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"The Captive Maiden"  by Melanie Dickerson

Rated 4 Stars

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Rated 4 Stars | View All Reviews

Cinderella's Fairytale Story
Posted December 30, 2013
By BlackLeopard,

In a region named Hagenheim lives a fair young maiden by the name of Gisela. She exudes an inner strength, a trait needed for her precarious situation. She resides in her home with her stepmother and two stepsisters, but she’s not treated as one of the family. Instead she carries out the duties of a servant. Her stepmother and stepsisters are jealous of Gisela’s beauty and treat her like a caged bird, refusing to let her live out a normal life.

Despite the frustrations found at home, Gisela faces the battle presented to her and adapts to the pressures weighing heavily upon her as a servant. The only comfort she finds is through riding her horse in the countryside. She relishes the feel of her hair whipping in the wind – it’s the reprieve she needs from the demands at home. Although harassed and threatened constantly by her family, Gisela is determined not to be controlled by them; she hopes to find her freedom.

Valten is a man of honor and might. A knight and heir to his father’s title of duke, he strives for perfection and extreme challenges. He’s made a name for himself in winning battles and jousting tournaments. Everyone in the kingdom knows his name, every woman seeks his attention, but all that Valten truly enjoys is the feeling of accomplishment found from his conquests. He seeks worth in proving his strength and boosting his self-confidence.

After many years of fighting, Valten’s heart grows restless. He’s tired of the same battles, the same victories. He longs for something different, to pursue a new reason to live. He knows it’s time. He intends to escape the walls he fortified for himself and settle down.

My Thoughts:

I adore fantasy and fairytales – anything medieval, but only if it’s not ridiculous. The story must be grounded enough to seem real, even though it’s not. Melanie Dickerson is a newly discovered author for me in the fairytale realm. I saw her first book, The Healer’s Apprentice, and meant to pick it up, but never did. So far, I’m really liking her take on the old classics. The Captive Maiden has become my favorite in her series. I enjoyed her others, but I found this one to be especially good.

While Gisela was a likable character, Valten stood out to me the most. His gruff and silent demeanor, having to overcome his pride, and learning to trust God – made for a complex person. He seemed to have it all, but in reality, he had so little. He relied on himself so much for everything, it was inspiring to see him change his path when he was powerless to do anything.

I must applaud Melanie for her descriptive writing of the jousting tournaments. I thought for sure it would be a tedious part to read through, but instead, I was happy she took the time to describe the sport to her readers. The game came alive, and I felt like I was right there in the audience cheering.

The Captive Maiden is an ornate book intertwined with devious antagonists, a defiant heroine, a knight-in-shining-armor, suspenseful fighting scenes, and most importantly, a story about overcoming one’s position in life.

I’ve read the following books by Melanie Dickerson: The Merchant’s Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, and now, her newest title. I’ve yet to read her first, and I’m looking forward to picking it up: The Healer’s Apprentice. Her stories are weaved from fairytale classics such as The Beauty and The Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella.

I’m biting at the bit for her next release – which I hope is soon! At least, I’ll have her first one to read in the meantime. Come quickly, new book.

This book was provided to me by Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review.

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