Tag Archives: Melanie Dickerson

The Merchant’s Daughter

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.

Book Review: The Healer’s Apprentice

Yes, I judge a book by its cover. What can I say? I’m a visual person. A well done cover appeals to me. It says, “pick me up and read me.” When I first saw the cover for The Healer’s Apprentice, I was intrigued. When I read it was a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale (one of my favorite fairytales), I knew I had to read it.

The main character, Rose is the adopted daughter of a woodcutter who is apprenticed to the local healer to learn a trade. Of course, as the story goes, she catches the eye of Duke Hamlin who is engaged to a mysterious noble woman that no one has ever met. And… well, you guys know the story, right?

Here is what I liked about this particular retelling of Sleeping Beauty: Melanie Dickerson places it in a real place during a real time, namely medieval Germany. The architecture, the food, the customs are real. Also, there is no magic. No three good fairies, no Maleficent, no naps for everyone until loves true kiss shows up. It’s a “what if” Sleeping Beauty were a true story.

I enjoyed reading this kind of “what if” take on this fairytale. It is a well-written, sweet, innocent, clean read. For anyone who enjoys fairytales, or is just looking for a good read this summer, I highly recommend The Healer’s Apprentice.

 

For more about the author Melanie Dickerson, go to www.melaniedickerson.com