Synopsis from Goodreads: In author Melanie Dickenson’s new book, a young healer’s apprentice named Rose believes she will never marry … until she meets Lord Hamlin, the future ruler of her village. Hamlin is everything she could ever want—kind, understanding, and a man of faith—but her low station and the fact he’s already betrothed to a mysterious woman makes their romance impossible. As Lord Hamlin seeks to find the sorcerer who cursed his future bride, Rose’s life spins toward confusion. A creative retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale.
Feelings: This is the first book in Dickerson’s Hagenheim Family series. Right now, there are 6 books. I purchased this for my Kindle when there was a deal for 5 books in this series for 99 cents. That particular deal is no longer available, but the link to view the set is HERE.
I read this book really quickly. Dickerson’s writing flows really well and the plot is fairy simple. This is the second of her books that I’ve read. The first was The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest. THIS book, however, was almost too simple. I had the ending figured out pretty early on. You can tell that Dickerson does her research on the time period and her books are true to history as much as possible.
Issues: Besides the obvious “twist”, I wish the main couple hadn’t met within the first few pages. I didn’t really get a chance to know these characters before they were all googly eyed about each other. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if it hadn’t all pointed to one ending from page 1.
Some things fell into place too easily. One minute we’ve got a man sentenced to death, no questions asked…the next we remember a convenient ordinance that gets him off. What a relief! Not. We kept reading “It can’t happen” and “The Duke won’t change his mind”…then it’s all suddenly ok.
I really didn’t care anything for Moncore’s few POV paragraphs. I didn’t really think it added anything to the story, other than revealing that he was hearing voices. I almost wanted to skim over these sections because they were thrown in over the last few chapters.
Characters: Rose was an ok character. She wasn’t the strongest female character I’ve ever read about, but she had some gumption.Wilhelm is very passionate and strong, making for a good male lead character. A lot of YA and historical fiction romance books are hyped up sexy sexy. This book is nowhere near that category. It’s very chaste and clean. I was almost wishing for a little heat, but I was ok with how it all played out in the end.
I wasn’t sure where the whole Lord Rupert thing was going for a while. He seemed like a major creep and Rose was just going along with it, willing to settle and cross her fingers that she’d fall in love with him eventually. That bothered me. I wanted her to hope for actual love and not just marry a guy because he “loved” and wanted to control her.
Final thoughts: This is Christian historical fiction, even though it doesn’t seem to be overly advertised as such. Like Dickerson’s other books, she refers to scripture and there’s a lot of prayer. I just figure that’s worth mentioning! Also, this book is labelled as a fairy tale retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but this only shows up in the last few chapters, really.
Pick this up if you liked:
The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson
An Honest Heart by Kaye Dacus
Goodreads rating: 3.82/5
Amazon.com rating: 4.2/5
My rating: 3/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn