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.