There’s something comforting in experiencing a retelling of a beloved piece of literature, no matter the form. Dozens of writer’s have taken on the task of doing this very thing. No one in the world of Christian fiction is a more familiar name than Melanie Dickerson. As she already did Snow White and Beauty & the Beast, she most recently takes on Cinderella.
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STORY: This version introduces us to the kind but ill-treated Gisela. Ridiculed by her stepsisters and stepmother since her father’s death, they treat Gisela s little more than a servant and she lives to do her stepmother’s bidding. This hasn’t kept her from dreaming or wondering about the boy who once bought her father’s prized horse, Valten, the duke’s son. With many years between their first meeting and now, Gisela and Valten again meet but will fate again intervene to keep them strangers?‘THE CAPTIVE MAIDEN,’ BY MELANIE DICKERSON #FWarchives #BookReview #Fairytale Click To Tweet
The Captive Maiden, by Melanie Dickerson | Book Review
No matter how well I like a specific genre, I can be objective. Sadly, that is my lot with The Captive Maiden. Prior to reading it, I had the opinion that I’d love it already considering rave reviews, and a love of all things fairytale. Indeed the book starts out really well; I instantly like Gisela, and how the meeting between she and Valten plays out. In this version, there’s no expectation or worry over when and how Valten will discover Gisela (Cinderella) lies to him. That approach is unique and very much a reason this version works “better”; because here there is no need for lies to come between the would-be couple and the story isn’t as “worrisome” as a result. Sadly, I am not sure I can say there is much else I like about the book.
Of course, the costuming descriptions were lovely and there were some “exciting” moments. Page after page chronicles jousting matches switching off from Gisela’s worry and Valten’s thoughts and in my opinion this grows wearisome. Especially as Gisela doesn’t know Valten beyond a child’s memory. Though I do realize there has to be some leeway since this is a fairytale. I think what makes the reading more painful is there’s too many mash-ups between “contemporary” and historical. (This is especially true of the more modern dialogue.) Because of these impressions, this doesn’t wind up as a favorite read. Just the same, I also am not sorry I read it. It has some charming qualities and I admire an author who uses the familiar and lets readers see it differently.
Anyone who enjoys fairytales will probably like The Captive Maiden. It’s a wholesome look at a classic fable and that speaks volumes.
About the Book:
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Author: Melanie Dickerson
Publication Date: November 2013
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Series: Fairy Tales – book 4
Genre: Fiction; Young Adult/Teen, Fantasy
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5
Sincere thanks to the publisher, Zondervan for a complimentary galley copy of this novel for the purpose of reviewing this novel.