Author: Tricia Mingerink
Series: The Blades of Acktar
Audience: Young Adult
~ MY REVIEW ~
Dare by Tricia Mingerink was an excellent fantasy/Christian allegory. For some reason or another, I wasn’t expecting this book to be so much my style; but it turned out I loved it from beginning to end! *happy sigh*
Leith Torren in a Third Blade, loyal to King Respen. Renna and Brandi are two orphan girls, caught up in a resistance against that same king. When they unexpectedly meet up, they are both forced to make choices ... Forgiveness or revenge? Duty or redemption? Cower in chains of the pretense of “safety”, or step out in courage and change lives?
Can I just say I love
I adore a book with an epic, torn, struggling hero stuck in a dark “past”.
Maybe that’s cruel. Hehe. But it makes for an unforgettable, valiant, and
loveable character somehow! So yes, Leith was
amazing. I cannot wait to read more of him!
Brandi was really sweet and fun; too cute not to like! She and her sunny personality added so much to the story.
Renna was also a great character. Very relatable, I feel. Her fears. Her weakness. Her desire to be strong. Her awkwardness ... I really connected with her, felt for her, and am excited to see where her story goes!
And I must mention Shadrach! First off, I love his name! *grins* And he was just a great guy too! At first I was afraid I wouldn’t like him because of ... well, you’ll see. But he quickly won me over!!
The fantasy world. Ah!! I just love, love, love fantasy! And Tricia Mingerink’s take on it didn’t disappoint. I must admit, at first, I was rather surprised by the very “our world” references to Christianity. There were Christians, church, Bibles, and Bible stories. God and Jesus were called by those names, instead of having more subtle, fantasy sort of names. But I soon got used of it and quite liked it. Tricia pulled it off perfectly! *smiles* I didn’t feel it was “forced” or “preachy” at all. Just a beautifully-done, sincere, and awesome story of forgiveness, persecution, grace, and redemption.
I loved the setting. The manors, prairies, blizzards, lords and ladies, peasant farmers ... and just everything. It drew you into the story.
And the plot. I felt it was very well thought-out, and just overall spectacular. Of King Respen persecuting Christians; trying to squelch this resistance against him. Horrible stories of orphans’ families’ deaths. Blades, Respen’s men, with scars on their arms, marking either victories or failures. The real king and queen’s distant relatives ... will they try to rise and take the throne from Respen? Fighting for faith and family. I don’t know. I just really like and appreciate this storyline. It’s something like Jaye L. Knight’s Ilyon Chronicles. And it just emboldens me. Encourages me. Challenges me. I feel like these kind of stories strengthen my faith. I watch these characters, not so unlike me, find the courage and pure trust in God to stand strong and contend for the faith!! *cheers them on* It’s epic! It’s meaningful! Dare just has that incredible storyline that will surely encourage souls to stand by their Lord with new bravery.
There is some violence and frightening scenes. I would say perhaps 14 and up, depending on what you can handle. As for myself, some of it felt quite real and eerie—and my breath might have caught for a moment—but it wasn’t overmuch, in my opinion; and I liked the emotion and depth.
No romance ... really. But I think we see one approaching!!! *happy grin* In fact, it’s all coming together quite nicely, and I can’t wait to see this certain relationship deepen into something more; in the next book perhaps?? There were a few moments that weren’t necessarily romantic, but just very sweet and you could totally see this “thing” blossoming into romantic love. ^_^ I love it so much. Please write the next book quickly, Tricia!! *winks*
So yes. This book is wonderful! Do read it!! Dare just pulled me off my feet and into its world. The characters won’t let me forget them. I’m captivated, intrigued, and eager for more!! This book is for sure going on my fantasy favorites list!
I received an ARC of Dare from the author in exchange for my honest review.