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Fearless (Nameless) Paperback – October 17, 2017
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Prior to reading CLANLESS last year, I re-read NAMELESS to immerse myself back into Zo and Gryphon’s world. This time, prior to reading FEARLESS, I re-read both NAMELESS (for the 3rd time!) and CLANLESS (2nd time), and I’m so glad I did. (If you’re new to the series, I have a feeling you’ll be binge-reading it, too!) I am truly amazed that, even though this is the third time I’ve read NAMELESS, it still didn’t feel old to me! I seriously had just as many emotions as I did the first (and second!) time I read it. That is something that only certain authors can do -- to have us wanting to read a book multiple times and still feeling like it’s the first. The same was true with CLANLESS; I knew what was coming, but I still cried and laughed and gasped at all the parts that got me the first time.
As soon as I finished the first two books, I dove straight into FEARLESS, and my goodness it was... Spectacular. Satisfying. Emotional. Bittersweet. And so much more! There were times I bawled like a baby, let me tell you! I discovered that I was way more attached to certain characters than I’d realized! There was one plot point in particular that I went back and forth and back and forth on, thinking I had it figured out, then questioning myself, then going back to my original position... my notes are kind of funny to read now, full of furious scribblings, all caps, underlines, and “OH MY GOD”s! GAH! Such a roller coaster and emotional read for me. I knew it was coming to a close, but Jennifer still managed to create suspense right until the last page -- and I promise I am not exaggerating! She is truly a brilliant writer, and I can tell that this is the “book (series) of her heart,” as I’ve heard other authors say.
There is one specific thread that runs through all of the books that I haven’t mentioned in the past two reviews but want to bring up now. There are 4 clans in the book: the Wolves, the Raven, the Ram, and the Kodiak. Basically they all fear - and despise - the Ram, but there is also animosity among the other three clans. They never mix, and they’d fight each other should they be put in a position to do so. You can see, then, how prejudice would be a strong theme throughout the series. What I love best is the way Jennifer handles the characters’ prejudices. Just because one grows up in a clan and is taught from birth to distrust and dislike other clans doesn’t make them a bad person; we all of us have some deep-seated prejudices that don’t necessarily make us bad people. The problem is when the prejudice is never examined and confronted, when it turns to hatred and rage against “the other.” This is a mirror of our own society, and of all human societies, I think. We can and do overcome it, though! And that is the message at the heart of this entire series. If we allow ourselves to be open to those different from us, if we refuse to give in to blind hatred, if we examine our prejudices and our privileges, we can overcome and we can treat each other with dignity and respect. We are all just trying to make it, to take care of ourselves and our families and our communities, and we are way more alike than we are different. I love this quote in particular, from page 66:
****[Tess’s] screams of delight harmonized with [Joshua’s] pretend battle cry. Zo followed behind, shaking her head at the unlikely pair. A Ram and a Wolf, both raised to be enemies. They, more than anyone else, were proof that hate wasn’t born in the blood. It was cultivated by societies who feared that which they did not understand ... that which was different.****
I can think of no better place to end my review than with those beautiful words. Thank you, Jennifer, for this series that has been a part of my life for two years. I have loved every single solitary minute I have spent reading (and re-reading) these books. Thank you for sharing your gift with us. I will follow you to whatever you choose to write about next!
Rating: 5 fearless stars!
Disclosure; I received an early e-copy of this book for purposes of review from Month9Books. This is my honest rating and review. Thanks so much to Chapter by Chapter and Month9 for letting me take part in this blog tour.
Zo has a blood oath to honour and has a duty to help save the Nameless. Gryphon hasn't been completely honest with her, and she isn't aware of their deadline. Fearless explores their ups and downs. Can a Ram really be trusted even if it's Gryphon? Zo has to learn to trust Gryphon all over again.
Can the clan's find peace? Can Zo and Gryphon find their happily ever after?
Fearless was probably my favourite of the 3 books, but I have enjoyed the whole series. There is the main story along with smaller side stories. The characters are well developed and have good motives for their actions. Both Zo and Gryphon have their own stories throughout the book as well as a story together. Highly recommended. 5 stars out of 5.
ARC received in exchange for a fair review as part of the chapter by chapter blog tour.