This might be a young adult book but any woman who loves a good fairytale, or historical romance will adore this book.
This is the first book I have read by Melanie but I am planning on reading more. If the others are as good as this I may have found another author I need to keep my eye out for.
If you know the story of Cinderella then you get the general idea for this book but it is different. Gisela and Valten meet before the ball and Valten is smitten by Gisela. Valten is a strong hero who will do what it takes to protect Gisela, he does this even before he knows her. Sigh.
You will see Gisela emerge from a scared young woman into a woman who blossoms under the love of a hero. Just as we do under the love of our Savior.
I had a feeling of anticipation the whole time I read this book. I couldn't wait to see how Melanie would handle the storyline and the love between the two main characters is heart-twisting.
This is a must-read for any historical romance lover and a great read for your teen who enjoys reading as well.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The absolute BEST Cinderella story I've ever read!
March 31, 2014
WOW! What a surprise!
I never saw this coming. In fact, I almost didn't read The Captive Maiden because I had downloaded a sample of it for Kindle_
The way Gisela's stepmother treats her is just so harsh - from the very first page (and this is where you first see the excellence of Melanie Dickerson's writing), I could never have expected just how exceptional the rest of the story would be.
But I am thrilled that I won a copy! Winning a copy compelled me to read it so that I could review it and support a fellow author.
And I am SO glad I did!
This is a wonderful story! Melanie Dickerson did a great job of molding a popular fairy tale into an inspirational story for teens that, I think, will appeal to adults as well.
It's also an answer to a prayer since I am hesitant about letting my daughter read more traditional fairy tales - which focus so much on magic. Now I can collect the previous 3 books Melanie has written and any more that are yet to come.
Melanie Dickerson has taken out the magic and weaved God into every part of this story. So instead of confusing teens, Melanie Dickerson offers hope and truth.
What a blessing!
Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book. THANK YOU Grace! I was not required to review the book but I have to share thoughts on such a wonderful book!
Melanie has fashioned yet another beautiful, fresh fairy tale story in her newest novel. However, this reader began with a skeptical attitude about the worthiness of Gisela's prince charming but not for long. Valten, who grudgingly stepped aside in the last story for true love, came to handsome, valiant, truly heroic life as he looked past Gisela's circumstances & straight into her oh-so-lovely heart. Yet, the possibility of a happily-ever-after seems doomed at every turn. Melanie's creative spin includes the essentials of any Cinderella story, an evil stepmother, spiteful stepsisters, a ball & beautiful gown, then adds a gold digger, an old enemy bent on revenge, as well as, a lovely peek into the kind of family Gisela's father would have wanted her to have all along. There are no lack of enemies out to destroy their chance of building a future together, & Gisela fears she'll end up spending her adult life dreaming of what might've been while she's imprisoned by a different but no less evil monster for the sake of sparing her beloved's life. Yet even if they overcome the impossible odds & both survive, the taunts reverberating through Gisela's head from those wretched, loveless years threaten to destroy them from the inside out. When coupled with Valten's less than poetic ability to communicate his feelings & stubborn unwillingness to depend on God, hope begins to slip away. Then they stumble upon an unlikely champion, but can he save them from the internal & external darkness before they're crushed? I read this enthralling tale in one day because I couldn't wait to find out what happened. An extra delight came through the reappearance of familiar characters & getting a closer glimpse of Valten's family, Margaretha in particular with her kind & generous spirit so like her mother's. Another bonus - you can fearlessly share Melanie's wholesome, God-honoring books with your teenage daughter while actually enjoying the stories yourself!
Cinderella for the YA reader, or even the adult reader. Melanie Dickerson has written a series of books based on the beloved childhood fairy tales many of us have grown up on and cherish. She wrote the Merchants Daughter (based on Beauty and the Beast), The Healers Apprentice (based on Sleeping Beauty) and The Fairest Beauty (based on Snow White and the 7 dwarfs). Now joining the series is The Captive Maiden (based on Cinderella), this book is sure to delight the fairy tale loving YA girl who feels she has outgrown those childhood tales.
The Captive Maiden takes place in the 1400's and while I'm not the typical historical times reader I have always enjoyed Melanie Dickerson's fairy tale series. The re-telling's are great and while they are loosely based on that specific fairy tale they are also a story all of their own. Gisela
This is a book I know my fairy tale princess loving girl will be wanting to read this when she is a teen. Really this whole series is a great one to have in your bookcase. Buy the whole series and gift to a YA teen girl and they are sure to fall in love all over again with fairy tales. Some say you're never too old for fairy tales and maybe they are right! :)
"The Captive Maiden" is a young adult retelling of Cinderella. It's based in "Spring, 1412, Hagenheim Region" to give it a historical feel, but it still reads like a fantasy. Every time Gisela needed a fancy dress or perfect-fitting dancing shoes, someone had some lying about that fit Gisela like it was made for her. During the jousting, charging knights repeatedly used pointed lances to hit the other's helmet...yet they walked away without a scratch. No broken necks, no poked-out eyes, no deaths. Gisela routinely rides spirited horses, yet when she considers throwing herself off a horse in an attempt to escape, she's convinced she'll die when she hits the ground. So it's not really realistic.
The story was primarily a romance. Valten was heroic and manly. Grisela was determined but nice. But the repeated capture and escape scenes just didn't work for me. The bad guys think it's torture to frequently let the two love birds snuggle together and plot their escape. Once, when they should be escaping from Valten's imminent death, Grisela is more focused on kissing Valten than escaping. It's all wonderfully "romantic" stuff, but it's not really what I care for.
There was an ongoing theme of needing to trust God rather than trusting in their own strength to escape the bad situation. There was no sex and no bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this book to teenagers who like romances where the hero is willing to die to save his love-at-first-sight beloved.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher through Booksneeze.com.