Written by: Dina Sleiman
Publisher: Bethany House
Month, Year: July, 2016

A brief summary from Dina Sleiman:
Will they trust God’s call even when it leads to unexpected places?

Inspired by the vision of the Young Lady Sapphira, Rosalind of Ipsworth joins a group of men, women, and children as a defender of the cross, seeking to free captives from prisons near Tripoli. She gladly gives herself to the cause, as she’s haunted by a tragic mistake and no longer deserves such joys as marriage and family might bring.

Sir Randel Penigree was reared to serve in the church, but dreams of protecting the innocent as a knight. Joining a crusade to escape humiliation at home, he finds himself drawn to Rosalind as they partner to train and protect a group of young adolescents. When they face political machinations, danger, and an unknown enemy bent on their destruction, they are forced to reconsider their priorities and the very nature of the God they serve.

My Thoughts:
The final installation in the Valiant Hearts series, Courageous tells the story of a group of young Crusaders on a mission to spread the Gospel and free prisoners being held captive near Tripoli. Rosalind of Ipsworth joins the Crusaders as a caretaker for the children, including the young noblewoman, Sapphira, whose visions started the whole mission. As they journey across high seas, barren terrain, and dangerous mountains, their journey is fraught with danger, tenuous relationships with allies, and numerous battles. Will their mission succeed or will they be forced to return home, unsuccessful?

Although Courageous is well-written, beautifully researched, and hosts amazing battle scenes, I found it very dry to read. I think my lack of interest mostly stems from me not being a history buff, because Dina packs this novel with a ton of historical information. The parts I normally seem drawn to when reading fiction – the intrigue, romance, will they/won’t they – took a backseat to the historical outlook that Courageous offers. But, I think if you are a fan of historical fiction set in the early 1200’s I think you’ll enjoy Courageous immensely.

I was graciously provided a free copy of this novel from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. 


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