The Steadfast Love Series is set in 16th-century Europe, where the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics, and chronicles the journey of two wounded hearts on the path toward restoration. Gwyneth, a half-Dutch Catholic, flees from England to Holland to escape the man she believes murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he has come to rescue her from the violent Dutch Revolution, she must decide if she will trust him.
The second book in the series, The Sound of Silver, released on October 15th, but before I share my thoughts I want to quickly tell you about book 1, The Sound of Diamonds (WhiteFire Publishing, June 2015).
With the protestant Elizabeth on the throne of England and her family in shambles, Catholic maiden Gwyneth seeks refuge in the Low Countries of Holland, hoping to soothe her aching soul. But when the Iconoclastic Fury descends and bloodshed overtakes her haven, she has no choice but to trust the rogue who arrives, promising to see her safely home to her uncle’s castle. She doesn’t dare to trust him…and yet doesn’t dare to refuse her one chance to preserve her own life and those of the nuns she rescues from the burning convent.
Dirk Godfrey is determined to restore his honor at whatever cost. Running from a tortured past, Dirk knows he has only one chance at redemption, and it lies with the lovely Gwyneth, who hates him for the crimes she thinks he committed. He must see her to safety, prove to the world that he is innocent, prove that her poor eyesight is not the only thing that has blinded her but what is he to do when those goals clash?
The home Gwyneth knew is not what she once thought. When a dark secret and a twisted plot for power collide in a castle masquerading as a haven, the saint and the sinner must either dare to hold to hope…or be overcome.
Bottom Line: I’m going to have to reconsider my claim that I dislike first-person narratives if I keep finding all these wonderful authors who write it so well! Alternating between Gwyn’s and Dirk’s perspectives gave a unique twist to this particular first-person narrative and amped up the intensity of the emotion in the story. Speaking of story, this has everything you could ask for in medieval fiction – dashing, brooding heroes, feisty damsels in distress, action and adventure, gentle romance, and an underlying thread of faith. The chemistry between Dirk and Gwyn was immediately palpable and continued to deepen as the book progressed. And as the action rarely stopped to breathe, neither will you as you devour each word and stay on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Except… it’s not really the end.
Which brings us to The Sound of Silver 🙂
The stalwart saint and the redeemed rebel. One is fighting for faith, the other for honor…
After Dirk rescues Gwyneth from the Iconoclastic Fury, she discovers that faith is sometimes fragile—and hope is not as easy as it may seem. Gwyneth continues her quest to learn more about the love of God preached by Protestants she once distrusted.
Meanwhile, Dirk’s quest is to prevent his sullied name from staining hers. Will his choice to protect her prove the undoing of her first faltering steps toward a Father God? Once separated, will Dirk and Gwyneth’s searching hearts ever sing the same song?
The Sound of Silver begins right where The Sound of Diamonds finished, even backing up just a bit to refresh our memories. The level of intensity does not fade between the two books, even though Silver focuses far less on action than did Diamonds. In fact I think the emotion in Silver makes it even more intense in some ways than its predecessor; I remained just as much on the edge of my seat in book 2, albeit for different reasons. Rachelle Rea certainly knows how to capture her characters’ innermost desires and fears, sorrows and joys.
All the familiar characters that could return do, with the wonderful additions of Dirk’s mother Rohesia and his sisters. I loved them immediately and looked forward to their scenes with Gwyn. Part of the reason that Silver‘s intensity level remains on par with Diamonds despite the reduced amount of action is the introduction of a fourth new character into the mix. Let me just say… nope, actually if I say that, I’ll spoil some things for you… so I won’t. But… yeah.
I will say this: do not be lulled at any point into thinking you can relax. At. Any. Point. (Do I make myself clear?) Remember there is a third book forthcoming. It’s like … have you ever watched NCIS? Their season finales – always cliffhangers. The kind that make you groan “nooooooooooooooooo” out loud at the television, as though it can do anything about your agony. In that way, The Sound of Silver reminds me of an NCIS season finale 🙂
Bottom Line: Rachelle Rea has a beautifully poignant way with words that draws you in and refuses to release you until the story ends. (Which, I remind you again, it still hasn’t!) Since The Sound of Silver is book two in a series and, as mentioned, begins immediately after the events of the first novel, it would be best if you read The Sound of Diamonds first. But if for some reason you can’t, Rea does a good job of organically catching you up and giving you the necessary background information. If you like Melanie Dickerson’s medieval fairy tale retellings or Jody Hedlund’s medieval romances, you will love the Steadfast Love series!
(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)
Rachelle Rea plots her novels while driving around the little town she’s lived in all her life in her dream car, a pick-up truck. As a freelance editor, she enjoys mentoring fellow authors in the craft. A homeschool graduate and retired gymnast, she wrote the Sound of Silver the summer after her junior year of college.
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