I love fairytales. Magic, young women, knights in shining armor, dragons, you name it, I love it all. So when I heard about Melanie Dickerson’s books about fairytales set during the medieval time period, I had to read them. Her first book came out about a year ago, The Healer’s Apprentice (a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story). I loved the book and wrote up a review about it (click here to read my review).
About a month ago, I received Melanie’s next book, The Merchant’s Daughter. This time she wrote about the Beauty and the Beast story set during early England. I love how she incorporates real history into her stories as if to show how these stories could have happened.
The Merchant’s Daughter follows Annabel, the youngest daughter of a merchant. Her family is too proud to do their share of feudal field work. Instead, they choose to pay for their portion. But when the family ships sink during a storm and the father dies, they owe a lot of gold to the new feudal lord, a badly disfigured young man.
Annabel is different from the rest of her family (kind, humble, the usual fairytale girl), so to help her family with this debt, she indentures herself to the young feudal lord to serve as his servant for 2 years.
You can see the Beauty and the Beast story woven throughout The Merchant’s Daughter. But Melanie’s special twist is to tell it as if it were historically accurate. There are no magical cups and candelabras, no singing, no enchanted rose. Instead, it’s the story of a young man with a bitter past and a scarred face who falls in love with a selfless young woman.
I highly recommend The Merchant’s Daughter and can’t wait to see what fairytale retellings Melanie Dickerson comes up with next :).
*I received an ARC copy of this book to review.