As promised in this post, here is my review of Dare, the first book in Tricia Mingerink’s “Blades of Acktar” series!
It was supposed to be a routine mission. Leith Torren was not supposed to be wounded or alone in a blizzard. Desperate for aid, he stumbles upon the home of the family he once helped to destroy.
When Renna and Brandi find a wounded Blade on their doorstep, the two sisters are faced with a dilemma—if he discovers their faith or ties to the Resistance, they’re as good as dead, but if they don’t help him, he will die. Against her better judgement, Renna tends to the Blade.
Their kindness causes Leith to question his life as a Blade of the king. He’s been taught to obey without question, kill without hesitation. When he discovers their Christian ties, he is faced with a dilemma of his own. After they helped him, he can’t very well order their deaths, can he?
By the end of Chapter 3, I was hooked. No doubt about it, I knew I would love this book.
It’s a medieval fantasy, minus magic and fantastical creatures. I could see Dare taking place sometime in the history of Europe, so it’s not really “deep” fantasy.
The coolest part of Acktar, in my opinion, are the Blades. They’re the villain, King Respen’s, personal assassins. They have capes (I think), horses, and lots of knives (hence the fact they are called “Blades”). 🗡🗡
Dare isn’t an allegory, but the Christian faith is clearly presented. Several characters are Christians and they quote Scripture verses a lot. The book of Daniel is very important to the story. 🦁
I loved all the characters, particularly Leith and Brandi. They have earned spots on my favorite characters list!
I was intrigued by the suspense and danger Tricia wove throughout the story.
But the ending was awful, as in HOW DARE YOU END IT LIKE THAT? The kind of ending that makes the reader part of me mad, but the writer part happy. Absolutely beautiful. 😍
I can’t wait to read Deny (book two in The Blades of Acktar series).
In the very first scene, one of Leith’s companion’s has kidnapped a girl so, as he put it, “we’d have some fun while we wait.” But nothing happens and Leith is adamant that his companion let the girl go. I just spoiled the first two pages. 😛
There was a bit of romance. But it was clean and there wasn’t very much of it.
Several times there is mention of blood, wounds, stitching said wounds, and cauterizing other wounds. As well as a knife fight or two.
A guy does take off his shirt to show he isn’t hiding any weapons, as well as for a healer (a girl) to take care of his injuries.
Overall, I loved Dare. It will be a re-read for sure!
I would recommend this book to lovers of Jaye L. Knight, C.S. Lewis, or just Christian fantasy fans in general.
You can find Tricia Mingerink on her blog here.
Have you read Dare? Do you like medieval fantasy? After reading this review, do you want to go out and buy some throwing knives so you can pretend to be an assassin?