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Thoughts on A Daring Sacrifice by Jody Hedlund

Juliana Wessex’s people, peasants that her uncle has taxed into poverty, are starving, so she robs the rich to provide for them. But what is she to make of the arrogant Lord Collin who gives her more than she steals from him and invites her to rob him again if she ever needs more?  And then kidnaps her?

A red-headed bandit with a notorious reputation and a dangerous secret, a bored knight come home to claim his inheritance, and a thoroughly evil uncle combine to make a fast-paced teen novel of treachery and heroism.

Jody Hedlund’s skillful writing turn this improbable tale into a gripping story that leaves the reader replaying scene after scene.  A Daring Sacrifice celebrates heroism, skill, and good.  It also includes unbearable evil, and a self-sacrificing savior who, in turn, needs to be saved.

There are many, especially in the West, who question the need for God’s judgement.  Never having personally faced atrocity, they feel no personal need for justice to be done or for evil to be punished.  Books like A Daring Sacrifice, stories of persecution, tales of abuse and evil, examples of people ‘grinding the faces of the poor’ as the prophet Isaiah says—these sorts of things remind us that evil exists and is very, very real.  A just God cannot face evil without punishing, and thanks be to him that Jesus died for sins!

But there are stories, like Job in the Bible, Corrie Ten Boom’s Hiding Place, Darlene Deibler Rose’s Evidence Not Seen, and Cathy LaGrow’s The Waiting, that display how, even in trauma, God reveals hints of his magnificent work, both in victims and, sometimes, in perpetrators. We puny humans cannot think God’s thoughts, see behind the scenes, or understand his good plans—we just need to acknowledge and trust that the Creator of the world can manage everything in the world in a good and just way.  In some ways, A Daring Sacrifice hints at all of these things.

In this book evil is overcome, a subtle retelling of the story of the ultimate Overcomer of evil, who then had to leave for a while to continue his work.  The evil in the daily news will also be overcome, something we can count on because God is both good and great.

As an added bonus, the discussion questions at the end of the book encourage the reader to think about wise romantic relationships, Christ’s sacrifice, and biblical sacrifice.

I highly recommend A Daring Sacrifice for teens who enjoy adventure, love archery, or campaign for justice, as well as for anyone who enjoys a fast-paced, thought-provoking story.

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Disclosure: We borrowed this book from the library and are not compensated for our honest opinions.

This article may be linked to Saturday Reviews, Booknificent Thursdays, 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge, Literacy Musings Monday, and The Book Nook  as well as to Inspire Me Monday, Raising Homemakers, Friendship Friday, Make My Saturday Sweet.

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