The Fairest Beauty
This is an excellent Christian teen book! I gave this book 5/5 stars. I enjoyed the story especially since you do not see many Christian books written with settings like this one or even in the time period as this one. I thought the authorsÃ¢ÂÂ descriptions and conversations were incredible and they really helped this book be more enjoyable. I even liked the characters as they showed real human characteristics and emotions. I would recommend this book to any Christian teenager to read, they will really enjoy it!
I would like to thank the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.
April 11, 2013
A Clean Teen Read!
Award-winning Melanie Dickerson pens her third young adult novel loosely based on the story of Snow White.
In The Fairest Beauty, Duchess Ermengard fakes the death of her stepdaughter Sophie, driving her husband, Duke Baldewin, to disappear in despair. For over fifteen years, she convinces everyone the scullery maid Sophie she torments, is only an orphan girl. Even Sophie is unaware of her true identity. A former nurse, the only one left with knowledge of the deception, fakes her own death and travels to SophieÃ¢ÂÂs betrothed. But Valten is laid up with a broken leg and unable to come. His impulsive younger brother, Gabe, decides to rescue Sophie on his own.
He tells Sophie of her true identity, and convinces Sophie to escape with him because her life is in danger. When Gabe is severely injured by pursuing guards, they take refuge in the Cottage of the Seven. While he recuperates, Sophie and Gabe discover they are falling in love, but they are both betrothed to others. News reaches Gabe that SophieÃ¢ÂÂs father is not dead but alive, and he leaves to find out the truth. While he is away, the Duchess, in the guise of an old woman, visits Sophie in the Cottage of Seven with the intent of killing her.
Like her earlier books, the faith element is clearly evident. Sophie prays for her stepmother instead of hating her. Both Gabe and Sophie struggle with past hurts needing GodÃ¢ÂÂs healing. They also struggle to seek GodÃ¢ÂÂs will and act honorably with others.
Dickerson is a masterful storyteller with a carefully crafted plot, richly drawn characters, and detailed medieval setting. The reader is pulled into the story, forgetting it is based on a familiar tale. All of her books are a delightful retelling, but this one is her best so far!
Disclaimer: Book reviews are my opinion of books I either purchased or received free of cost from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
April 10, 2013
The Fairest Beauty is a True Delight!
The Fairest Beauty
By Melanie Dickerson
Hidden away by lies, deceptions and a jealous step-mother, Sophie lives as a scullery maid in the very castle she should be mistress of. Presumed dead since she was 2 years of age the truth of who Sophie is has been hidden away from everyone. But two servants within the castle's walls know the truth!
Pinnosa is traveling to Hagenheim Castle and Duke Wilhelm hoping that she can live long enough to save Sophie from the death that Duchess Ermengard is planning for her. With her last breath she is able to tell Duke Wilhelm and his youngest son Gabe about Sophie and her danger.
Years ago Sophie was betrothed to Valten, Duke Wilhelm's oldest son. But Valten is unable to rescue the young woman who is to become his bride as he has broken his leg and unable to even walk at present.
Gabe, is headstrong and unwilling to wait until Valten is healed, as he has a feeling that makes him determined to discover the truth about Sophie and rescue her.
Duchess Ermengard enraged that Sophie has taken food to Roslind in the dungeon and has saved 5 puppies that she had ordered drowned has the young scullery maid thrown into the dungeon. While Sophie sits in the dungeon, her step-mother orders her huntsman Lorencz to befriend and then kill Sophie when she is released.
When Gabe discovers the young woman who is Sophie he is further drawn to her and wants to protect her. When Gabe makes a mistake Ermangard is enraged and his life as well as Sophie's are in even greater danger. As Gabe makes his escape to rescue Sophie, the words of kindly Petra ring in his ear, Ask for Dominyk the Wise and to take refuge at the Cottage of the Seven.
When Gabe locates Sophie they head north towards Hagenheim Castle. But less than a day into their seven day journey they are being pursued by Ermangard's archers. Though he is determined to bring Sophie home to his brother, Gabe's heart betrays him when Sophie begins to touch his heart in ways he never though she could. But does Sophie feel the same or is she pleased with her betrothal to his brother? And if she does have feelings for him, how can they break two betrothals and not incur the king's wrath?
When an arrow finds a mark can the two of them make their way to the safety promised at the Cottage of the Seven? Or will Ermengard destroy them both before the truth of who Sophie is be made known?
The Fairest Beauty is a thoroughly delightful retelling of Snow White that is Biblical based. Melanie Dickerson has created another beautiful story that you want to read again and again!
I was provided a digital loan of this title by the publisher for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
April 8, 2013
A sweet and daring romance for young adults.
I was so excited to read this bookÃ¢ÂÂthe cover is just gorgeous and that was the sole reason I was compelled to read this book. Well, I wonÃ¢ÂÂt lie; I am a huge fan of fantasy, fairy tales and the show Once Upon a Time. So, when I saw this cover I had to have this book and luckily my dad got it for me for my birthday. I enjoyed the book well enough though I do wish there had been less realistic situations and more fantasy. Really, despite this being a retelling of a fairy tale there wasnÃ¢ÂÂt a fairytale element to it at all and I really missed that. A fairy tale just needs a good dose of magic in my opinion and that was seriously missing in this story. Otherwise it was pretty good!
About the Story:
Sophie has been raised as a lowly scullery maid for an overbearing and evil duchess. She wishes for nothing but to please the Lord and to live her life serving others and being a blessing. Now, I really thought this was an unusual element to this story. I knew going into it that it was Christian fiction but IÃ¢ÂÂm used to Christian fantasy using allegory rather than actually saying Ã¢ÂÂJesus ChristÃ¢ÂÂ or quoting the scripture. IÃ¢ÂÂm not sure why but this element just didnÃ¢ÂÂt seem to flow with the theme. Perhaps thatÃ¢ÂÂs just because I have a preconceived notion of how a fairytale typically readsÃ¢ÂÂ¦
Anyway, Gabe is nobility from a neighboring kingdom and he learns of SophieÃ¢ÂÂs plight and of her true origin as the daughter of the late Duke and though she was betrothed to his older brother in her infancyÃ¢ÂÂGabe is determined to rescue her and steal the glory that would belong to his brother.
However, it was never GabeÃ¢ÂÂs intention to fall helplessly in love with Sophie and when they find themselves in the Cottage of the Seven while Gabe recovers from an injuryÃ¢ÂÂSophie finds she can no longer deny her attraction to the handsome Gabe. This provides quite a problem as Gabe is already engaged to another and of course there is the problem of the legally binding betrothal of Sophie to his brother.
As always the story wraps up with a fairytale ending but I thought this one was almost a little too clean of a wrap up. I canÃ¢ÂÂt quite put a finger on what I would change as I really did enjoy the story but there were little things I felt made the story disjointed or perhaps out of place? As a Christian I really do enjoy a book that pulls in a Christian element but it just didnÃ¢ÂÂt seem to fit in well in this story. Otherwise, it was a really good read and I do think IÃ¢ÂÂll pick up a few more of her books to check them out.
April 4, 2013