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Honor: Second Novel of Rhynan (Novels of Rhynan Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Best for Ages: 15 and up for romance
Since I really enjoyed Duty, I jumped at the chance to review Honor. After all, I love how Rachel writes her romances. Yes, maybe there is a little more pre-marital kissing than I would choose to have in my life, but they are clean and sweet stories with characters that you can really cheer for.
This book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time, as Elsa and Dentin deal with foes that come in many forms. I really hated every time I had to put down the book and work on a different task for any amount of time. It is one of those books that keeps you flipping pages to find out what is going to happen next.
Elsa was a sweet girl who is trying to save her family from the ruin her brother’s gambling has brought. She was such a well-developed character that felt very real. Her sweetness was what really stood out to me. So many female leads are I-can-do-it-myself type girls, and, while I don’t have a problem with that, it gets old. While Elsa did a lot, she allowed others to help her.
Dentin was pretty awesome himself. He was a man of honor (the title really does tell you a lot), who is a bit rough around the edges. No, he isn’t mean, he just isn’t sociable, but he finds himself drawn to helping Elsa and loses his heart in the process. I really liked what Rossano did with his character.
I cannot say enough about this story. It was just such a joy to read. It had an historical feel to it, even though it was really non-magical fantasy. It also had a faith element that wasn’t strong, but added a nice touch.
I highly recommend this to those who like romance, good writing, and books that keep you turning pages.
I was given this book by the author. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.
Plot – Grade A
The premise of this book rests on Dentin’s attempt to balance his personal honor with the orders of the king as well as hunting for murderers and traitors in his position of Securer of the Realm. Dentin is a self-professed man of honor but he is challenged not only by the difficulty of his latest task but also by Lady Elsa Reeve. Elsa has been treated like a pawn by her own family for years but she has a strong and loving spirit too, which steals away any preconceived notion that she’s your typical damsel in distress. Think medieval-esque Darcy and Elizabeth and you have a good glimpse into their contrasting yet complimentary temperaments. The dynamic between these two characters is definitely part of what makes the plot, which ranges from initial intrigue surrounding Dentin’s unpleasant task to a murder to treason, mesh well together. As compelling as each of the elements in the plot are on their own terms, Dentin and Elsa’s personalities and their brewing relationship really glues it together as a whole. A number of familiar faces from Duty show up in this book and there are passing references to events that occurred in that book that are now influencing characters and events in Honor five years later and while reading the first book enriches the experience for this one, Honor is able to stand on its own.
Content – Grade A
This is a clean fantasy. The romance between Dentin and Elsa builds up slowly and sweetly with their attraction becoming clear even though they both spend about half the book reminding themselves that they really shouldn’t be falling in love right now, especially Dentin. There are two or three kisses before they get married and some references to sharing a bed with a husband but it’s all handled very sweetly. I applaud Rossano for her ability to show the initial and growing attraction between the characters in a way that is very compelling without ever straying into crassness. There is also a reference to a girl being rendered unmarriageable by a scoundrel and a man having a mistress but these are also handled with care.
No language is written out. It’s all either cut off before the first syllable or is merely referenced to as “he cursed.” There is violence, including a character who is abusive to women, and there are also people who are wounded or killed. This violence is accomplished without gratuitousness. The violence occurs and characters react but there is nothing shown that shouldn’t be or that should have been toned down further. With the abuse in particular, the aftermath is what is mainly shown with one exception but it is never glorified nor overly gritty and one character warns the character being abused to escape her abuser because she’s seen this happen before and the last time it killed the girl who was married to an abuser.
There is spirituality present with the characters referencing, worshipping, and praying to the Kurios and asking for His guidance. There is also a reference to one character not being afraid of death because he long ago learned to turn to the Kurios for his security after death.
Technical – Grade A
This was a very well-written and compelling read. There were maybe four whole typos/slips in the entire story. One was a missing punctuation and there was a missing article that didn’t affect the reading of the sentence. There were two true typos. Most readers might not notice these unless they’re looking for them. There was maybe one slightly anachronistic phrase but I can’t make up my mind on it and it wasn’t egregious.
Final Grade – A or Five Stars
Overall this was an excellent medieval-esque fantasy that demonstrates how to combine romantic and political intrigue without them competing with each other or straying into boredom or disbelief. The plot is compelling and along with the characters kept me drawn in. The end of the book leaves one with all sorts of questions about what will happen next and I eagerly await the next novel of Rhynan. I would recommend this book to those looking for a clean Christian fantasy and those who enjoy fantasies set in a medieval-esque world. Recommended for ages 15 and up.
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