Friday, April 17, 2015

#REVIEW: Fairy Tale Romance Collection by Melanie Dickerson

Title: Fairy Tale Romance Collection
Series: none
Author:  Melanie Dickerson
Published Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Zondervan
Format: ebook
ISBN: 9780310749219
Genre: fantasy
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Zondervan

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Five of bestselling author Melanie Dickerson's popular YA fairytale retelling novels now available as a bind-up.
Romance, intrigue, and danger abound in this bind-up of five of Melanie Dickerson's fairy-tale retellings presented in realistic historical settings. Includes The Healer's Apprentice, The Merchant's Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, The Captive Maiden, and The Princess Spy.
The Healer's Apprentice: Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, and when Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, Rose tends to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to fall in love, and wonders if he feels the same. But Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.
The Merchant's Daughter: Annabel is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. She soon finds he is not beastly after all, and becomes involved in a situation that could place Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, in her hands.
The Fairest Beauty: Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother's jealousy, and receives her chance when Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and that he has come to rescue her. Though romance is impossible--she is his brother's future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else--the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven to find help. Before long both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them, they must also protect their hearts.
The Captive Maiden: When Gisela learns the duke's son, Valten--the boy she has daydreamed about for years--is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
The Princess Spy: Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha--one of the few who speaks his language--understands the wild story. It is up to her to save her father, Colin, and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook's wicked plot.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Five of the most popular fairytales being re-written in a historical setting, no fairy godmothers, no magic, but a lot of faith in God. The first four books, The Healer’s Apprentice, The Merchant’s Daughter, The Fairest Beauty and The Captive Maiden were very easy to figure out which fairytale it was from.
The Healer’s Apprentice was a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, with Rose Roemer, not much of a stretch there to see a parallel there. An evil man is bent on destroying the daughter of his enemy, and she is hidden away her entire life for her safety. In plain sight seems to be the order of the day here as her betrothed searches here and there to find the evil man, destroy him, and bring his betrothed (whom he has never met) into safety.
In The Merchant’s Daughter, this is a beautiful retelling of Beauty and The Beast, one of my absolute favorite fairytales. A daughter takes upon her family’s sentencing and goes into servitude to the local lord for three years, the lord being supposedly terrifying to look upon and “beastly”.
Fairest Beauty is a retelling of Snow White, complete even with the Cottage of the Seven. No, they are not dwarves, at least not all of them, but they are all misfits and shunned by society. Add in a romantic twist of denied love, and you get a wonderful retelling of the story.
The Captive Maiden, a story of Gisela, the daughter of a horse breeder and merchant who remarried and later died. The stepmother and two step-sisters (sound familiar?) waste away the family fortune on gowns and carriages. A kindly neighbor helps Gisela out to go to the tournament, where she becomes crowned the Queen of Love and Beauty. And thus the tale of Cinderella arises.
The last book is supposed to be a retelling of The Princess and the Frog, but I certainly couldn’t figure that one out, besides a very small scene where Colin is put into some clothes that remind her of a frog.
I don’t really see these as being Christian novels. Yes, they make an awful lot of “Oh God” and “Oh Jesus” remarks, but these novels are set in the 1400s, when the Church and God held a huge amount of sway over the common people’s life. I see these remarks more of a historical setting, not necessarily making the novels Christian, just as someone saying “Jesus Christ” doesn’t make them a Christian.

These books each had their positive and negative points, but overall, they were all very well-written, and I like how they were all tied together so we could see the characters from previous books in the current one.

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