Author: Robin Hardy
Primary Audience/age group: Young Adult
Genre: Romance, Christian Fiction
# Of pages: 269
Publisher: Nav Press
Year of Release: 2004
Part of a Series? Yes, 1 of 3
Rating: 2 (View Scale)
Recommended? Maybe but definitely not for younger teensDescription: Spoiled and manipulative, ten-year old Chataine Deidre is accustomed to getting her way until she is appointed a guardian as a result of her life being threatened. Roman, a 22-year old soldier, is guided not only by his loyalty to his country but by his love for God. He has assumed the role of Deidres protector and is ordered to risk his life for her until the day she is wed. But when the time of her betrothal arrives, will she choose her husband out of devotion to her country or out of the love of her heart?Review: Gods grace is woven throughout this passionate tale of love between Roman, a follower of the Way, and Deidre, the young woman he serves. Romans feelings for Deidre grow from that of a guardian appointed over a child to that of the love between a man and a woman. Their budding adoration is the pivotal plot element and makes for a very romantic story that at times deals with more mature, intimate situations thus making it more suitable for an older audience. Please see the recommendation below.
Rating: 2 for some detail of sexual situations other than kissing including sex and for violence
Positive: The book strongly warrants life lessons through Roman as he stands up for his faith. He shares it openly and wisely with anyone who will listen. Deidre on the other hand grows from a selfish, manipulative child into a woman of value as she learns hard lessons about how her actions may cause serious consequences for others. Their love, particularly Romans, mirrors the love of Christ as he often has to sacrifice his will and even his life for that of Deidres.
Spiritual Elements: Roman is a Christian and speaks often of his love of God the Father and the Son. Roman has many characteristics that shadow Jesus, that of self-control, honesty, loyalty, and love. He even presents the gospel.
Some sorcery takes place when Deidre and Roman visit another kingdom. They enter whats called the Sorcerers Rooms where Roman is under attack spiritually but prevails in Jesus name.
Violence: As part of Romans assignment as guardian of Deidre, he must except extreme punishment if she comes to harm. Roman is flogged 20 times for not being able to prevent Deidre from injuring her hand when she disobeys him and enters the fence of a wild horse. Deidres father is rather cruel and intolerant.
The story is set during a cruel time where people are beheaded, hanged and flogged. There are several kidnapping attempts on Deidres life, and a couple of her kidnappers are killed during her rescue. Although none of the accounts are gory, they are still in a time of war where many soldiers face death. A few murders take place as well as a suicide.
Language: A couple of forms of the word d*** are used on several occasions and one use of the word h***. Roman is talked about as being illegitimate but a courser word is implied.
Sexual Content: There are several kisses along the way and several mentions of improper sexual behavior but not necessarily with the main characters though. Brothels are commonplace, and Romans mother is described as a harlot. A servant girl invites Roman to her room, but he refuses because he knows she doesnt have the purest motives.
One scene in particular goes a bit further with Roman giving Deidre swimming lessons as ordered by her father. They are in proper swimming attire, but she notices his body under his wet clothing which causes embarrassment for both of them.
Spoiler Warnings: Deidres mother becomes pregnant with Deidre by another man before she is wed to the Surchatain. Roman and Deidre do wed after she turns 18 and wedding night activities are assumed but not described.
Other: Several small characters along the way are seen drunk.
A magician visits the palace and hypnotizes some of the guests except Roman because he serves a higher power.
Recommendation: Although the book does show strong moral values and teaches many a Bible-based lesson, it is foremost a romance between Deidre and Roman and lingers heavily on their passionate feelings toward each other. That is my greatest concern. The book deals with mature content and although God-centered it is definitely not appropriate for younger teens. I would encourage you as a parent to consider what affect this type of book could have on an impressionable young females mind of any age. The book stirs the mind and the body greatly and although these feelings are not wrong, they can make it harder to resist lustful thinking which in turn can lead to making wrong decisions concerning sexual behavior in relationships.
Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires reads Song of Songs 3:5b in the NIV of the Bible or in other words dont awaken sexual desire until the time is right. Heavy romance novels such as this one may not spell out sexual situations in detail but they do arouse the senses and bring about intense emotions. I would encourage you to talk with your daughter about physical relationships and the emotions they bring up if she does read this series.