10 Apr 2015

Fairy Tale Romance Collection- Melanie Dickerson

Zondervan, April 7th 2015 
Kindle and Epub
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.

The collection of all of Melanie Dickerson's fairy tale Romances (published by Zondervan) in one volume is useful and welcome. They could be ranked a something of a family saga, as four feature members of the same family in the retellings of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, and The Frog Prince, and the last draws together the family from the second book, a Beauty and the Beast retelling.
I have reviewed each of the novels individually elsewhere on this blog, so will not do so again here. Aimed a a Young Adult audience, the stories are sometimes rather cliched and predictable, with the odd eye roll inducing moment, occasionally the romance is overly mushy, the characters not always consistent in thier behaviour, and sometimes the villains are one dimensional. There is the occasional historical inaccuracy (sometimes more than occasionally), and some scenes and situations can be cheesy and implausible....

So, yes, the books are not perfect- but- they are I would argue, a good deal more wholesome than some of the fairytale adaptations to be seen on television and the big screen.
Melanie Dickerson's stories tend to strip the stories of the magical content, and place them in a realistic historical setting (except for the evil magician in the first story, and the evil Stepmother in the third), which is an almost undoubted benefit, given the ambigious depiction of magic in much of the mainstream media with 'good' witches/wizards and fairy-godmothers, and characters relying on them.

Those seeking timeless tales of Romance and Adventure which are edifying, generally have a more sound moral compass and meaningful Christian messages for the younger generation would do well to choose these. I for one would like to pass them on to my niece when she is a little older, as an alternative to Harry Potter and many other modern day fairy stories.....

I recieved a free copy of this book from the Published via Booklookbloggers for review. I was not required required to write a positive one and all opinions expressed are my own.
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About the Authors

Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

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