by Dina L. Sleiman


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Where Legend and History Collide,
One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent

Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village—a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

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, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known.

"Sleiman launches an action-packed, historical series of adventure and romance, starring a strong, intelligent female Robin Hood who lives up to the famous outlaw's reputation. This fun read makes a great adult-YA crossover for Robin Hood fans who enjoy a twist to a classic tale." -Library Journal, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764213120
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/03/2015
Series: Valiant Hearts Series , #1
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Dina L. Sleiman holds an MA in professional writing from Regent University and a BA in communications with a minor in English from Oral Roberts University. Over the past eighteen years, she has had opportunities to teach college writing and literature, as well as high school and elementary classes in English, humanities, and fine arts. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three children. She can be found online at www.dinasleiman.com.

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Dauntless 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
Although Dauntless is targeted toward the young adult market, it is a book that I think can be enjoyed by slightly older readers, as well. The story is full of interesting characters in dangerous situations and raises all kinds of interesting questions about the reality of God. I do have to admit that the first third of the book moved a little slowly for me. I don’t really know why that was, but I just kept reading and the action and romance kicked in and the story became much more interesting to me. There are many characters in this book and the author has done a very good job of creating their backstories. It is clear that Merry has taken on the guidance and protection of a group of young people when their village was slaughtered two years earlier. Merry’s issues she must deal with in Dauntless range from a lack of trust in people to her loss of faith in God. She had quite the faith journey in this book and it was a very heartfelt one. Two men care for Merry and hope to win her heart. They each have their own heartaches of the past. Both still firmly love and believe in God, but must decide in this story where He is really directing them to go and what He wants them to do with their lives. Perhaps they have both relied too much on their own abilities and desires in the last couple of years. This tale is fraught with the persecution of innocents, as well as cruel men who wish to bring pain and death to others for their own gain. The possibility of the rebirth of a love that was long considered lost and sweet camaraderie between a group of young men, young women, and the children they strive to protect add warmth to the story. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Free book that was truly good for the genre. Enjoyed getting to know characters through authors writing style. Was a good, clean story but still provides reader with romance...adventure and twists and turns that makes it a page turner to check out. Would def recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Filled with intense scenes, it was well worth the read. I was wishing to stay along and see what happened next...
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
This book is a really “fun read”.    It is a mix of history (set in medieval times), legend, romance, and even some suspense and action.    The main character, Merry, reminds me of a lady “Robin hood”.   I love the fact that the “band of thieves” that she leads is mostly very young people and children. It has some "Catholic" overtones because of the Medieval setting, but ....that is how it would have been.  It is a very good book to curl up with on a rainy day. I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion. No other compensation has been given. A big thanks to my good friend Starr, who read and reviewed this book for me. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read.
GMarshall More than 1 year ago
This book was written from a Christian perspective and there are strong Christian themes throughout that can be appreciated. I especially enjoyed the "Sunshine Men," want to know what I'm referring to? Read the story! There are also elements of romance in this story, and while I'm not usually a big romance reader, I believe this writer did a good job of intertwining the romance into the story and making it a believable. I do appreciate that the story had a lot of other elements than romance though and that there was more to the book than that (since, as I mentioned, romance isn't one of my preferred genres). I would definitely recommend this book and have already added the second Valiant Hearts, Chivalrous to my TBR pile!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I almost stopped reading this book because in the first few chapters I thought it was going to be a little too young for me. Boy I'm so glad I stuck with it. The author does an awesome job with this story & the characters. Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good story with strong characters and a very interesting plot. A new author to me, but I will be reading more!
Cindy_k_greenCG More than 1 year ago
Dauntless by Dina Sleiman is a delightful Christian fiction novel filled with adventure, love and redemption. Ms. Sleiman is a new author for me, but I am excited to read and review the other books in this series. I picked up the first book in this series because I love Robin Hood and this looked like a version of that iconic story. I was pleasantly surprised that this book was so much more than what I expected. The writing is fantastic, characters memorable and the historical details will pull you into this story and hold you captive to the very end. It is a novel of faith and the characters accomplish this without the story becoming preachy. However, there is one scene which seemed a bit too supernatural for me toward the end when a small child is miraculously healed. Other than that, I absolutely loved this book! You definitely will want to read this one before the others in the series as the characters introduced in this book will show up as the central characters in other books in the series.
SofiaMarieR More than 1 year ago
Typical Merry: "...but in the end [her father] had let her down. For what? His principles. Sound principles to be sure.... But they had done little good. Merry would hold to one principle only: Do whatever it takes to protect these children." Typical Timothy: "Yes, he would capture the leaders of the ghosts. He had worked too hard and too long for his position to give it all up now." Typical Allen: "Indeed, [Merry] had a soft side Allen's errant heart wished to explore. He quelled the thought before it could fully form.... Merry was nobility. He was not. Such matters should be simple." Two years. Two years have passed since King John destroyed a village because of Merry's father's "evil" plans against the truly evil king. These two years Merry has been taking care of numerous children who escaped that village. Yes, sometimes they steal, but when your own existence is against the law, you do what you have to to survive. But things get too close to danger when one of the nearby scribes purposes to find the acclaimed thieves no matter what it takes. "Dauntless," a retelling of the Robin Hood story, teaches about trusting God rather than ourselves. It is an intriguing read that keeps the reader turning pages, wondering about what will happen next and how everything could possibly get settled. This is the first in the Valiant Hearts series. The second and third books are "Chivalrous" and "Courageous."
BethErin More than 1 year ago
Lady Merry Ellison is a natural leader and fiercely protective of her fellow orphans. She's beautifully complex, a tender and compassionate mother figure to the littlest orphans, and also a stealthy, calculating, and skilled leader. Merry's little community is filled with clever, hard working young people who have benefited and flourished under her teaching and training. A band of orphans surviving in the forest dubbed as "Ghosts" would be an interesting story in itself but the addition of Merry's childhood best friend and playmate Timothy Grey elevates the story to a new level of intriguing and suspenseful! Merry and Timothy have to learn to trust one another all over again, come to terms with the past, and figure out what the future holds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JV More than 1 year ago
Great girl power book for the Christian girl with a lot of wisdom peaking out from the many bold, grand adventures!!!
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
Dauntless, Valiant Hearts #1***** by Dina L. Sleiman England....Lady Merry Ellison, will go to any lengths to protect, feed and clothe the orphaned children of her former village. She and her little band of followers—known as the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest—are enemies of the throne. Timothy Grey, longs for a title of his own. If he could perform a legendary feat, mayhap he will get that title. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest appear in Wyndeshire, this may be his chance. Little does he know who they are and how they will impact his life. Merry and Timothy's story is similar to the legendary Robin Hood, (with Merry as a female-Robin Hood-type) and is very well written. Merry and her little “band of followers” find themselves on one dangerous adventure after another, running from persecution and cruel men out to capture them and end their lives. We learn each characters back-stories, which explains a lot of their struggles and hardships and how they arrived in their present situation. The orphans are of various ages and strengths, offering all they have to their leader, Merry. The youngest orphan, little Wren, quickly captured my heart as did the other characters in the story. Another orphan, Allen encouraged each of the followers, and eventually Timothy, to completely trust God and offers spiritual-guidance to them all. The descriptions of life in 13th century England is well done, capturing the essence of that era. Young readers, as well as adults, will enjoy reading Dauntless—become captivated in this story filled with dangerous adventures, intrigue, betrayal, dauntless odds, tense moments and situations, faith and love. ~I received a copy of this book via instafreebie.com, this is my honest review~
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
Dauntless is a the story of a female Robin Hood. It includes many twists and turns, suspense, and action set in the medievil times. I look forward to reading Book 2 in the Valiant Hearts series. I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
carol223CS More than 1 year ago
Dina L. Sleiman's Dauntless Find out about the “sunshine men” that Wren, the youngest orphan in the group keeps seeing. Group of orphans??? Yes, the group consists of 23 children whose families had been killed as the result of the Baron rebelling against King John. The group is led by the once Lady Merry Ellison. Her father was the one who rebelled against King John so Merry feels responsible to protect and care for all the children. So off to forest to hide then sneak into the village to get provisions that they can not find by hunting, fishing or eatable woodland flora. Although the group is unknown, they have been nicknamed “ The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest ". All the characters were well-developed. Each one brings their own flavor to the story. There were several times I found myself laughing out loud at their shenanigans. History, suspense, drama, adventure and romance combine together for a great read !!! This story takes place in medieval time period about 1216. The reader will also meet Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham. Timothy and Merry were promised to each other before the slaughter. Timothy believes Merry has been killed along with her family. He is now assistant to the man who took the Baron’s place. He is on a mission to find and capture “ The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest “ so they may be hanged. He is in for a big surprise!!! What will Timothy do after he discovers the leader and that the group consists of children? Loved the chemistry between the main characters. Thank you to book fun.org for this book. My opinion is my own.
DKStevens119 More than 1 year ago
What a delightful take on a female Robin Hood! I liked having such a strong, capable, intelligent yet compassionate young lady as the main character. This story of survival was well written giving each character a unique set of talents. I really enjoyed the mix of legend, action, suspense and the set in medieval times. Young, older and in between will enjoy this story of Lady Merry Ellison! I was gifted a copy from The Book Club Network (bookfun.org) for my honest opinion which I have given.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
A delightful story in the vein of Robin Hood and Kidnapped... Dauntless Valiant Hearts 1 By Dina L. Sleiman Lady Merry Ellison is no more. Her father's attempt to dethrone King John failed - ending in the slaughter of her family and most of those living in the village that her father ruled. But Merry along with most of the children survived and Merry is determined to protect these young innocents no matter the cost. But Merry and her young "band" must remain hidden because if word reached King John that the children of Ellsworth and the Baron's own daughter had escaped the slaughter they would be hunted down. But to survive they need to borrow and steal upon occasion, earning them notoriety as The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest. But when Merry is spotted by the young man to whom she had been promised as a bride, life becomes suddenly much more complicated. Timothy Grey believing she's been held a prisoner is determined to save the young woman he thought dead these past two years. Timothy is determined that Merry shall be safe, but the King's anger has yet to abate and Merry knows that Timothy's loyalty lies with the King. But when the heart is involved where does loyalty truly lie? This is the question that Timothy and Merry must work through if they are to have a future - whether together or separately. Though marketed for the Juvenile / Young Adult market anyone who loves well-wriien historical fiction will enjoy this the first book in the Valiant Hearts series. If you enjoy Robin Hood give Merry Ellison and her band of ghosts chance to join your shelves, you'll enjoy the trip to 13th century England. I was provided a copy this book by the publisher Bethany House through TBCN/BookFun in exchange for my honest review.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
Dauntless by author Dina Sleiman is a young adult read that has a lot to offer for teens and adults. In this ever popular genre, Dauntless doles out just what is popular like a strong heroine, a possible love triangle, true love, plenty of angst, and even a type of dystopian novel. Taking place during the medieval ages our heroine Merry is a type of Robin Hood character only different. Having been forced from her home due to a corrupt king, Merry and her band called The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest have learned to survive unseen. However when an old friend, Timothy Grey who has long thought her dead, identifies her, loyalties are questioned and love becomes a test. This is a time where you know the bad guys are bad and the good guys are good. Add a touch of supernatural and you have the makings of a most engrossing read. I highly recommend this to teens and adults and I look forward to reading the second in the series. I received a copy of this book for an honest review from The Book Club Network, (TBCN) and the opinions are my own.
weatherlover1 More than 1 year ago
Dauntless takes readers into the Medieval(Middle Ages) a time period many know and love. If you know the story of Robin Hood then this book might interest you. Merry is the leader of a young group of teens and children who were orphaned when their parents were killed. They steal food and supplies to survive but the king things it’s a group of men not kids. Timothy works for a Lord and takes on finding these outlaws so he can advance in his career. What he doesn’t expect is to know the leader of the group. Will he follow through with his plans or allow his heart o create a new one. What I liked: I couldn’t help but like Merry and her group of young kids. She had more courage than most, but she still did not believe God loved her after losing her family and all she held dear. Timothy wanted to save Merry from certain death but found himself drawn to her whole group. The other teens who Merry worked and lived with were fun side characters and it will be interesting to see who we follow in the next few books.  What I did not like: The one thing about this book that made it a little hard for me to relate to was how young everyone was. The oldest kids in the group were only teenagers. They were written more like adults and it just felt weird at times. This book might even be considered YA.      Overall I liked it and look forward to the next book in the series. This can be a fun time period to read about and this book did a great job of making me feel like I was there. Definitely a book to add to your reading list.
AlysonSchroll More than 1 year ago
Dauntless grabbed my attention immediately, and I loved the characters. The conflicts were real and the internal struggles of the characters were realistic and well written. At moments, It felt hard to relate to the characters, but in light of the story, those moments didn’t really matter. The references to a Robin Hood style story was well balanced and I found the plot moving at a great pace. I would definitely recommend this great story!
Cindy_A More than 1 year ago
Merry was once a noble woman destined to marry a handsome noble man. But with a fear of her arranged marriage, the kind noble offers to wait for her and seals that promise with a kiss. One kiss to last a lifetime. But with her father's failed attempt to over throw the evil King John, her whole life changes.    That was many years ago. Now, Merry is the leader of the Ghost of Farthingale Forest whoa re really just the children from her father's village, children who lost their parents due to the evil of the king. Merry would do  anything to protect these children. Except forget the kiss of that one very special boy...    Timothy has never forgotten Lady Ellison. Now working for a kings man, he is charged with finding the Ghosts. And he is determined to do it, no matter the cost. But when Timothy finds out who the real ghosts are, and who is their fearless, Dauntless leader is, will Timothy give up his job and potion for them? Or will his heart become an little bit more like Merry's? ♥ ♥ ♥ Okay, I have to say, I can't be real judgmental on this one! :-) I absolutely loved this book! From the plot to the every single character to the placing and time. Merry and her bow made me want to get mine out at start shooting right away! Timothy was a gentleman through everything he did, even if some of his choices weren't the wisest! I loved little Wren and wise 'pastor' Allen.     I loved how the story mentions Robin Hood and his Merry Men and how the little band of outcast children strive to be like him.     I can think of no bad part of this book! Only that the themes and feelings are more directed for older teens (14+)     I give this book a FIVE STAR!!!!     Can't wait for book #2 in September!
EmilyAnneK17 More than 1 year ago
As King John murdered her family and people, Lady Merry escaped into the forest with the town’s now-orphaned children and teens. For two years, they lived by secretly stealing, gaining the reputation of ghosts because of their skill in remaining invisible. But the appearance of someone from Merry’s past who is now hunting her band for their crimes turns her world on its head. Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman was a great YA novel. Although it bears similarities to the tales of “Robin Hood,” it is not the same story. In fact, the characters in the book mention rumors of Robin Hood’s existence. Instead, Dauntless tells a different tale of a young noblewoman doing everything she can to protect and provide for the ones she loves. Lady Merry’s character was easy to love. Merry’s strength, spunk, skills, and determination as well as her vulnerability made her a loveable, relatable character. All of the major characters, underwent noticeable growth in character. Each one matured and were influenced to seek God’s calling on their lives instead of trying to live their lives the way they wanted to. The plot certainly had its ups and downs. Aside from the obvious enemies, such as King John, an unseen villain attempts to turn Merry and her band in to the authorities who most likely execute even the smallest children. But there were times of triumph, success, humor, and romance that made the novel worth reading. Dauntless is a definitely a good book, full of fun escapades, danger, and romance. I would easily recommend it to someone who likes the legend of Robin Hood or YA historical romance. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
This is an incredibly well written young adult novel! I have never read anything by Dina Sleiman but I will be looking for more of her books. I have labeled this a young adult novel simply because all of the main characters are either in their early twenties or younger. I found it a highly entertaining book myself and I am in my mid-fifties. So don't let the label "young adult novel" stop you from reading it. I absolutely love the development of the characters in this story. The two main characters, Merry Ellison and Timothy Grey, are especially strong. Yet Merry is surrounded by a number of other fantastic people as her group of "Elders" within "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." I can't forget to mention the sweetness of cute little Wren who stole my heart just as she did all of the others within the story. The progression of the story was done in a marvelous way and kept my attention throughout the book. I couldn't stop reading until I knew how the story ended. I found myself hoping and praying that it would resolve in such a way that all of the orphaned children, Merry, and Timothy were safe from danger and settled down for a nice "happily ever after" life. One of the "elders" of the group of orphans is Allen. He is a strong believer in God. Throughout the book there are times that he is encouraging others to trust God. There are even times when he challenges both Merry and Timothy to let go of things that they believe to be true so that they can learn to trust God more. I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
TheArtistLibrarian More than 1 year ago
A Dauntless Beginning to Valiant Hearts! Dina Sleiman's debut medieval YA novel is sure to appeal to teens (and adults) who enjoy both romance and a bit of action! I admit I only have a basic understanding of the Robin Hood legend: The thief who steals from the rich to give to the poor. By necessity, Lady Merry Ellison falls into a similar role after her peasant band of young survivors latest hit turns up a chest of gold intended for the king’s tax. Forced to flee, the “Ghosts of Farthingale Forest” return near their old home in Wyndeshire. But what happens when Timothy Grey, a remnant of Merry's past, reappears? Sleiman introduces three distinct teenage protagonists: Merry's physical skills in acrobatics, archery, and hand-to-hand combat brings to mind contemporary heroines such as Katniss Everdeen. But like Katniss, her emotional strength and vulnerability are juxtaposed to great effect. Timothy reminds me a bit of Prince Hans of the Southern Isles from Disney's Frozen, but in good ways! Also, just as Hans has twelve older brothers, as the Baron of Greyham's ninth child, Timothy has no large title to inherit. A scribe for the Earl of Wyndemere, Timothy's pursuit of a position of status leads him into conflict with his childhood friend, Lady Merry. One of the characters who I wish had more "page time" was Allen, a peasant that rose to become one of Merry's most trusted advisers, is bound to become more prominent in future books. Romantic triangles can be somewhat infamous in YA literature, but I felt that both Timothy and Allen were both valid suitors and the "triangle" wasn't too bothersome for me. The romance was appropriate (and still "sigh-worthy") for the maturity of the characters. Definitely recommended for fans of Lisa T. Bergren or Melanie Dickerson! Dauntless touches on more weighty topics as well: Are all leaders in authority placed there by God? Should Christians submit to unjust rulers or subvert them through even violent means? What does it mean to be feminine? Where is God when evil occurs? Do the ends ever justify the means? I appreciate it when YA literature doesn't underestimate their audience. I had high hopes for this book and I have to say, Dina Sleiman has given us a dauntless beginning to her Valiant Hearts series! I can't wait to read more from this author! While waiting for Chivalrous (Valiant Hearts #2), I think I'll read up on Robin Hood ... [Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. No compensation was received and the opinions expressed are my own]