Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Daring Sacrifice

Title:  A Daring Sacrifice
Author:  Jody Hedlund
Pages:  224
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Zondervan
This is the second young adult novel from Jody Hedlund set in the time of knights and ladies.  The first novel is titled, An Uncertain Choice.  Both novels can stand alone, but there are some characters that appear in both novels briefly.  The two main characters in this story are Lady Juliana Wessex and Lord Collin Goodrich.
Juliana Wessex is living in the forest, supporting a large group of peasants with her hunting skills with her bow and arrows.  She and her father had been forced off their land and out of their home by her father’s step brother.  She and her father live some years in peace with her father becoming a blacksmith after having been lord of the manor.  Then, her father decided to lead a rebellion to retake what is rightly his with devastating results.  Her father was killed and Juliana and the peasants had to flee to the forest to live in perpetual hiding from her step uncle’s soldiers.  Juliana is forced into robbing the nobility to feed her people.
Collin Goodrich has returned home after serving time with the Noblest Knight.  His father has died so Collin is now Lord Goodrich.  His main goal is to find a husband for his sister.  He has no real interest in how the manor is run or the plight of the people that support him.  He isn’t cruel just indifferent.  Juliana tries to rob him and thus begins their interactions that show Collin how to be more compassionate, generous and caring toward the peasants.  Juliana learns to curb her impetuosity and to do things the way God would want her to and not to sink to the level of her evil uncle.
The example of sacrificial love in this story is very well done and heart-touching.  The romance that develops between these two is precious.  I just loved the sense of humor of both characters as well as their sense of duty and responsibility at such young ages.  I also thought the discussion questions after the story were timely and thought-provoking.  I think these are two stories set in the past that definitely have timely and important lessons to teach young people of today.
My rating is 5 stars.

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