The Warrior Maiden

Melanie Dickerson has brought us another exciting fairy tale retelling, and this time Mulan takes center stage! We're all familiar with the Disney version of the story, and perhaps you even know a bit about the original Chinese legend. Dickerson blends this well-known character with people and places from her Hagenheim series to form a delightful novel that her readers will love.

This Mulan has recently lost her distant and uncaring father, and, in order to save her mother's home, disguises herself as a man and takes her father's place in the army. They are marching to defend an ally against the attack of the evil Teutonic Knights. Her father's servant boy attends her, knowing she is a woman and helping guard that secret. He's no Mushu, but he plays a valuable role in helping Mulan.

Because she has training in archery, Mulan is able to fit in well when it comes to the shooting range, though she doesn't do so well in other fighting disciplines. When it is time for battle, her bravery comes as a surprise even to herself. Soon her name becomes synonymous with daring and courage.

I thought Dickerson did a good job balancing Mulan's femininity with the warrior aspect, and her unmasking made complete sense within the story, coming neither too soon nor being too drawn out. I enjoyed the hero and thought the conflicts he faced were well-drawn and natural. The way he is able to help her understand God as a loving Father was one of the highlights of the novel. One side character in particular will grab onto your heart, and I understand he's getting his own story in December, so I am very much looking forward to that!

I review for BookLook Bloggers

I received my copy of the book from the publisher. All thoughts in this review are my own.
 Orphan's Wish

Melanie Dickerson's Aladdin retelling opens with a young orphan boy in the Holy Land, forced to steal to earn his keep. Soon rescued by a priest and taken to the Holy Roman Empire, Aladdin grows up in an orphanage while befriending the duke's daughter, Lady Kirstyn. While he works hard and learns all he can, Aladdin knows he cannot ask for Lady Kirstyn's hand until he goes out into the world to make his fortune, and eventually he sets out to do just that.

Lady Kirstyn has always felt invisible as one of the middle children in a large family. She enjoys working with orphans and dreams of adopting a houseful of them herself one day. She longs for Aladdin's return and for the chance to have a future with him.

As Aladdin begins to find success in the town of Luneburg, things do not go so well for Lady Kirstyn. She faces dangers which will change her life forever, leaving her family and friends scrambling to help her before it is too late.

This was not my favorite book from this author. I think the main problem for me was the characters were flat and unremarkable. I couldn't make myself care about them, and therefore it took a long time to read the story. I do think many Dickerson fans will enjoy this tale, and I am very much looking forward to her Mulan retelling that will be coming in early 2019!

I review for BookLook Bloggers

I received my copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

Here are my favorite reads from 2016! I hope you'll check some of them out for yourself. Click on any title to read my full review.

Historical Fiction

Anchor in the Storm by Sarah Sundin

This World War II story focuses on a plucky female pharmacist and a Naval officer as they try to uncover a drug ring operating out of Boston Harbor.

Young Adult Fiction

The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

A captivating retelling of The Little Mermaid, Melanie Dickerson again proves her brilliance as a fairy tale writer.

Contemporary Fiction

Keep Holding On by Melissa Tagg

I loved the depth of the characters, and I really related to one of them in particular. I just love Melissa Tagg's stories!!


I've got to go with the autobiographies of two Olympians here! Weren't the Rio Olympics exciting??

Greater Than Gold by David Boudia

David's journey from an active tot to a world class diver, and how he found Jesus along the way.

Courage to Soar by Simone Biles

Leader of the Final Five and winner of five medals in Rio, this 4'9" gymnastics wonder shares her story from adoption to training to topping the podium.

Classic Literature

Mr. Harrison's Confessions by Elizabeth Gaskell

This short novel, from which part of the miniseries Cranford was drawn, is laugh-out-loud funny and encompasses the delights of a small English village.


This category has two winners as well, because I couldn't choose between these two delightful Christmas stories.

One Enchanted Eve by Melissa Tagg

If you enjoy competitive baking shows, you'll love this story of a down-on-her-luck baker and her quest to find one wow-worthy recipe to land her dream job.

Restoring Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti

All Alexis needs for Christmas is her home remodel to go well. When everything goes wrong it may be time to reevaluate the true meaning of Christmas.

She's done it again! Melanie Dickerson retells a classic story with her own distinctive style, turning it into something fun and new. This time she tackles The Little Mermaid, resetting Ariel as Evangeline, cousin of King Richard II, in the fourteenth century.

Evangeline has hoped and dreamed of a marriage based on love, but as the king's ward she knows that may not be possible. When she finds out the king is going to give her in marriage to a middle-aged man who seems corrupt and salacious, Evangeline decides she will run away. She's lived shut up in Berkhamsted Castle, and now she is free to see all the beautiful creatures and places in the English countryside. Evangeline's maid escaped with her, and in order to disguise themselves they agree that Evangeline will pose as a mute and they will say they are servants looking for work.

They reach the village of Glynval, and Evangeline finds herself working for the le Wyse family, whom readers will recognize from some of Dickerson's other books. She is attracted to Westley le Wise, but since she is pretending to be a mute servant and he is heir to the manor, there are many impediments to getting to know him. Although Evangeline has never worked a day in her life, the blisters and soreness and her many blunders do not stop her determination to make a way for herself and to continue hiding from the king's men who are searching for her.

Evangeline is forced to use her voice when she comes upon an attempt on Westley's life. Still hesitant to tell the whole truth about her identity as she gets to know the le Wyse family better, eventually it all comes out. A showdown with King Richard and his minions is inevitable, and will require bravery and sacrifice from all who will stand for freedom and love.

I'd recommend this book for anyone who enjoys Melanie Dickerson and fairy tales.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

Thank you to the publisher for my copy of the book. All opinions in this review are my own.

The margrave of Thornbeck finds himself ordered by the king to find a bride, and preferably one who will strengthen his allies with neighboring noblemen. Deciding the most expedient way to do so would be to hold a two-week house party with carefully designed tests for ten young women to pass, he opens his home and invites them in. Lord Thornbeck has a past shrouded with some mystery and pain, and his goals for leading a quiet and unobtrusive life are challenged with the thought of taking a wife.

When the earl of Plimmwald's daughter cannot take part in Lord Thornbeck's quest to find a bride, he orders her servant Avelina to take up Lady Dorothea's identity and go in her place. He needs to keep his alliance with Thornbeck strong due to threats of invation. He has two edicts for Avelina: don't let anyone find out she's masquerading, and don't attract Lord Thornbeck's attention because of course it would be treacherous and impossible for him to marry a servant.

Avelina only wants to obey her lord and get through these two weeks so she will be able to take care of her crippled father and younger siblings who are relying on her. She finds herself unable to imitate Lady Dorothea's forward and proud ways and decides that being herself will be the best option. Surely Lord Thornbeck isn't interested in someone who is opinionated and believes that servants should be treated with respect and that marriage should involve being loved and cherished. While she can't help noticing that Lord Thornbeck is very handsome and that there's a tender heart underneath his gruff and imposing exterior, she knows he must not choose her and tries in every way to promote kind Lady Magdalen, a young woman who has become a fast friend.

Lord Thornbeck was positive he did not want an opinionated wife, but Lady Dorothea captures his attention immediately with her straightforward and humble ways. As she and Lady Magdalen continue passing each test to find a compassionate and worthy wife, his admiration for both of them grows and he seeks them out more and more.

Danger is lurking in the old castle. One of the guests is part of a plot to kill Lord Thornbeck and overthrow his realm. As the crucial night for Lord Thornbeck to choose a wife draws near, who will he pick? Will any of them survive the planned attack?

I thought Melanie Dickerson outdid herself with this book. I loved the characters, their personalities, and the fast-paced excitement. The tension was extremely well-written and everyone's motivations were clear and easily understood. I was quite uncertain about how the book would end until the last pages. This book is a sequel to The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest but also works as a stand alone title. If you enjoy medieval stories or fairy tales, I can't recommend this author enough. This particular story seemed to be part Beauty and the Beast, part the Biblical story of Esther, with distinct nods to ABC's The Bachelor and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Intriguing and delightful!

I received my copy of the book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own. If you would like to read what other people are saying about "The Beautiful Pretender," click here.

Join the Flock! Litfuse Publicity Group blogger

Inheriting the new title of margrave means Reinhart has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise? Find out in the new medieval fairy tale, The Beautiful Pretender, by Melanie Dickerson. Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. Will Avelina be able to stop the evil plot? And at what cost?

Join Melanie in celebrating the release of The Beautiful Pretender by entering to win her Once Upon a Kindle giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of The Beautiful Pretender

  • A Kindle Fire tablet

  • A $25 Amazon gift card

  • The choice between a Funko POP Disney Beauty or Beast doll

beautiful pretender - prize collage

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on June 7th. The winner will be announced June 8th on Melanie's blog.

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2015 held so many good reads that I am allowing myself 10 books spread over the categories below. Such a good reading year! Click on any title to read my full review.

Historical Fiction

A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron

Set in Prague, London, and the Terezin concentration camp, this stirring World War II tale brings us the story of a young woman rising to the occasion to bring hope to the darkest of days. Captivating and inspiring.

The Curiosity Keeper by Sarah Ladd

Camille Iverness has known much unkindness in her life, but never more than when her London father disowns her. With a determined spirit that would rival Jane Eyre, Camille wants to stand on her own while yet learning the healing and beauty that comes with safe community.

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin

Although this book was published a few years ago, it was new to me in 2015. It's a North African World War II version of "You've Got Mail" or "The Shop Around the Corner" - in other words, lots of great things combined into one! Instant favorite.

Young Adult Fiction

The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

Rapunzel has always been one of my favorite fairy tale characters, and this much-anticipated retelling by Melanie Dickerson brought us lovely characters and a storyline that held true to the original tale while adding new twists along the way.

Speculative Fiction

The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry

When Roger Greene's plane is shot down over Germany in 1943, his Nazi captors force him to become part of a scientific project. As a result, Roger ceases to age. When he is finally able to escape the underground bunker more than 70 years later, Roger must adapt to the changes in the world and try to prove his identity.

Contemporary Fiction

The Art of Losing Yourself by Katie Ganshert

Two sisters, raised by the same dysfunctional, drug-addicted mother. One becomes a perfectionist and the other a rebel. When they are thrown together and forced to forge a relationship, both will be changed for the better.


Tattered and Mended by Cynthia Ruchti

Cynthia Ruchti invites us to look straight into our tattered souls and ask the Master Craftsman, our Heavenly Father, to restore us in similar ways that human craftsmen restore priceless treasures and antiques. This is a book infused with hope and healing for all of our weary spirits.

The Finishing School by Valerie Woerner

There are a lot of things that we learn in life, but sometimes applying lessons and character traits can be a harder thing to grasp. Valerie Woerner shares her journey of living out what she's learned, and makes this a book that would benefit many young women.

Classic Literature

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter

I was introduced to this book by my grandmother when I was about 10 years old, and rereading it this year was such a delight. The heroine, Elnora, is everything that is beautiful and virtuous while still being real and relatable.


Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg

We first get introduced to Melissa Tagg's fictional town of Maple Valley, Iowa, in this short and sweet story. Tomboy Ava keeps running into closed doors as she pursues her dream, but when she connects with an old writing rival she may finally find a place to fit in and be at home.

Rapunzel is one of my favorite fairy tale characters, so I couldn't have been more excited when I heard that a Rapunzel retelling was going to be coming from Melanie Dickerson. I've looked forward to this release for months!

Our story begins with Rapunzel and Mother Gothel moving to the town of Hagenheim, which has also been the setting for many of Dickerson's other books. Mother Gothel has always been severe with Rapunzel, keeping her under close watch and restricting what she may wear and how she may interact with others. Rapunzel is hungry to learn everything she can and desperately desires to learn how to read. She hopes that moving into a larger town will give her opportunity to meet someone who will teach her.

Sir Gerek is on his way home to Hagenheim when he comes across a robbery in progress and is able to help an unusual young woman and her controlling parent. Mother Gothel's gruffness sets Sir Gerek on edge, and traveling with the women proves quite challenging. When Gerek's horse tosses him and he's forced into several weeks of recuperation at a monastery, he reluctantly agrees to giving Rapunzel reading lessons. Over the next few weeks as Rapunzel gets to know Gerek and makes other friends, she realizes just how wrong her situation is, that her mother's strictness is unnatural and unhealthy. With the help of her new friends, Rapunzel is able to slip away from her mother and take a position as a maidservant in Hagenheim castle.

Things really pick up when Rapunzel's true identity is discovered, but before she can reconnect with her birth parents the castle comes under siege. Mother Gothel takes advantage of the chaos and kidnaps Rapunzel, forcing her into isolation in a tower far away from Hagenheim. Will Gerek be able to rescue her? Will she ever have the chance to reunite with the loving family from whom Mother Gothel stole her?

I loved the journey that both Gerek and Rapunzel go on throughout the book. Gerek has a past full of hurt and has determined to protect himself in order not to become like those who caused him pain. He has decided to marry a wealthy woman to prove his worth. Rapunzel's inner strength balanced with gentleness causes him to reevaluate his goals. Rapunzel has survived a lifetime without any kind of real love, but she warmly responds when she is able to learn about God's love for her, and forgiveness and hope mark her life. Hope that all that has been stolen can be restored. The message that we can choose restoration, hope, and love no matter the pain we've known in the past was beautifully brought out - and so needed in our world today.

Some of the events of this book are concurrent with Dickerson's novel The Princess Spy, which is another I'd highly recommend. You pretty much can't go wrong with any book from this author!

Join the Flock! Litfuse Publicity Group blogger

I received my copy of the book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own. If you would like to read what other people are saying about "The Golden Braid," click here.

Melanie Dickerson's new release is Robin Hood meets Swan Lake in a fairy tale mash-up. Concerned for the poor and starving children around their village, Odette begins poaching deer in order to provide meat for hungry families. Somewhat protected by her uncle's position as a respected merchant, she feels safe venturing into the forest for her nightly brushes with lawbreaking. It isn't until she meets Jorgen, the newly appointed and very handsome forester, that she begins to doubt if her actions have really been as morally right as she had previously thought.

Jorgen takes his job as forester seriously, especially since his adopted father was killed by poachers. Having found evidence of recent poaching in Thornbeck Forest, and seeing the rapidly diminishing number of deer around him, Jorgen is determined to find the person responsible and hold them accountable.

While all of this author's previous releases have been for the young adult genre, this is the first in a new series for adults. I confess that I did not enjoy it as much as her other works, largely because the writing was overly simplistic. It lacked details and nuance, and the characters were rather flat and predictable, not experiencing much growth. There were several side plots which I did not think were satisfactorily followed through on, including the hints that there was a second and more irresponsible poacher out there, or who owned the Red House.

The plot did hold a few interesting and unexpected twists, but largely it failed to impress, especially considering her wonderful YA books. I hope that her upcoming November release - a Rapunzel story! - will be a return to what made me a fan in the first place. I'm looking forward to it already!

I review for BookLook Bloggers

I received my copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own.
Captive Maiden

It's the story of Cinderella as you've never seen before! Gisela is a strong, hard-working young woman who lives under the cruel hand of her stepmother and two stepsisters. She dreams about the day she'll be free from their oppression, but in the meanwhile she's finding ways to make the most of her situation. She also dreams about Valten, the eldest son of the duke of Hagenheim and champion of tournaments around the world, whom she met when she was a child and has admired from afar.

When Hagenheim hosts its own tournament and Valten comes back home, Gisela hardly hopes to even catch sight of him. But when another competing knight named Reuxner accosts her in the marketplace, Valten interferes and makes sure Gisela gets safely away from him. Valten finds the outspoken and quick-witted Gisela enchanting, and asks her to be sure to come to the tournament so he can see her again.

As Valten and Gisela begin spending time together and forging a friendship, Reuxner sees this as the perfect opportunity to hurt his longtime rival. He approaches Gisela's stepmother and she agrees to sell Gisela to be Reuxner's bride. Knowing she won't marry him willingly, the two plot to kidnap Gisela and threaten Valten in order to force her acquiescence. The courageous Valten has a thing or two to say about this plan and sets off to find and rescue Gisela.

I really liked the character of Valten. He's a man of strength and determination, but one of his weaknesses is relying too much on himself. The twists and turns of the story bring him to a place of humility and the realization that he needs to lean on the Lord and to accept the help of others if he ever hopes to free his captive maiden. As someone who is often stubborn enough to think I can handle things on my own, I could identify with Valten and I enjoyed his journey.

There are no fairy godmothers in this version, just friends who are there to help Gisela and Valten become who they need to be. The idea of community is not always a popular one in this world that prizes fierce independence, but God desires that we walk in fellowship with others and help one another on life's path. In community is strength, and I am glad we get stories like this to come along and remind us of that every now and then.
2014 was a great year for reading! I'm thankful to have had the ability to read so many good books this year. Now I get to present my favorites to you and hope you'll check some of them out for yourself! Click on any title to read my full review.

Historical Fiction

Love Comes Calling

Love Comes Calling by Siri Mitchell

In a zany series of capers, Ellis Eton tries to trade identities with one friend and save the life of another. Ellis makes an endearing heroine because she has a good heart but she's also terribly scatterbrained. This one is an amusing and charming read!

Young Adult Fiction

Fairest Beauty

The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson

This year I read more young adult books than I have since I was a young adult myself, and while a number of them were good, I am still resonating with the spiritual truths and character growth found in "The Fairest Beauty." This was a lovely retelling of the classic Snow White fairytale.

Speculative Fiction


Awakening by Tracy Higley

Museum worker Kallie Andreas suffers from amnesia, and she is given the opportunity of a lifetime when she's offered to lead a team in quest of finding a crucial artifact. As her journey takes her to Egypt, Italy, and the Greek isle of Santorini, Kallie discovers much about herself, her past, and our amazing God.

Contemporary Fiction

All My Belongings

All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti

Becca Morrow is trying to get a fresh start on life by changing her name and moving half-way across the country to escape the notoriety of her father's high-profile murder trial. While she's running from her past, her new friend Isaac is seeking his in the form of searching for his biological parents. The themes and lessons in this book were beautiful and insightful, and the wonderful balance of storytelling elements makes this one you can't put down.


Hardest Peace

The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts

Kara Tippetts is a pastor's wife and mother of four young children who has received a terrible diagnosis: terminal cancer. As her life on this earth fades away, Kara encourages all of us to trust God as the Author of our story, let His grace fill our lives, and love well those around us. Find the beauty in the heartbreak. This is an amazing book with applications for you no matter your life circumstances.

Classic Literature

Rilla of Ingleside

Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery

The final book in the Anne of Green Gables series is a coming-of-age tale set during the anxious days of World War I. Anne's daughter Rilla is one of my favorite literary characters ever written. She grows from a dreamy young girl into a mature and strong woman whose heart beats for the needs of others. Every emotion is written in such a way that you feel you're on the journey, too.
Fairest Beauty

When young Gabe hears that his brother's betrothed, long thought dead, is living as a mistreated scullery maid in her stepmother's castle, he recklessly sets off alone on a quest to free her. Never mind that his brother is a tournament champion and Gabe has never been that interested in training and competitions; this is his chance to show that he's just as valiant as Valten. Surely infiltrating Duchess Ermengard's home and whisking away one maid can't be that difficult.

Having grown up believing she is an orphan, Sophie tries to be an expert at pleasing the exacting and cruel Duchess Ermengard, but often finds herself punished for the most minor infractions. Life seems hopeless in Hohendorf, as the Duchess never lets anyone leave and rarely do any new visitors come to the castle. When a well-dressed troubadour mysteriously appears, claiming to want to sing the praises of Duchess Ermengard, everyone is suspicious that he is not who he claims to be.

At first I had a hard time getting into this story. Gabe seems far too irresponsible and thoughtless, and Sophie didn't seem like she had much of a personality. But as the story progressed I realized Sophie seemed one-dimensional because the abuse she had suffered robbed her of any joy or spark of individuality. It was once she realized that she was valued and that she could hope for a better future that she began coming alive. You can't overestimate the work of hope in an oppressive situation! Gabe goes through tremendous character growth, too, as he realizes that this quest to save Sophie isn't a lark, but rather a truly dangerous situation which will require strength and sacrifice if either of them are to survive.

This story includes lots of classic "Snow White" references, including the huntsman ordered to kill Sophie, the seven unusual men who offer shelter to our main characters when they desperately need it, and a poisoned apple which threatens every hope of a happy ending. Even though Gabe and Sophie are mindful of the fact that she is betrothed to Valten, a bond quickly forms between them as they work together to secure the future which Duchess Ermengard has tried to steal from her.

My favorite part of this novel was seeing Sophie's faith carry her through. When she realizes that the Duchess is actually her stepmother and all that has been taken away from her through evil intentions, she doesn't let despair or hate take over her heart. With the encouragement of others, she is able to actively choose to let God do His healing work in her. It's not an instantaneously healing, but rather a choice each time she is hurting to embrace God rather than anger. Watching her, Gabe also realizes that he can accept God's healing in various ways in his life, too. These kinds of lessons are ones I love seeing because they meet us right where we are. God wants to work in our lives so that our struggles and sorrows bring us closer to Him, but we can easily get in the way and shut Him out. Purposefully being open to His love, mercy, and grace is something we can all choose, giving Him a chance to do a transforming work in us.
Merchant's Daughter

Young Annabel Chapman's family owes a debt to the lord of their demesne, and they believe corrupt Bailiff Tom will help them pay it in exchange for Annabel's hand in marriage. Annabel, however, desires to become a nun and live her life studying the Bible, so she takes matters into her own hands and agrees to three years of indentured service to Lord le Wyse in order to pay her family's debt and also escape the unwanted advances of the bailiff. She hopes that after her time of service she will be able to take her vows and enter a convent.

Having just moved to the remote hamlet of Glynval in order to build a new manor house, Ranulf le Wyse is on a quest to hide from the world and recover from his past. He once saved a servant from a wolf's attack, and for his trouble he lost one of his eyes and use of his arm. Other life traumas have left him abrupt and easily angered, and the combination of physical and emotional scars give him a beastly bearing. He wants privacy and peace, but that is threatened when Bailiff Tom meets with a mysterious injury. His servant Annabel, whose reading of the Bible has often soothed his evenings, is one of the main suspects and he is sure she knows more than she is saying.

It was very easy to get caught up in this story! There was an element of danger which kept me turning the pages. I didn't find Annabel to be the most compelling character, as she seemed to have few faults besides a penchant for tears, and she fit one of my literary pet peeves in that nearly every man who met her wanted to marry her. But the story itself definitely fit with its "Beauty and the Beast" origins and was enjoyable overall. If you enjoy fairy tale retellings, be sure to check out this and other works by Melanie Dickerson!
Healer's Apprentice

Welcome to fourtheenth century Germany, where a girl named Rose has captured the hearts of two brothers. As an apprentice to the local healer, Rose lives inside the castle walls and is receiving an education far beyond what most women are given at that time. She was chosen to be placed under Frau Geruscha's tutelage and wants to learn the healing arts, even if it's not something she is naturally drawn towards.

Lord Hamlin and Lord Rupert, sons of the duke of Hagenheim, come home after being away for some years and both fall in love with Rose. As the eldest, Lord Hamlin has been betrothed to the daughter of a neighboring ruler since he was very young. Lord Rupert will inherit very little and would be prudent to find a wife with a rich dowry. As Rose become friends with both young men, she is aware that anything more than friendship is not likely, even as Rupert begins making strides towards a courtship.

Having never met his betrothed, Lord Hamlin works hard to curb his attraction to Rose and stay faithful to the unknown Lady Salomea, whom he will finally meet in a few months. Lady Salomea has been in hiding many years, as her life has been threatened by the evil Moncore. Deciding to try to catch Moncore so his betrothed will be safe at last, Lord Hamlin encourages Rose to marry Rupert and leaves on his quest.

But when Lord Rupert's motives become suspect and a strange man begins shadowing Rose, it soon becomes clear that all is not as it seems. Loosely based on "Sleeping Beauty," this tale brings us mystery, danger, hope, and a reminder that though God's plans often take us by surprise, they are always exactly right. How good to remember our trustworthy God during the sometimes dark and uncertain days we all go through!

I'm so glad I have been able to read a couple of Melanie Dickerson's fairy tale retellings, and I can't wait to read more. Stay tuned for future reviews.
Princess Spy

I have heard high praise for Melanie Dickerson's fairy tale retellings, and I was so excited when I had the chance to read one of them! Set in the fifteenth century, this reimagining of The Frog Prince was hard to put down once I got into the story. I'll definitely be going back and reading this author's previous books!

The hero in the story is a young Englishman named Colin, who ventured into Germany to find the man who murdered his sister's friend. Discovered and beaten by knights of the villain, Colin is left for dead on the side of the road. Although he is found and taken to the healer at Hagenheim Castle, he is so injured and at a disadvantage because of the language barrier that at first everyone thinks he has lost his mind.

Lady Margaretha, the oldest daughter of the duke of Hagenheim, is fascinated by the wounded man in the healer's chamber. Because she studied English under her tutor, she is able to communicate with Colin as he regains consciousness and strength. Margaretha is a very talkative and somewhat spoiled girl whose most serious concern in life has been contemplating which of her suitors to accept in marriage, but she is also kind and determined.

When Colin finds out that the murderer he is chasing is actually a guest at Hagenheim Castle, he asks Margaretha to put her own safety on the line and spy on Lord Claybrook. What she uncovers sends her and Colin on a quest to outwit and outmaneuver the evil lord before he is able to accomplish his scheme. As the pair rely on God and each other throughout the adventure, we get to see each of them growing in character, refining their strengths, and overcoming their weaknesses.

I enjoyed this book very much. Although it's of the young adult genre, it's one that will delight all ages, especially those who still enjoy fairy tales. This book releases today, so look for it at online retailers or Christian bookstores near you.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own.



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