The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson
Publication Date: September 2010
Genre: Christian Fiction (YA)
(Received for review from Zondervan)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Christianbook.com, IndieBound
Author's Website: www.melaniedickerson.com
Author's Facebook: Click HERE!
Excerpt: Click HERE!
Synopsis (Author's Website):
When destiny sleeps, it can only be awakened by true love's kiss.
In this historical romance loosely based on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, a woodcutter's daughter the town healer's apprentice. Rose's job is to care for the sick and injured in Hagenheim Castle. But she gets sick at the sight of blood and is more suited to making up stories then sewing up wounds. She is determined to overcome her weakness and prove herself a confident healer, or she faces marrying a disgusting old merchant her mother has picked out for her.
Lord Hamlin, the future ruler of the region, is injured and Rose must overcome her squeamishness to save him. He is everything that is noble and good, but loving him is forbidden. He is already betrothed to a mysterious woman in hiding.
With two noble-born brothers vying for her affection, Rose learns that the people of Hagenheim are not always who they seem.
Melanie Dickerson does a wonderful job of bringing fourteenth century Germany to life in her debut novel, The Healer's Apprentice. The book is loosely based on the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty and creates a very medieval atmosphere. Both YA and adult readers will be whisked away with this enchanting historical romance.
Rose, the woodcutter's daughter, has been named the healer's apprentice. It is prestigious job and will grant Rose a position that will enable her to remain unmarried to any of the suitor's her mother keeps choosing for her. Disgusting older men who are more interested in a servant than a wife. Rose is hardly what one would consider a good apprentice. She swoons at the sight of blood and must continually work to overcome her weaknesses. But when the healer is called away, it's up to Rose to take care of Lord Hamlin, the future leader of the region. Rose and Lord Hamlin are both taken by surprise when they fall for each other and must choose between following their hearts or fulfilling their responsibilities.
Part historical romance, part fairy tale, The Healer's Apprentice will appeal to a wide range of readers, both young and old. It is a story as old as time. Forbidden love. But nothing is what it appears to be and Rose quickly finds out that life is mystery in and of itself. Rose is such a compelling character. Dickerson is able to make Rose very relatable to young girls today. Rose is not only intelligent but strong willed and courageous. The character development is well done with Lord Hamlin as well, who is honorable and loyal. Both characters seem to have good solid heads on their shoulders and they understand what is expected of them and what responsibilities are theirs.
Doing the right thing is never a bad choice and the writer easily conveys this. Issues of faith are dealt with in a very light handed manner and don't come across in a 'preachy' way. Readers will appreciate the faith of the characters and be drawn to how that faith sustains them during times of stress and trouble. The book is quick read with a very good pace. It will transport the reader to another place and time with it's attention to detail and it's richly described setting.
I would recommend this anyone who loves historical romance and/or Christian Fiction. Though it is considered YA, it is definitely a good adult read as well.
The Healer's Apprentice is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Melanie Dickerson is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Her novel has been a finalist seven times in RWA-sponsored contests, including winning the 2007 Fiction from the Heartland Contest over all categories. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.