The Steadfast Love Series / by Rachelle Rea. 10.11.2016

 

The Sound of Diamonds / by Rachelle Rea. (The Steadfast Love Series, 1)

WhiteFire Publishing     ISBN 9781939023599

The Sound of Silver / by Rachelle Rea. (The Steadfast Love Series, 2)

WhiteFire Publishing     ISBN 9781939023612

The Sound of Emeralds / by Rachelle Rea. (The Steadfast Love Series, 3)

WhiteFire Publishing     ISBN 9781939023636

HS Grades 8-12     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 Silver, 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 for 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. But happy endings are not guaranteed. As Dirk struggles to clear his name before he faces 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 penning a storyline that is as unique as the main characters she creates. 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. Faith elements are interwoven and integral to the plot. The Sound of Emeralds presents God’s peace, in the same way the earlier books had the themes of hope and truth. 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, worthy2read.wordpress.com