Lady Gwendolyn Barnes longs to be free of society's expectations so that she can pursue training as a knight. Her father does not share her progressive attitudes towards physical activities such as horse riding, jousting, and fighting. Family tensions mount as Gwen resists her father's choice of a spouse. Complicating matters is her attraction to the newcomer, Allen of Ellsworth, a handsome and chivalrous knight. Gwen and Allen's destinies seem predetermined, backed by the weight of cultural pressure. Will Gwen spend the rest of her life in submission to a domineering man or will God's truth light her way and lead her to complete freedom?
Chivalrous by Dina L. Sleiman is the second installment it the Valiant Hearts series. I think it would work alright as a stand-alone novel, but there are definitely some characters and moments that are better if you've read Dauntless, the first novel in the series.
Like its predecessor, Chivalrous has a strong, fiery female protagonist who struggles with the discrepancy between God's standards and the humans who misinterpret them for their own purposes. For Gwen, this is due to an overbearing, narcissistic father who demands she marry a brutish man who will keep her under control. As a a substantial element in the story line, Gwen's spiritual struggle conveyed a message about the importance of making sure one's beliefs are based on God's truth as opposed to customs or another person's expectations.
Chivalrous is well-written with a solid plot and diverse characters. I can easily recommend it to fans of YA and regular fiction lovers as I'll be storing it away to reread in the future.
Read an excerpt from Chivalrous by Dina L. Sleiman on the publisher's website.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."