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.
This Arthurian inspired story is a fitting sequel to the Robin Hood influences in the first book, Dauntless. You don't have to read the first book in order to enjoy this one, but if you have, you'll already be acquainted with Allen of Ellsworth. So glad he gets his own swashbuckling tale -- can you say swashbuckling in relationship to knights? Ah well, I did, and it's an apt description because there's plenty of action, a few nefarious characters and one truly reprehensible villain to be thwarted.
A good versus evil theme sets the backdrop for the inspirational thread about placing your trust in God. Now that doesn't mean you sit back and do nothing while waiting for a miracle to happen. Definitely not if you are a heroine like Gwen. She's determined to have a say in her future, despite the ominous grumblings of her domineering father.
Left to her own devices for much of her childhood, Gwen trained with her brothers and experienced untold freedom for a genteel female. That has shaped the woman she has become so is it any wonder culture shock ensues when her absentee father returns home with the intent of marrying her off to a most unsuitable suitor?
Talk about clash of wills. Mayhem ensues along with intrigue and dastardly deeds that threaten the fledgling love between Allen and Gwen. Remember what I said about placing your trust in God? What a challenge for this hero and heroine to desperately cling to. I love how the author conveys how they grow in faith and their determination to be true to it.
There are some darker threads in this tale as well. In particular, a secondary character, Rosalind faces a heartbreaking struggle which doesn't reach a conclusion in this novel. Thankfully, Rosalind is the heroine for the third and final installment in the Valiant Hearts series. Courageous comes out in July 2016. I can't wait!
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Chivalrous please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday January 10 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!