Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Book: The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

The Healer's Apprentice

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson (edition also for Kindle) was released in September and I thought I had already posted about it here, but apparently I haven't. This one is published by Christian publisher Zondervan. This is another Sleeping Beauty retelling, this one historical and set in Germany. I'm not sure why there has been a sudden surge in Sleeping Beauty retellings, see also When Rose Awakes, The Wide-Awake Princess and The Sleeping Beauty from this year.  I can't usually predict these trends unless there is a big movie release. Other than Regina Doman, there aren't many Christian novel retellings of fairy tales to my knowledge, so if this is your area of interest, this may suit.  In my experience, many of these novels aren't proselytizing as much as providing PG or G rated content since so much mainstream YA would now be rated PG-13 and above if there was a rating system. However, I haven't read this book, so I can't speak for it either way.

Description from publisher:

Two Hearts. One Hope. Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her---a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill. When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as 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.

Kirkus Reviews also posted a favorable review:

In this debut romance set in Hagenheim, Lower Saxony, in 1382 and loosely based on 'Sleeping Beauty,' a lowly woodcutter's daughter apprenticed to the town healer falls in love with a handsome nobleman who's betrothed to a mysterious woman. Although she's grateful to the healer for teaching her to read and write and freeing her from the need to marry, 17-year-old Rose quickly loses her heart when she meets Wilhelm, Lord Hamlin. Wilhelm's equally smitten, but he's promised to a woman he's never met and can't wed until he captures the evil conjurer whose threats forced her parents to hide her 17 years ago. When Wilhelm's carousing younger brother insistently woos Rose, she feels flattered but conflicted. Should she forget both brothers and remain single, or could there be a fairy-tale finale? The medieval German setting and fastidious details of period clothing, food, music and dance provide an ideal context for this courtly romance between two young lovers who choose duty, virtue and honor above self-interest. Female readers should savor this romantic fare.

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