Young Adult Rating: 4
Rachelle Rea makes her debut with a medieval young adult series about a Catholic maiden and a Protestant former rogue in the midst of the 16th century Protestant-Catholic conflict.
In The Sound of Diamonds, Gwyneth, an eighteen year old Catholic woman, hides in a Dutch convent after the murder of her parents in England. Suddenly one night, Dirk — the man she accused of their murder — breaks into her convent to abduct her. In truth, he is trying to rescue her from the imminent attacks on the Catholics in the area. Can she trust this Protestant rogue, even when he says he has reformed? Can she afford not to?
In The Sound of Silver, Dirk and Gwyneth discover her parents’ murderer and the reason behind their murders. Mindful of his ruined reputation and its impact on Gwyn’s reputation, Dirk leaves her in the care of his mother and rides away. Meanwhile, Gwyn enlists the aid of an old friend to try to clear Dirk’s name, but what is her friend’s motive behind helping her? How will Gwyn and Dirk have a future together unless he is declared innocent and his honor is restored?
In The Sound of Emeralds, the story of Dirk and Gwyneth continues in 16th century Europe where the tension between Catholics and Protestants blazes. What started as hatred between them eventually evolves into lasting love, leading to their marriage. But weddings don’t guarantee happy endings. As Dirk struggles to clear his name before he face deadly consequences, Gwyn finds out that he has kept secrets from her. Will a friend from her past be an ally or an enemy to clearing Dirk’s name?
Rea has a knack for creating a storyline that is as unique as the main characters she pens. How many heroines need glasses, especially in historical fiction? Her book is carefully researched and grabs the reader’s attention from the first page. The series is filled with plenty of plot twists.
Written in alternating first-person point-of-view, the reader feels right in the middle of the action. Gwyneth and Dirk develop a relationship as they depend on one another in trying circumstances. The Sound of Emeralds presents God’s peace, in the same way the earlier books had the themes of hope and truth.
Faith elements are interwoven and integral to the plot. Rea carefully balances the Catholic and Protestant faith without being overly critical of either. She creates flawed individuals in a troubled time in church history.
Recommended for teen collections in school and public libraries. Fans of Melanie Dickerson, Lisa Bergren, and Jody Hedlund (authors of young adult medieval fiction) will enjoy this new author’s works.
Carol R. Gehringer
Disclaimer: Book reviews are my honest opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publishers, publicists, and/or authors. I am not required to write reviews, nor to even post positive reviews.