Have you ever felt paralyzed by fear? Have you ever watched events unfold and know you could stop them or change them if only you had enough courage? Have you ever hated yourself for your lack of bravery? If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes!” then you share something in common with the two main characters of Tricia Mingerink’s debut novel, Dare.
Third Blade Leith Torren, one of King Respen’s most trusted assassins, is wounded on a mission for the king and finds himself at the mercy of two girls whose parents’ deaths he was responsible for four years ago. Renna uses her skills as a healer to save his life though she fears for her own, and that of her sister’s, should he learn of their forbidden faith. If she was brave she would not hide it from this wounded stranger. If she were brave she could forgive him for his part in her parents’ deaths. But Renna is not brave. As Leith is slowly nursed back to health he dreads the day he will be well enough to return to the king. If he was brave he would have stayed out in the cold and bled to death, rather than bring trouble on this family. If he was brave he would lie to the king about what he has seen and heard. But Leith is not brave. And the day is getting closer when he will need to make a decision.
I felt as if this book were written for me. Like Renna, I am a very introverted person, especially when placed in uncertain situations. I have felt that same fear and uncertainty that holds her back (though, in my case, I have never feared for my life). I have experienced that same temptation to hide behind my fear and tell myself I am not one of those “brave people” who take risks. I felt for Leith as he struggled with his own fear for his life and for his soul. I sympathized with the supporting characters as they shared their faith with those they cared about, and as they watched them struggle to believe in a God who loves them.
From the very first line, the plot and the characters snatched me into the story. I felt as if I was living the events with them. There are characters everyone can relate to and admire, from the tortured Leith Torren to the fearful Renna Faythe, and her fearless sister, Brandi. The character development in this book was phenomenal. If you secretly love books that make it impossible for you to do anything “productive”, this is a book for you. I anxiously await the sequel!