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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Publication Date: 2010
Series: Fairy Tale Romance
In author Melanie Dickensons new book, a young healers 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 wantkind, understanding, and a man of faithbut her low station and the fact hes already betrothed to a mysterious woman makes their romance impossible. As Lord Hamlin seeks to find the sorcerer who cursed his future bride, Roses life spins toward confusion. A creative retelling of the classic Sleeping Beauty tale.
Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author and two-time Christy Award finalist. Her first book The Healers Apprentice won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book in 2010, and The Merchants Daughter won the 2012 Carol Award. Melanie spends her time writing stories at her home near Huntsville, Alabama, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.
The Healers Apprentice flows very naturally, appreciating the sensitive moments of dialogue and description of scenery, yet keeping an intense pace that never leaves the reader wanting to skip pages hoping to find the action again. Especially dynamic is the contrast between Lord Hamlin and Rupert in their relationships with Rose. Whereas Ruperts pursuit of Rose is melodramatic and ultimately shallow, the interaction between Rose and Lord Hamlin is reserved yet deep. Every secretly intense moment that Rose and Lord Hamlin share builds to Hamlin finally declaring his love to Rose, even when it would mean the loss of his own title and respect.
Rose sees that honor and respect make up who Lord Hamlin is, but that he also loves her. Unfortunately, he cant have both, but Rose knows that once he chooses, he will regret not having the other. Because Rose cant bear the thought of being regretted by Lord Hamlin, she pushes him away and submits to Gods will, knowing that if it is in the Lords plan, He can make a way so that Lord Hamlin can have Rose and still fulfill his responsibilities.
Meanwhile, Lord Hamlin is also dealing with his own sense of inadequacy as his betrothed is being threatened by the evil sorcerer, Moncore. Lord Hamlin has tried to find Moncore and bring him to justice so that his betrothed will be safe and come out of hiding. However, he suffers from a sense of failure as he feels that by failing in capturing Moncore, he is failing at his duty to his people, and no crown or title can save him from the weakness he feels inside. Both Lord Hamlin and Rose deal with their own personal senses of failure and inadequacy. Ironically, both seem to think that they cannot be desirable to others because of their flaws, when, in reality, both are greatly loved and respected by their friends and peers. It is in Christs love for them and in their love for each other that they are able to look past the blemishes and into the heart of the person. 1 John 4:7 supports this as it states, Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God (ESV).
Touching what is at the heart of many young women, Dickerson has certainly woven a fine novel geared toward middle school to high school aged girls. Whereas some of the plot can take on an air of predictability, overall the characters are dynamic and relational with their triumphs and failures reaching into struggles and feelings many deal with today. Besides, who can resist a tale of secret princesses, ball gowns, and rescue from an evil magician? Get ready for a fantastic treat that will have you reaching for the chocolates and a tissue as you enter the medieval world of The Healers Apprentice. Lyndsey Gammage, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Rebecca ManeyGastonia, North CarolinaAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5A Lovely Tale of Chivalry and Romance!June 1, 2015Rebecca ManeyGastonia, North CarolinaAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Chivalry is alive and well in fourteenth century Hagenheim, especially for the lovely woodcutter's daughter Rose Roemer; serving dutifully as the town healer's apprentice, a wonderful opportunity to earn a salary and live safely within the castle grounds. The return of the Duke's two sons, Lord Hamlin and Lord Rupert, from two years of study at the university brings the entire town to the streets in order to welcome the handsome young lords back to Hagenheim Castle. Soon after his arrival, Lord Hamlin actually becomes Rose's patient when a painful encounter with a wild boar brings him to the healer's door. The young lady's gentle nature and unassuming spirit mesmerizes Lord Hamlin, even though he is soon to be married to an anonymous betrothed; promised to him at birth, but separated by the threats of an evil conjurer, Moncore whom Hamlin earnestly seeks to destroy.
Lord Hamlin's brother, Rupert has no intentions of distancing himself from Rose and blatantly seeks her undivided attention. Thankfully, the wily healer Frau Gerushcha counsels Rose to act wisely when it comes to Lord Rupert; hinting that there is a greater plan for the young maiden's life. Besides, it seems that the courageous Lord Hamlin is the brother who causes Rose's heart to stampede; that is, until he reluctantly encourages her to succumb to his brother's intentions. After dismal disappointments and failed attempts, life's circumstances bring these two faithful souls to their knees, where they ultimately discover that "with God all things are possible".
A lovely story that will engage the attention of all readers of any and every age!
Jennifer STexasAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5So good, I stayed up all night reading!February 15, 2015Jennifer STexasAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I was excited when I got a chance to read this book because I've read Melanie Dickerson's "The Merchant's Daughter," and I loved it. This book did not disappoint. I started reading it at bedtime, expecting to read a quarter or so of it before going to sleep. Later, around 4 AM, I put the book down with a happy sigh. I only got 3 hours of sleep, but it was worth it: SUCH a great book! This book is categorized as YA, but any adult who enjoys Christian historical romances will love it. I bought all of Melanie Dickerson's remaining novels for e-reader (that I know about), and I can't wait to read them. :)
English LadyUK,Age: 25-34Gender: Female3 Stars Out Of 5Think I'm really going off this kind of Romance.....September 10, 2014English LadyUK,Age: 25-34Gender: FemaleQuality: 3Meets Expectations: 3My third read by Melanie Dickerson (although the first book she wrote) did provide some interesting background, as two of the successive books have as leading characters the children of the protagonists. I confess to being perhaps a little obsessed with the subject of surgery and the medical profession in the middle Ages, so Im a big fan of Cadfael and have a liking for the mystery series The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton for its details about surgical practice and medical procedures if nothing else.
In this sense, The Healers Apprentice was satisfying, and in some ways a break from the norm, because the female healer was not accused of witchcraft or heresy as is the common misconception and trope in many fictional stories.
On the simplest level this was a good story, which, aside from the inclusion of the evil magician, stripped away a lot of the fantasy content to create a more historical backdrop for the story of Sleeping Beauty. That may not be according to everyones taste, and sometimes the resemblance to the fairy-tale was rather remote, but generally in this story the shifting of the setting to fourteenth century Germany seemed to work.
The element of Romance is arguably, essential to any good fairy-tale, or fairy-tale adaptation, yet I personally have to say I am rather going off romance stories at the moment, especially those of the fluffy, mushy and clichd kind.
This novel did seem to be an offender with its gorgeous heroine and wonderfully handsome, dashing- and of course muscular hero. In other ways Rose and Wilhelm were strong and interesting characters, but in this way far too typical of the genre.
Perhaps inevitably for the genre, some parts were cliched and some incidents hopelessly convenient or a tad predictable.
Also, their actions were at times frustratingly inconsistent with Rose being madly infatuated with Wilhelms brother one minute, then turning round and considering him the most evil person who ever walked the earth the next. Admittedly, she had a reason, was of that invariably capricious breed of people called a teenager.
Her attitude towards her parents I found even harder to swallow. Like with her being convinced that her parents could not possibly have loved her because they sent her away as a child. Or might it not have been because they wanted to protect her from the evil magician intent on subjecting her to a lifetime of torture, the central basis of the plot, and all that?
Even Wilhelm ended up looking down on them as cowardly and selfish for such a thing. I mean seriously, after all they went through, I rather think they ought to have appreciated the reasons for Roses parents choice to let her go. But no, all they do is whinge and condemn, making their response seem contrived it itself, and them immature.
Did they learn nothing at all?
Also, a few historical issues perhaps warrant mention- like the suspiciously out of place presence of the American chipmunk in the forests of Medieval Europe, and some elements of what appeared to be modern clichs and judgements. Such as Rose determined to marry for love, rather than practicality, or looking down on those who saw women only as breeding machines, or her being more enlightened than the general populace who supposedly attributed almost every ill circumstance to demons.
Altogether The Healers Apprentice was a good and generally clean (aside from the odd kissing scene that verged on the inappropriate- or just tiresome) story for young-adults. Perhaps also in could provide a more wholesome alternative to the fairy tales that present an ambiguous picture of magic as something which can be used for good. I just prefer my medieval stories with a little more substance.
Jolene3 Stars Out Of 5Engaging, but Creepy...July 23, 2014JoleneQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 3Being a healer's apprentice affords Rose many benefits. She reads Latin, writes stories, knows how to use herbs to heal, and earns an income that allows her to avoid marriage to a bachelor of her mother's choosing. Rose's problem is that blood makes her squeamish. When she must treat Lord Hamlin, the future duke, it isn't just the blood that makes her unsettled. His handsome features and personal integrity draw Rose's interest, in spite of his high social status and well-known betrothal. Lord Hamlin is committed to fulfilling his duty. Rose is committed to becoming a capable healer. Despite their friendship and attraction, Rose and Lord Hamlin must each learn to walk their own path and follow the One whose plans are greater than their own. Read more in The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson.
The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson is based loosely on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. The story moved very fast in the beginning and right at the end, but for the majority of the time it was well-paced with intriguing characters and an engrossing story that felt original in spite of its fairy tale basis.
The Healer's Apprentice is marketed as Young Adult reading and had definite YA overtones that were mixed with Middle Age Catholicism. I was creeped out by the strange pagan rituals and demonic possession scene. Had I known those were in the book, I wouldn't have read it. Given its Sleepy Beauty basis, I suppose this shouldn't have been as surprising to me as it was. With an obvious Catholic/Christian perspective, the name of Jesus prevails over the demons. However, for me, that didn't negate the disturbing scenes. Had that part of the fairy tale been creatively changed somehow, I probably would have given this book a five star rating. The creepiness factor brings it down to three. The Healer's Apprentice is well-written and engaging, but I wouldn't read it again or recommend it to any of my friends.
JCMorrowsAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5I LOVE this book!July 2, 2014JCMorrowsAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I have to admit that I only read this book because my 10 year old son (who is now 11) told me that I had to read "The Captive Maiden".
Now you're wondering why_
Once upon a time, I signed up to win a copy of Melanie Dickerson's "The Captive Maiden" and I won. I was surprised because I don't usually win when I sign up for giveaways. I do it to show support for the author.
But apparently God meant for me to read this series!
I was not impressed when I started reading the book. The cruelty was almost too much for me and I stopped reading. Then my son picked up the book, looked at the cover and read the back. After that, he demanded that I read it. This was such a rare occurrence (usually he ignores the books I buy or teases me about it) that I knew I had to give it a try.
And again, it must have been God's leading.
These books are the absolute BEST versions I've ever seen of what are typically know of as "classic" fairy tales!
I've read reviews that complain about the strong themes in these books and I've read reviews that say they wish more from the original tales had been incorporated. And I am here to tell you that, in my opinion, they are wrong.
Melanie Dickerson deals with hard-core themes, yes. But she does it in a way that is honest and realistic while maintaining, what some may feel are ridiculously, high standards of modesty and decency - but I find refreshing in a world of bared bodies and brutish language. Our children need to be aware of these things and how to deal with them, especially since they are very much a part of the world we live in today. As much as I would like to shelter them from everything bad or wrong in the world, they have to know that evil exists and they have to know how to confront it!
I feel that Melanie Dickerson presents these harsh issues with grace and discretion.
And as for having more from the original tales, I think it is amazing how well Melanie weaves the pieces of the classic fairy tales through her own stories - using them to help tell the story and reveal the hidden truths slowly throughout.
"The Healer's Apprentice" is a masterpiece of reality blended flawlessly with fairy tale!
Melanie Dickerson's characters are simply astonishing - well written, colorful and embodying the very same values and flaws of the heroes and villains that inspired them. And, as much as I would love to say that she always paints the bad guys as bad - it would not be true to life if that were the case.
Evil is deceptive and tricky and it is not always easy to see it for what it really is.
The plot is so well-conceived, it is difficult to believe this is the first book she wrote after fifteen years of not writing. It flows beautifully and there is absolutely nothing I can think that would add to it.
And now I have three more books to look forward to - "The Merchant's Daughter" and "The Fairest Beauty" right now and "The Princess Spy" releases soon!
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