"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.