I decided to read this book because I was intrigued by the historical setting of this Christian novel; you don’t see a lot about the Crusades in this genre. I somehow missed the fact that this was book #3 in “The Valiant Heart Series.” Generally I try to start with the first book when it comes to sagas. That said, although I knew I was missing back stories on the characters, I still enjoyed this book and am interested enough in the story line to read books #1 and #2. And lucky me, I found book #1 free on Amazon today!
Here’s what I liked about “Courageous”:
First, I felt the author did a good job treating the topic of the Crusades with sensitivity and balance. Sleiman touched on the perspective and motives of both the European crusaders and the Muslim inhabitants of the land. While the Crusades are long over, religious divisions and war clearly continue and many of the themes touched on in this book are relevant today. On that note, the author went briefly into some of the differences and divisions existing among sects within the Muslim faith (then and now), and she graciously addresses the exclusivistic claim of Christianity: there is only one way to be saved, and that is faith in Jesus Christ. In “Courageous” one of the main characters befriends someone of an opposing belief system and as their friendship grows, these women lovingly and respectfully discuss their beliefs with each other.
The importance of prayer and worship is a dominant theme in this book as is the Christian’s highest calling- to sacrificially love and serve others. Reconciliation, forgiveness, grace and healing are also touched upon throughout.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.