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Number of Pages: 272
Publication Date: 2010
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Series: Fairy Tale Romance
Two Hearts. One Hope. Rose has been appointed as a healers apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutters daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for hera bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill. When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions shes never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Roses life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.
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
Gr 7-10Set in 1386, this historical romance has a fairy-tale structure and a Christian emphasis. Rose serves as the apprentice to Frau Geruscha, the court healer. She is not very good at her chosen profession, yet she sees this as her only hope to escape the prospect of an arranged marriage. Enter Lord Hamlin, to whom Rose must minister after he is injured. She falls hard for him, and he for her, but neither can admit their feelings due to her social status and his betrothal to Lady Salomea. Rose soon catches the eye of the philandering Lord Rupert, Lord Hamlins brother, and a romance ensues. But alas, Rupert breaks her heart with a proposal she is unwilling to accept, which makes her realize that she never loved him in the first place. Lurking in the shadows is the evil Moncore, who has driven Lady Salomea into hiding because he threatened her life. The identity of Lord Hamlins betrothed is transparent from the start, so anticipation is built around how the two lovers will get to the happily ever after. Rose is beautifully boring, and not very well developed, but is believable as the young maiden longing for a prince to rescue her. She and Hamlin rely on their faith to make their dreams come true. Fans of fairy tales will enjoy this story.Wendy Scalfaro, G. Ray Bodley High School, Fulton, NY
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Located in: Huntsville, Alabama
Submitted: July 15, 2010
Tell us a little about yourself. I grew up in a rural area of "Lower Alabama" about 30 miles from Harper Lee. We shared a last name and a burning desire to write a book! After writing my first two novels while still in high school, I took a long hiatus from writing and earned my bachelors degree in special education from the University of Alabama. God gave my dream of writing novels back to me after I got married and had two children, and I'm thankful he did.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I feel about this book the same way Velvet feels about the Pi in the classic movie National Velvet. I want it to win the Grand National, so to speak, to inspire others and bless people's lives. If it is able to do that, then the glory belongs to God, since this whole story was so much like a gift. The whole thing seemed to just fall into place gradually, as I went along. Like manna from heaven!
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Writing for me is kind of like prayer; it's very healing and therapeutic. The Healer's Apprentice helped me strengthen my belief that God really does have a beautiful plan for each person, and sometimes I just need to trust him to work out the details. I need to trust that God loves me and can make good things come from even the bad things in my life, which is what happens with Rose. She had to let go of her own will and let God work out his perfect plan. God sees and knows everything, things we can't begin to know about. He knows how it's all going to work out, and he wants us to believe that and trust him.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? A writer is inspired and influenced by so many things, even in the course of writing just one story. I was inspired by the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, particularly the more modern versions of the story. I was also inspired by my love of all things medieval and the German town of Hildesheim, where I spent my summer in 1992. The town dates back from the 1100's and the architecture is just breathtaking. If you see a picture of the Marktplatz, or town square, of Hildesheim, you'll be looking at my fictional town of Hagenheim.