he cocked his ear and listened intently.
"We'll have to split up," he said in a voice tight with frustration.
"I'll lead them on a wild goose chase. And the two of you get as far away from here as you can."
For a moment, remorse tumbled about my empty stomach. Danger was nothing new. We'd lived with threats, starvation, and menace every day in the three years since my father had attempted his revolt and subsequently lost his life. But I didn't like the thought that I'd made things harder for Bulldog and Thatch with my recklessness. "I'm sorry —"
"I'm tired of your apologies." Bulldog's keen eyes swept through the dense forest. The thick tamarack and low spruce would slow down the search party, but the hunting dogs would eventually sniff out our trails.
"I'll go on by myself." I wiped a sleeve across my mud-caked face, brushing away sweaty flecks of dirt.
"No," Bulldog replied tersely. "Thatch will stay with you."
I held back my protest. I'd already rankled Bulldog enough for one day. Even though I didn't need Thatch's help, I liked his company. If Bulldog was forcing me to flee, at least I wouldn't be bored with Thatch along.
The barking of the dogs sounded nearer.
"Head west of Wessex. And stay out of the forest for three days." Bulldog bolted out of the gully, his steed crunching through the fallen leaves.
Thatch tugged his horse toward the west but paused when Bulldog glanced at us over his broad shoulder.
"Be careful." Bulldog's voice was harsh, but his eyes gentled as his gaze touched first on Thatch and then me.
"We'll be fine," I reassured him.
He gave a curt nod, then kicked his horse forward and was gone.
Thatch murmured to his mare and spurred her into the dense foliage.
I'd much rather be the one racing through the forest, dodging Lord Wessex's soldiers. There was something wild and exciting about the chase. But I'd accept the wisdom of Bulldog's plans this time. Maybe I had stepped too far over the line of danger with my latest move.
At the very least, it wouldn't hurt to lay low for a few days — especially for everyone else's sakes. The last thing I wanted to do was endanger Bulldog, Thatch, and the other families.
The wind and branches whipped my face.
Bulldog had told us to head west. West of Wessex. My mind spun with the possibilities ... fishing possibilities.
I'd heard rumors that the master of the land bordering Wessex on the west had finally returned after years of being gone. The young, wealthy master who'd once insulted my red hair. An insult I'd never forgotten or forgiven.
A smile tugged at my lips.
"Head to Goodrich land," I called to Thatch.
Yes, indeed. I sensed some very good fishing possibilities ahead.
Excerpted from A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund. Copyright © 2016 Jody Hedlund. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Daring Sacrifice is the second book in An Uncertain Choice series Jody Hedlund. This reminded me of a Robin Hood story, but this time Robin is a girl named Juliana. We met Collin in the first book, and now we get to know him even more. He doesn't disappoint. This story was very entertaining, and I enjoyed watching Juliana and Collin get to know each other. These two challenge each other and introduce each other to new ideas, plus the teasing is super cute. There was some action thrown in too. This story kept me thoroughly interested in the lives of these characters. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book.
I hope you plan on a all nighter because once you start this book you won't be able to put it down
Was good for a teen book. Though a little annoying when our heros are always so perfect. The best hunters, trackers, archers etc. I also dislike first person reading, but that of course is just my personal opinion. Enjoyable enough though.
I love my Jody Hedlund books, and am very glad that she has ventured out into the world of YA. I adored the first book in this series, but unfortunately this one did not quite cut it for me. There was just something lacking, and it was not up to par to what I have come to expect from one of her books. I did wish, after reading the first one, that we would get stories about the other two knights, and so I am glad that we got that. It was fun to see a story about Collin, get to know him a little more. As for Juliana...I liked her, I did. However, we were told that she was basically a female Robin Hood and yet I did not see that. I'm not sure how she survived as the Cloaked Bandit for years, because Collin seemed to rescue her at every turn. I also did not really connect to either of the characters. Collin was nice, and funny, but also arrogant. I was very bothered by his ideas of needing to show Juliana that she "belonged" with the nobility and protect her, not taking into account what she wanted. It came from a good heart, sure, but very overbearing. I think both of them had the potential to be great characters, but they felt a little flat. There was some insta-love, which led to some plot points that I felt were too fast/too much for the point these characters were at, but its Christian Fiction and that's how it goes so I won't even touch on that. It was a fun, enjoyable read, although it could have been so much more. Of course, our favorite Sirs Derrick and Brennan also made an appearance, which was nice. Although this book felt a little short, I will be continuing with this series, because I do very much enjoy this author, and I am excited to continue Sir Brennan's story.
As a librarian and as a mother whose daughters are approaching their teen years, I'm always looking for Young Adult material that I can recommend without reservation. A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund fills that need. From the opening sentence on, readers will enjoy this fast-paced adventurous novel. This sequel to An Uncertain Choice lets us get to spend time with Collin, whom we met in that first book. His story is fleshed out, as is that of Juliana Wessex, a young woman of noble birth who has been living in hiding since her father's death at the hands of her uncle. She has become a Robin Hood type of character, who feels responsible for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods after her uncle's seizure of her home and lands. As Collin and Juliana get to know one another, they are forced to consider whether or not their assumptions toward each other's class are true. I was a Collin fan in the first book, and I enjoyed the banter and the relationship that developed between him and Juliana in this one. Those who enjoy romance in a medieval setting will enjoy this book. And although it is a YA book, adults will enjoy it thoroughly, as well. I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
I didn't realize at first that "A Daring Sacrifice" is the "sequel" to "An Uncertain Choice" as there is no series name given. It could be read on it's own, but it would be a little clearer what they were talking about with the "contest" from "An Uncertain Choice" if you read them in order. I didn't really pay much attention to Collin in the first book as he wasn't the hero that I was rooting for to win the contest. "A Daring Sacrifice" is a teen romance but I enjoyed it. At first, I was wondering if it would be too similar to Melanie Dickerson's "Huntress of Thornbeck Forest", but other than the heroines both being "Robin Hood" characters who provide for a band of poor people, they each had their own storylines, which was nice. With this story being geared for teens, the romance isn't as deep as some books, but I didn't find it childish, either. I was originally going to let my daughters read this, but there were two phrases in the book that changed my mind. They were: "In fact, if I'd been someone more sinister-a lusty man without any regard for her womanhood-what would she have done tonight?" and "My blood ran cold at the thought of what Lord Wessex might do to her, of the torturous ways he'd violate her." At 11 and 10, they wouldn't understand these and I don't think they need to know what they are talking about. I will wait until they are older to let them read it. There are some mentions of torture, but not really too graphic. Unless the reader is already familiar with what being drawn and quartered is, it wouldn't mean much to them. There are a few mentions of bloody or mutilated bodies, but I didn't really find them overly repulsive. I liked how the parts of the book for Collin were a different font than the sections for Juliana. It made it easier to follow who was talking since the book was all in the first person point of view. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through their zblogsquad program in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no other compensation was received.
Saw the cover, love the author's YA books, and knew I had to get a copy :) REALLY wanted to know how this book connected to An Uncertain Choice, finally figured it out and the story just became better in my heart after realizing this. There are three knights in the first book, Collin Goodrich is the second one and this book is his journey with Juliana Wessex. Three words that describe this book for me are: courage, honor, and sweetness. Yes, there is also sacrifice, romance, faith, forgiveness, healing, and humor as well but I think the first three words capture the gist of this story best. I loved how Collin is worthy of Juliana from the beginning and he is such a feisty guy! He is also arrogant and a little too confident at times, but his charming personality makes him so lovable you forgive him right away of any shortcomings he may have. Couldn't stand his sister, Irene, but she pays for her immature and despicable attitude later in the story and all I had was compassion for her at the end. It's unfortunate that Collin couldn't have a closer relationship with her, but their hearts were in totally different places. Loved also how Juliana is convicted of her thieving ways, but she is definitely my favorite character in the story. Her archery competitions with Collin were pure delight :) Also loved that Juliana spends time in Collin's home castle among the nobility while Collin in turn spends time with the peasants in the forest. Didn't care for how the font changed between chapters illustrating Juliana's point of view versus Collin's, but that was a minor element in the story and didn't take away my enjoyment at all. I simply didn't like the font used for Collin's chapters, it confused me at first. There are one or two scenes of torture/brutality, but there is nothing gory depicted and it felt authentic to the villain in the story. I truly enjoyed how the main characters handled the villain and it made the word SACRIFICE in the title well illustrated. It also makes the ending that much sweeter because of how everyone overcomes. LOVED the knights in this story! Hedlund's YA series is pure gold and I greatly look forward to the next book, Sir Bennet's story :) Highly recommend this book, definitely worth reading more than once! **this is one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it was worth the wait**
“A Daring Sacrifice” was sent to me by Zondervan Publishing – free of charge, in exchange for my honest review. “A Daring Sacrifice” is a Christian fiction novel written by Jody Hedlund. The beautiful cover designed by Mike Heath/ Magnus Creative. The two main characters in “A Daring Sacrifice” are Juliana of Wessex and Collin of Goodrich. Juliana has been evicted from her rightful place as Lady of Wessex by her evil and tortuous uncle and cousin, who tortured and killed her father when she was little. She had been living in the forest with her friends, Bulldog, who promised to keep her safe, his son, Thatch, and the other peasants who had been run off their land. They lived off of what they could kill and steal until… Of course, you know me, I’m not going to tell you all the juicy parts…You have to read it yourself to find out what happens. Believe me! It will be worth your time! I recommend this book for young teens on up.
Book two follows the spurned Sir Collin as he tries to fill the void Lady Rosemarie left when she married Sir Derrick. Collin returns home as lord of the keep, his father having passed away while he was gone, ready to resume his lavish lifestyle. Lady Juliana doesn’t feel much like a lady. Ever since her uncle swept in and commandeered the castle away from her and her father, she’s been living in the forest hunting, stealing, and trying to keep her townspeople alive. When Juliana is kidnapped, and faces discovery, she must decide whether to resume her life as a forest bandit or become the lady she was born to be. Through their renewed faith in God, Juliana and Collin are able to face adversity and their fears with the Lord on their side. The new teen series by Jody Hedlund is set in the medieval era and follows two of three knights as they seek to follow God and find love. It is a delightful reminder of a life and times with antiquated traditions that we would be well met to remember.
A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund is the second book in the "An Uncertain Choice" series, but it works as a stand-alone. The series follows the adventures of the Duke's three best knights, first introduced in An Uncertain Choice, and this book specially follows Collin Goodrich. Julianna Wessex has noble blood in her veins, but was forced out of her home by her evil uncle when she was a child and her father was killed in an uprising against said uncle. She now hides in the forest and in a Robin Hood type of way, she provides for the poor whom her father was trying to help before his passing. Anyone who's looking in from the outside would never guess that underneath her forest garb is a feisty redhead who will fight her justice. Collin Goodrich is a nobleman who knew Julianna when they were kids, and when she swoops down out of a tree and robs him, he's amused when he discovers his "attacker" is a girl. He tracks her and when he discovers that she's one and the same with the girl of his childhood who was rumored to have died alongside her father, he is shocked. He feels very protective of her, and wants to help her in any way that he can. But will her pride stay in the way? I really liked this book!! I thought it was better than the first one, which can be unusual in sequels. I did think that the romance went a little too quickly, but this was addressed in the discussion questions. Which, by the way, this book had excellent discussion questions for teen girls and would be fantastic for a book club. They were thought-provoking and pulled out issues in the story that I don't typically find in the discussion questions sections. Thank you so much to Zondervan and BookLook bloggers for providing me with a copy to read and review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive.
I really love a good fairy tale. Such a nice escape from reality. But I have to say that I never really enjoyed the story of Robin Hood. The whole stealing from the rich to give to the poor just went against my ingrained two wrongs don't make a right. Then along came A Daring Scrifice by Jody Hedlund. It's a retelling of the Robin Hood story with several twists. I couldn't resist reading it because, well . . . Jody Hedlund! I'm so glad that I did. Jody used what I don't like about the original to bring about a tension that would ultimately lead to a crisis of conscious. The story of Juliana Wessex is one of turning tragedy into triumph. She learns as we all must that our salvation isn't within ourselves, it comes from a higher source. The character of Lord Collin Goodrich is what we all want in a man--daring yet disciplined, loyal and devoted, brave and trustworthy. If his name seems familiar it is because you may have met him in An Uncertain Choice. (By the way, if you haven't read that one . . . treat yourself!) The tension between the two make a wonderful story of yearning for something that is seemingly in contrast to the duties they are bound to. I would recommend this book for teen girls age thirteen and above. It has scenes of torture (it is set in medieval times) and it has two people falling in love and outward expressions of that. There's absolutely nothing scandalous but you may not want your ten-year-old avid reader consuming it. (That would have been me!) If you're on the fence about it I say read it for yourself. You'll probably love it like I did and that makes a nice treat for the momma! In the back of the book there is a group of discussion questions. I'm thinking about using it for a mother/daughter read for my book club. Doesn't that sound like fun?!! I received a copy of the book to facilitate my review.
Ever since her father’s death, Juliana has hidden in the forest disguised as the Cloaked Bandit. When she was a little girl, her uncle took over her father’s lands, becoming Lord of Wessex and terrorizing the peasants with harsh punishments and high taxes. Juliana fights back by robbing the nobility and using the money to feed herself and her friends. But every time she steals, the chances of her getting caught and executed rise dramatically. Then, the neighboring lord, Collin, returns to his land and determines to capture this Cloaked Bandit. Juliana just might have met her match. But what will he do when he catches her? A Daring Sacrifice was awesome! It is absolutely the best book I have ever read by Jody Heldund! I cannot stop saying how amazing and romantic and sweet it is! First the Robin Hood retelling, then the challenge to spend a week in each other’s homes, then the romance and the epic battle at the end! And you will not believe what Collin did! I was astounded! And after everything, too! I highly, highly recommend this Christian, historical, YA romance as one of the best books I have ever read! And now for the why. Yes, what Collin did was the best part of the entire book. I seriously could not believe it, did not expect it, and think it is the best thing ever. But I cannot say what it is or it will ruin everything. I also loved the characters. They were flawed, but they were learning. Collin was so sweet and flirty and Juliana so fiery and determined. They were both terribly stubborn, too! They were the perfect, swoon-worthy match. The humor was another amazing thing about this book. So many times the dialogue made me laugh aloud. A Daring Sacrifice—I absolutely love it and definitely recommend it. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review, but I would never say so many amazing things about it without being entirely honest.
I really enjoyed this book. This book has wonderful characters and a wonderful plot. I had a hard time putting this book down.
This is the first book I've read by Jody Hedlund and I gotta say . . . I LOVED IT! I also have to admit I'm a bit biased because the heroine has red hair (or strawberry locks as it's referred to). tee hee ;-) Seriously, this book is a great read. Had me from the beginning and kept me turning the pages to the very end. It's book #2 in the An Uncertain Choice series. It's a female take on the Robin Hood story and has a great plot, lots of actions, strong characters, and a romantic thread spun throughout. Also, it's not just for teens you know. Can't wait to read another one by Ms. Hedlund. I give A Daring Sacrifice five arrows. It will keep you looking over your shoulder, wondering when the next shot is coming!
Arrows aren’t the only flying objects in A Daring Sacrifice – plenty of sparks fly too! This romance between a charming hero and a bandit heroine hits the mark dead center. I loved the action, the adventure, the romance (i hear your gasps of shock) but the highlight of A Daring Sacrifice for me was the theme of sacrificial love. Both Juliana and Collin exhibit this quality in spades, though the trait requires some sharpening, some maturing, in both of them as they journey through the story together. But oh my goodness, the exquisite beauty of the final portrait of their sacrifices. This, young adults, is the very definition of true love. These themes of romantic respect and sacrificial love are so key for today’s world, perhaps in none more important a demographic as the young adult audience. Jody Hedlund’s pitch perfect writing voice does translate wonderfully into the YA market, and another epilogue-induced (mild) cliffhanger ensures readers will be on pins and needles until Sir Bennet’s story arrives in hand. (I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
Fairy tales get a bad rap for being too "girly" thanks to many Disney adaptations, but if you read the original stories, you would realize that many of these are darker and full of adventures. Jody Hedlund definitely likes fairy tales as she puts a spin on the old Robin Hood tale in this novel. The plot grabs a hold of you at the very beginning and you're glued to main character, Julianna, until the very end. Overall, A Daring Sacrifice is a well-written, fast-paced, light-hearted romantic read. I received a complimentary copy from in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions are my own.
This series just keeps getting better! I loved how distinctly different this second title in the series is compared to the first and prequel. A Daring Sacrifice has a darker, more sinister villain than an Uncertain Choice but Juliana isn't some mousy damsel in distress! This gal is a serious Lady Robin Hood, stealing from the rich, giving to the poor, wanted for her crimes, and recklessly bold. Wealthy, light-hearted Sir Collin is settling into his new role as Lord of his own lands and he's frankly bored with the monotony. His interest is sparked when he crosses paths with disguised Juliana. A Daring Sacrifice is an engaging story with a mixture of suspense, drama, romance, and humor. I always enjoy a good Jody Hedlund book and the next in the series promises to be just as exciting as the first two. I requested this title through NetGalley with the purpose of reading and offering my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
On the opening pages of A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund, you will find Juliana Wessex deeply involved with stealing from the rich in order to feed the group of people with whom she is currently living. Following a recent raid, Julianna is running deeper into the woods to avoid capture. When Julianna finally finds a safe place to stop and rest, it is on Goodrich land. This is a neighbor near her former family home. Before she knows it, Juliana find herself face to face with Lord Colin Goodrich! Colin cannot believe he is looking into the eyes of Julianna Wessex! She is the young girl that everyone believed to have died years ago at the same time her father was killed. All Colin can think about is how he will be able to remove her from her current circumstances. Before he knows it, Julianna is injured when she falls from a tree in an attempt to escape. When Colin sees the extent of her injuries, he offers Julianna a week stay in his home in order to help her recover. Julianna agrees on the condition that Colin will commit to a week stay in her world as well! You have no idea what will happen after both Colin and Julianna have time to see and experience a different world from their own. This is an exciting tale to say the least! I received this book from Zondervan in exchange for my unbiased review http://penlessreview.blogspot.com/
I received a free book from the publisher for my honest review. I liked it. The twist on the Robin Hood story was neat. The opening sentence certainly got my attention quick. From there on there was no going back. I liked the characters. Juliana and Collin were very flirty, sometimes it was too much. But eh, just my personal preference. The last few chapters were great. The action picked up and I was turning the pages as fast as I could to find out what happened. Overall, it was a good, slightly short, read, but worth it. And although it's the second book in the series, it stands alone as well. I like that you don't necessarily have to read the first to know what's going on in this one. I enjoyed reading A Daring Sacrifice and look forward to the next!
A DARING SACRIFICE was a very good book. Juliana when s he was ten, her father was overthrown by her cruel uncle. When she was fifteen her father tried to overthrow her uncle and Juliana has hated any sort of nobleman after that. This was really a page turner, and I loved the sparks. It's one of the romances where the hero and heroine start out hating each other but then grow into love. I'm putting this book on my keeper shelf.
A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund is truly a masterpiece and well deserving of 5 Stars. This story will capture the heart of all readers and especially Robin Hood fans! Our young heroine, Lady Juliana is first seen being held down and about to get her thumbs cut off until she makes her escape and off into the forest she flees with the help of her friends. Lady Juliana is hiding in the deep forest just short of Lord Wessex land, she strives to save the peasants and bring them food and shelter. Lord Wessex and other Lords rule the land and force the peasants and workers into dire poverty, over taxing them and underpaying them so that they barely can make it. Lady Juliana has seen this occur throughout her life and despises the practices and therefore after her father the former Lord Wessex hides away in the forest and becomes a thief in order to help the peasants. It is during a thieving episode that she runs into Lord Collin and unbeknownst to her, he recognizes that she's a woman through her guise but he knows her from somewhere. So after she has taken his jewels and disappears off into the forest, he later happens upon her and snatches her away from her friends and takes her to his home. She escapes into the forest again and he catches up to her only she falls out of a tree and gets injured, so he takes her to his home. Here he finally realizes who she truly is, Lady Juliana Wessex, daughter of former Lord Wessex and he recalls meeting her as a small child. He wants to help Juliana but she wants nothing to do with the royal life she once descended from and wants to return to the forest to help her peasant friends and remain a thief. Can Lord Collin convince Juliana to let him help her? Will Juliana open her heart to Lord Collin and see the love he has for her? Absolutely wonderful book, so well written and with such vivid detail and scenery throughout. One can't help but fall in love with the spirited Juliana and her loving heart. Just a truly exceptional story and I now must go back and read the first two in the series. This was my first book of Jody Hedlund's to read and must admit I'm now a huge fan and I'll be keeping my eye out for more of her stories to come. This is definitely a book you'll want to add to your library! I received an ARC from the Author for an Honest Review!
A Daring Sacrifice is the second installment from the An Uncertain Choice series. I enjoyed this retake of the Robin Hood legend. What a wonderful story with Collin and Juliana. They were two strong characters that I felt like I knew. This young adult book is full of action, drama, adventure, and romance that kept me engaged and constantly turning the pages. I had it read in a couple of hours - hours well spent, I might add. The ending has left me anticipating for book three. I cannot wait to see what happens next. A definite must read. 100 plus stars.
Jody Hedlund captured my heart in An Uncertain Choice. While that first book will always be special to me, she doesn’t disappoint in this beautiful continuation! A YA series should be exactly this — a lovable, determined hero, make-you-smile love story, dash of action-packed suspense, and a strong message of faith, hope, and sacrificial love. The year is 1390, and Lady Juliana Wessex hasn’t been called a “lady” in a long time. The red-headed beauty lives in the forest with the peasants who turned outlaws after following her late father, the rightful ruler of the lands, in an unsuccessful revolt against his unscrupulous brother. Now to survive and take care of her people, Juliana dresses as a man and steals from the rich for food and necessities — now well known as the “Cloaked Bandit.” She steals from the wrong man when she crosses paths with Lord Collin, a man who recognizes her from their childhood. Injured after their encounter, Collin forces her to stay at his estate until she fully recovers. Will Collin be able to sway Juliana’s belief that all nobleman are bad? And when Collin realizes the full extent of her situation, will they learn to fight for what is right even knowing all might be lost? Nicely told from the shifting perspectives of Juliana and Collin, I truly enjoyed A Daring Sacrifice and read it pretty quickly! Silly me, I didn’t realize Lord Collin was Sir Collin from An Uncertain Choice until a third of the way through (*facepalm*). From that moment on, I only loved Collin more and more! He was such a fun character, with cute dialogue and kind characteristics to make you swoon. Juliana was fierce with spunk and kick-butt archer skills, and together I enjoyed their adorable banter immensely. I had a few quibbles (such as the changing fonts with perspective shifts) but those were just my funny quirks that annoyingly stood in the way of me full-on adoring this novel like the first. But don’t get me wrong, it was definitely still fangirl worthy! A heroic tale to inspire, A Daring Sacrifice does a wonderful job of setting apart from the other Robin Hood stories and giving us a fresh, exciting and endearing YA! I *needneedneed* to see what happens next with Sir Bennet and everyone! Please, come quickly book #3. I selfishly don’t want to wait to get my favorite “knight in shining armor” fix. ;) *I received this book free in exchange for my honest review.