A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund was my first book from BookLook Bloggers. I received a free copy in exchange to for an honest review.
The book begins with the protagonist Juliana who is disguised as a man gets caught for hunting on the Wessex land. Her captors threaten to cut off her thumbs. This was an exciting start to the book and it provided a good opportunity for the reader to get to know how Juliana. I was slightly disappointed because Juliana was saved in this situation, I would have liked to have seen Juliana get out of this problem herself.
Juliana used to be nobility and is rightfully is the heir to Wessex land but her Uncle Lord Wessex forced her Father out of his home. Her Father started a rebellion but her Uncle brutally tortured and killed him. Lord Wessex thinks she is dead. Juliana is in hiding along with the peasants of Lord Wessex’s land who can no longer afford to live there. In order to survive, she becomes a thief and steals from the rich to feed the poor. There were a lot of comparisons to Robin Hood but I found Juliana to be a mix of Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games (hunting to feed the hungry) and Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass (an assassin).
Collin Goodrich finally returns home after being away to become a Knight. He is bored with his life and has little interest in his inherited estate and affairs. Juliana remember Collin because he made fun of her hair when she was five. She decides to extract revenge by robbing him. Collin is a skillful fighter but he lets Juliana rob him. He sees through her disguise. He later follows her trail. Juliana has an accident and she ends up staying in Collin’s estate. They make an agreement that if she stays for a week, he’ll give her a purse of gold. Although Juliana does not want to stay, she does it so her friends can survive the winter. The romance between Juliana and Collin was very natural and believable. Sometimes it is a bit cheesy but most teen romances are.
I liked the character development with Collin, his character was developed more than Juliana. Juliana had the internal struggle about Collin but the internal struggle Collin had was far more stirring. I liked that Juliana was a smart and strong protagonist, but wished Hedlund would have flushed our her character more. Although Juliana is “good” she does not really grow as a character. The most compelling character in the book is Collin’s sister, Irene. I wish Hedlund had time to dive more into her story. If Hedlund wrote a book with her as the protagonist, it would be a very captivating read.
I found the Christian undertones very confusing in the book. If they explained it early on in the book it would have worked fine, but it suddenly it became very prominent. It did not ruin the story at all but it was just an odd placement.
Sometimes the writing was a bit chunky but Hedlund was able to keep my attention with the action-packed plot. It was a quick and enjoyable read.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. If the book was longer and had more character development it would have been better. This is a good book to bring to the beach.