Monday, April 27, 2015

Dauntless - Dina Sleiman

Dauntless is the first novel in a new series, Valiant Hearts, by Dina Sleiman.  I feel thrilled and privileged to get my hands on this copy.  I couldn't read fast enough - I finished the thick book within 2 days.  Thank goodness I started on a Friday or it would have disrupted the productiveness of my week!  This was the best kind of disruption, though.
I started reading the book not realizing that it was a teen fiction.  If I had known that before I started, I may not have read it at all.  As it stands now, it was so good that I pre-ordered #2 before I even finished with #1.
The book is set in medieval times, which is very refreshing from the Victorian age that the market is saturated with.  The author did a tremendous amount of historical research, and she explained her plot choices at the end of the book.  I was fascinated with how much work she put into making this historically accurate.  The author even carefully chose which type of English she would use for readability, since it would be impossible for us to understand an English-speaking peasant if the text were a perfect match to the era it is set in.  I was beyond impressed.
To the author: If I really love a book, I will try to include a suggestion to the author.  For this one, I had to think hard.  I would say that the style in the beginning of the novel tipped me off to the fact that it was possibly a teen book.  That changed very quickly, and I soon forgot I was reading juvenile fiction.  I'm biased (so take this for what it's worth), but I preferred the more adult writing style evidenced later in the book as opposed to the first chapter or two.  You rocked the historical angle. The uniqueness of the medieval setting instantly sets your book apart from every other book on the shelf, which is a very coveted. Writing a book set in medieval times must be very difficult, since there isn't much available to look to for inspiration.  The caveat is that writing and editing could take quite a bit longer.  My prayer for you is that after this book, you will be able to write and edit quickly so that readers won't have to wait too terribly long.
FYI, this book was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.

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