Monday, October 27, 2014

The Princess Spy Book Review

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson is the 5th book in Melanie's Fairy Tale re-telling series, this is her Frog Prince re-telling, I have previously reviewed all of her fairy tale re-tellings of Snow White(The Fairest Beauty), Cinderella (The Captive Maiden), Sleeping Beauty (The Healer's Apprentice), and Beauty and the Beast (The Merchant's Daughter).

This is my review from Goodreads : 

I was given an Advance Reading Copy of this book, but that didn't affect how much I loved it! This is about Margaretha (Duke Wilhelm's, the hero from The Healer's Apprentice, eldest daughter). Margaretha has a new suitor visiting, Lord Claybrook. At the same time, an injured foreigner arrives at the castle. Margaretha is one of the few people who speaks the foreigner's language. The stranger tells her that Lord Claybrook is evil. She has to decide whether to trust him, or not. The stranger implores her to spy on Lord Claybrook. What she discovers while spying is shocking! Dunt, Dunt, Dun!

You may have heard that this is a Frog Prince re-telling. I won't ruin the surprise of how Melanie Dickerson makes this happen, because it is so cool. I will only conform that how she makes the Frog Prince is amazing. 

This book connects all of Melanie Dickerson's fairy tale re-tellings. If you were wondering how The Merchant's Daughter fits in with the rest of the books, you will wonder no longer after reading The Princess Spy. I won't ruin that surprise for you either, but I LOVE how she wove them together.

Reading this book will keep you on the edge of your seat, or bed, or where ever you are reading. You will want to live in the 1400's. You may forget about modern conveniences, and you won't even care. WARNING: You may experience a "book hangover", or "book mourning period", after reading this book. Yes, The Princess Spy is that good.

Not from my Goodreads review:

I have read the original Frog Price Fairy Tale and really liked it. I didn't know how Melanie Dickerson would incorporate those elements into The Princess Spy, but she does it very well.   I really loved reading from Margaretha's point of view, because I already liked her character from other books in the series.

This book will be published on the 4th of November.  Some time after that, I will be posting a Spoiler Review.  I feel like this is the most adventurous of the the Fairy Tale series.  I had a lot of fun reading The Princess Spy.  I think this is my favorite of Melanie Dickerson's Fairy Tale books, but I have a previous commitment of The Merchant's Daughter being my favorite.  And I have loyalty issues about changing my favorite.  

Fun things about this book:

I stayed up until almost 6:00AM finishing the book.  I just couldn't put it down!

This historically accurate book is set in April 1413. 

My copy is signed by the author.

My parents had this book on pre-order for me before I knew I was recieving it as an ARC (for my birthday, which is just after the release date).

Recommended for:

This is a book for all ages, no worries about elements I mentioned in The Healer's Apprentice and The Merchant's Daughter.  

P.S.:

I am super excited for the Rupunzel re-telling that will be out next  year!

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Merchant's Daughter Book Review

The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson is the second, or first, (if you read it in publication or chronological order) in her Fairy Tale re-telling series. This book is her Beauty and the Beast re-telling. I have previously reviewed her Snow White re-telling, her Cinderella re-telling and her Sleeping Beauty re-telling. 

Annabel was the daughter of a wealthy merchant. Her father has died, and now her family is running out of money. They are very in debt to the Lord of the land.  So in debt, in fact, that they have to send one of their family to work for him full time. Annabel sees that her family is a bit suck up, so she decides to be the indentured servant from her family. The Lord of the land is known as a beastly guy. And that pretty much all I am going to say about the plot line.

This is a story of true love, not infatuation, or attraction because of good looks.  This was a story of getting know each other, and falling in love with a personality, and appreciating their looks after that.  I enjoyed the sweet, what I imagine to be real-life, love story.  Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale.  I enjoy both the Disney version and the classic fairy tale.  I also like the movie "Belle and the Beast".  The Merchant's Daughter did not disappoint, but only added to my appreciation of this classic fairy tale.

This book is Historical Fiction set in 1352, making it the first book of the series in Chronological order. Like the other books, this one has Christian elements as part of everyday life: the characters read the Bible, pray, go to church, and grow in their faith. I love this book! I am planing on doing a review were I tell all the things about the book, in detail.

This book has a lot of crazy things in it, like Tom the Bailiff, I do not like him. You need to be a bit of a older peep to read this. because of sexual harassment (it doesn't go too far, but it exists).  As I've said in some of the other reviews, it really depends on the peep if they are ready to read this book. This is made for teens, and I think a bit before being a teen you could read this maybe. I think a lot of peeps who are out of their teens they could read this and love it.  This was my favorite book in the series, but I have commitment issues.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Healer's Apprentice Book Review

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson is the first book published in Melanie's Fairy Tale Re-telling Series (2nd book in chronological order), and it's her Sleeping Beauty re-telling. I have previously reviewed her Snow White re-telling and her Cinderella re-telling.  The "Sleeping Beauty" is named Rose. Rose's "Dad" is a woodcutter and her "Mom" is obsessed with getting her married off to some one she picks who has money. Rose does not want to get married and has been chosen to be the healer's apprentice (a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's kid) at the castle, but she is not so good at her job.

This book is also about Lord Hamlin (the future Duke) who's betrothed has been in hiding for a long time, because an evil man wants her dead. Lord Hamlin is trying to find the evil dude, so his betrothed can come out of hiding.  Then they can married, and she will be safe.

The book really gets going when the main healer is not home and Lord Hamlin gets injured. Rose must tend to his injures all by herself. A bit after that she realizes that she has some feelings for him. And that's all I am going to tell you about the plot line, because SPOILERS!

The Healer's Apprentice is a very well done Historical fiction set in 1386. I really love this book! The Healer's Apprentice is a great Sleeping Beauty re-telling. Sleeping Beauty is not my favorite fairy tale, but I really loved how this book was written, and not like the Disney version.  I don't remember if I've read the original fairy tale, as I have for most of these.  If I did, there was nothing insane to make the tale stick out in my mind.

This book has Christian/Spiritual elements in it, such as, the characters read the Bible, pray, grow in their faith..... oh, yes and in this one in particular one, someone gets possessed by a evil spirit, and that may have made you not want to read this book now. Just let me tell you that THAT is done SO well.  If you are a Christian, and you are worried about the demon possession, the ordeal is done in a Biblical manner.

There is also some fear of, and slight, sexual harassment.  This book, out of all of Melanie Dickerson's books, has the most difficult topics (that are oh so historically accurate).  Not all of her books have this type of subject matter.

I really think The Fairest Beauty and The Captive Maiden could be read at a younger age than this book, because they don't have the subject matter I referenced above. In saying that, I am sill going to say that if a mature 10 or 11 year old is reading and understanding the Bible, I think they can completely read this book. Having said that I do not think ALL 11 year olds could and or should read The Healer's Apprentice.  I personally think I would not been "scarred for life" reading this book at a young age.  This book is geared toward "teens", but I think a lot of humans well of their "teens" would love it too.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Captive Maiden Book Review

The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson is the 4th book in her Fairy Tale Re-telling Series. This one is her Cinderella re-telling. I have previously reviewed Melanie's "Snow White" re-telling, which is titled The Fairest Beauty. Gisela is "Cinderella," and as it goes in Cinderella, Gisela's Mother dies. Then her Father dies, after re-marrying a not-at-all-nice lady who already has two daughters, who are also are not so nice.

The story really gets going when Valten and Gisela see each other riding horses, and then meet in the market place. When Gisela she has to leave, Valten asks her to PLEASE come to the tournament and Ball/Balls. As usual, her stepmother says "I do not want you going. You are just a servant girl." But then she goes to the tournament, and the "Prince character," Valten, is like "I like you. Come to the ball with me?". And the "evil stepmother character" is all like "No way are you going. I am going to lock you up!". And the "prince" saves her AND they live Happily Ever After. So, you think that's what you are getting in to, but this book is not all like that! For instance, there is a Ball,  or I should say Balls, because there are more than one. Also, there is more then one evil person who is after Gisela. The Captive Maiden is way more adventurous than the normal/average Cinderella story. In this version, Gisela loves horses. Her dad was a Knight, and then horse breeder, for the Duke.  So, she has been around horses all her life. This is a historical fiction set in 1412. The Captive Maiden does have Christian elements throughout the book, such as, the characters pray and they grow in their faith.            

                                                                                                                                     
This is not my favorite Melanie Dickerson book, but I do still like it very much, and think it is a good read. I think the reason I did not like The Captive Maiden as much is because I did not feel I related to Gisela's personality, or even how she looks.  But I know, one of my friends who read it, and happens to looks like Gisela, and is personality-wise like her, really loved this book.

The Captive Maiden is another hard one to recommend an age for.  I would say age 10, taking in to consideration what they have read (like if they are still reading a Children's Bible, or the real deal), because of the content of the story.  Also, for their reading level, because I still think only some 10 year olds would have the vocabulary to read this book. The Captive Maiden is geared toward teenage audiences, but I personally think a LOT of peps who are well out of their "teens" would love it! There is some kissing and a bit of violence (I think you can guess that from the fact that there is a tournament and it's in 1412). This book is very connected to the other books especially The Fairest Beauty, because they are so close in the time line and there is a lot of character overlap.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Fairest Beauty Book Review

I apologize for lack of blog posts, and failure of new pictures.  I have had continued technical difficulties with computer and camera.  My Mother and my Brother were in a car accident, and life has been crazy.  We are also re-modeling our kitchen... I am so tired of living in a construction zone!  So, this is an old picture, but I will get on with the review!  Thank you, for your patience.
The Fairest Beauty By Melanie Dickerson is the first book by Melanie Dickerson that I read, even though it is her 3rd book. This book is part of her Fairy Tale series.  The Fairest Beauty is her Snow White re-telling, "Snow White" is named Sophie. One of the things that sets these books apart from the many fairy tale re-tellings is that Melanie Dickerson's books have Christian elements throughout the story.  The characters pray, they read the Bible, and they grow in their faith.

Just like in the original fairy tale, Sophie is so pretty that the evil Duchess (the Queen character) wants her dead, because she is more beautiful than her.  The book really gets going when one of the Duchess's servants, Pinnosa, escapes to tell Sophie's betrothed that she still lives, because the betrothed's family thinks Sophie is dead. Sophie's betrothed is injured, so he can not go and rescue her at that time, but his younger brother is like "I can do it, pick me!". So, some things happen and younger brother, Gabe, goes to rescue her. That's all I can tell you about the plot line. But I can say that this book is SO historically accurate! That is another thing I adore about these books.  It is set in... um, well, I just looked at my book, and it does not say. If I had to guess, I would have to say from when the next book is set, and how much time has passed, 1410 or 1411.                                                                                                                                                        
I LOVED this book!!! I read this book so fast. And I loved how the book was told from a lot of the characters point of views, because you know how in some books you just want to know what one of the other characters is thinking, but you don't get to know. And it makes you CRAZY! The Fairest Beauty will not make you crazy in that way. I give The Fairest Beauty 5 stars! As I have said I love it! This is a hard one to recommend, because I think so many ages would love this book. As for reading this if you are younger, I think some 10 year olds could read it and it be good for them, and for others, they would not be ready for it yet. There is a little kissing, a little violence, and some blood.  This is a book for "teens", but I think a lot of people out of their teens would love this, too. My Mother is far beyond her teens, but she LOVES to  hear me tell her about these books, and read her excerpts.  I know she would have read them already, if she had more time.

I really related to Sophie, because we have similar personalities.  I felt like she acted the same way I would in her situations.  I feel like a lot of the time, especially in books that have a love story in them, the characters do not communicate and it's just like: TALK! But they don't. That is not what happens in this one. A fun thing about The Fairest Beauty is that it just (on the 11th of October, this year) won the Maggie Award. You may be wondering why I did not review The Healer's Apprentice first, that is because I am reviewing the books in the way that I read them, as opposed to publication date, or chronological order.

The order I read these books is:  The Fairest Beauty, The Captive Maiden, The Healer's Apprentice, The Merchant's Daughter, and The Princess Spy (YES, The Princess Spy!  No, it's not out yet... I got my first ARC!!!!).
The Publication order is:  The Healer's Apprentice, The Merchant's Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, The Captive Maiden, and then The Princess Spy.
The Chronological order is: The Merchant's Daughter, The Healer's Apprentice, The Fairest Beauty, The Captive Maiden, and The Princess Spy.

Another awesome fact about these books is that are all connected to each other with family members from different families, throughout generations.

FYI: I plan to do a spoiler review on this book.  There is so much I want to talk about, but I don't want to ruin the reading experience for those who have not had a chance to read this fabulous book yet.  Also, I don't want to leave out anything, so I want to re-read thoroughly before I write that review.