Q&A With Dina Sleiman on her New Valiant Hearts Series
Can you tell us a bit about the historical setting of this novel?
Generally, think Robin Hood. My book is set in 1216 England, and the evil Prince John of the Robin Hood legends is now king. This is a world of forests, outlaws, castles, and knights. The story opens one year after the famous Magna Carta was signed in England, and that plays a part in the plot as well.
Finish this sentence: Readers who like ___ will love Dauntless.
Readers who like adventure and romance will love Dauntless.
How did you get the original seed of inspiration for this book?
Years ago an editor suggested that I try writing a YA medieval romance series. I was open to the idea, but I didn't have any clear direction. It wasn't until I was watching the BBC Robin Hood series with my son that a concept finally came to me. I loved the way it featured plenty of strong, feisty women. Maid Marian was a thief and defender of the poor in her own right. The Saracen character, Djaq, was also a woman—not to mention plenty of tough female bad guys. Then one day I was walking and praying about my next project, and Dauntless popped to life in my mind.
Is this the beginning of a series? If so, can you tell us what's ahead?
Yes! Book 2, Chivalrous, will release in September. Prepare to meet Gwendolyn Barnes, a spirited young noblewoman who longs to be a knight like her brothers. But such cannot be her fate, even in the Camelot-inspired Eden where she dwells. Gwendolyn’s harsh father sees her as little more than a marriage pawn and is determined to wed her to a tough man who will tame her wild ways. This story plays with several Arthurian legends, taking a peek at the world of tournaments, chivalry, and courtly love while also turning the Lancelot and Guinevere story upside down. It follows one of the main characters from Dauntless as he sets off to North Britannia in search of his destiny.