Saturday, January 14, 2012

Book Review: The Healer's Apprentice

The Healer's Apprentice. Melanie Dickerson. 2010. Zondervan. 272 pages.

The townspeople of Hagenheim craned their necks as they peered down the cobblestone street, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Duke of Hagenheim's two handsome sons. The top-heavy, half-timbered houses hovered above the crowd as if they too were eager to get a peek at Lord Hamlin and Lord Rupert.

Melanie Dickerson may just be a new favorite of mine. In December, I reviewed The Merchant's Daughter, a fairy tale retelling of Beauty and The Beast set in the fourteenth century. Now I've had the chance to read her first novel, The Healer's Apprentice, a fairy tale retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Are either books true retellings? Well. The 'beast' is just a scarred man, and Rose, the heroine of The Healer's Apprentice never falls into an enchanted sleep. But. I think both books capture the spirit of the original fairy tales.

In The Healer's Apprentice, readers meet a young woman named Rose. She does not want to be forced into a marriage of her mother's choosing, so she is very thankful that the village's healer has chosen her to be her apprentice. She'll be living with the healer, living within the castle. It's an exciting time in her life, and it only seems to be getting better. Rose even captures the attention of both the older son, Lord Hamlin (Wilhelm is his first name) and the younger son, Lord Rupert, who's 'destined' for the church since his older brother will inherit everything when their father dies. At first, she's confused by the attention. Why would any of the nobility pay attention to her?! She's just a woodcutter's daughter. She may be beautiful, but she could never hope to marry someone that above her station, her class.

The Healer's Apprentice is narrated by Rose and Wilhelm. Wilhelm is a good man, a kind man. And he wants to do the right thing, he wants to do his duty. He's been betrothed practically forever to a young woman he's never met. He doesn't even know where she is--just that her life is in danger from someone. He's supposed to be seeking out the threat and protecting her. And that is his plan, his intention, but he keeps noticing how wonderful Rose is. He's so drawn to her. He knows it's wrong to fall in love with anyone but his betrothed, he knows it's not fair to anyone. But. He just can't help feeling what he feels....

I liked this one. I really, really, really liked this one. I think I loved The Merchant's Daughter a little bit more. But I would still recommend this one!!!

Read The Healer's Apprentice

  • If you like fairy tale retellings
  • If you like historical novels set in the fourteenth century
  • If you like clean romance
  • If you like inspirational/Christian romances
  • If you are looking for a great Christian YA novel

and here is the trailer for The Merchant's Daughter:

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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