A review by josb
Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin

adventurous hopeful inspiring tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


Rounding up for this non-eurocentric sapphic fantasy! 

Set in a world based on Filipino culture and customs, I loved the world-building and felt it holds up against many other fantasies I have read. I can't begin to say how important it was for me to read something Filipino-inspired and sapphic. A story like this would have been critical in my youth.

Besides the personal importance, the story was also very well paced. Lots of action mixed in with learning about the world as well as a variety of complex perspectives. There were lots of questions about what was right and who was being affected by doing the "right" thing. 

The other thing I really liked was the willingness to move on from certain plot points, using them as a way to fuel future plot points instead of teasing the reader for a big reveal at around the 70% mark. Some stuff stays until the end and some stuff is dealt with right away and actually creates more problems. It kept my attention and is my preference compared to the classic big reveal 80% into the book that you know is coming. 

The romance is certainly a slow burn, with a bunch of angsty bits in the middle. I enjoyed how it was portrayed, but it was secondary to the other main plot points. I did wish there was more time for the love interest to grow as much as other characters. I felt like that story was a little more rushed and is why I hesitate to give an easy 5 stars. 

If you're a fan of YA fantasy and would like to read something a little different I can't recommend this enough. 

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