The one who needs rescuing isn't always the one in the tower...
Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.
Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel's hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.
The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?
As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?
My introduction to Melanie Dickerson came last year when I read The Princess Spy. It was a delightful retelling of The Frog Prince, and I immediately added Dickerson to my list of authors to watch. When I heard of The Golden Braid (and, let's be honest, first saw that gorgeous cover), I knew I wanted to read it.
Dickerson's Rapunzel is a young woman who knows her own mind and longs to chase her dreams—specifically, her dream of reading and writing—yet she has a deep respect for and devotion to her mother, who insists on sheltering her from the world. It's not until she meets Sir Gerek that she realizes her mother's rules and demands may come from a place of fear, rather than love.
Rapunzel and Gerek together are a great couple, and Dickerson clearly shows how they make each other better people—Rapunzel becomes brave enough to step out of her mother's shadow, and Gerek realizes the shallowness and selfishness of his own dreams.
The novel is full of action, adventure, and intrigue ... and, of course, love. It's listed as fiction (not YA fiction), but it's perfectly acceptable for a teen audience. It's a fast, easy read that is incredibly enjoyable! 5 stars.
Note: While The Golden Braid can be enjoyed without having read any of Dickerson's other novels, my favorite part came from reading about certain events from The Princess Spy from a new perspective, as The Golden Braid is set at the same time with several overlapping characters.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."