The Healer's Apprentice begins Melanie Dickerson's excellent Fairy Tale Romance series. These books can be read in any order; I didn't start until The Princess Spy, book five in the series, so now I've decided to go back and read the ones I missed! Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill. When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.
Melanie Dickerson's Fairy Tale Romances are based on classic fairy tales. Sometimes I can easily spot the fairy tale; sometimes I can't. But really, it doesn't matter, as the stories are so strong in their own right.
The Healer's Apprentice is based on Sleeping Beauty. In this case, it's pretty easy to spot the fairy tale :-) As the apprentice to Hagenheim's healer, Rose meets Lord Hamlin when he comes for help after being injured. The two are drawn to each other, but Lord Hamlin has long been engaged to a young woman he's never met, a woman who is in hiding. His quest is to track down the man who threatened her life so that she will come out of hiding and they can be wed. So he pushes Rose in the direction of his brother, a man free to marry whomever he wishes.
While the book was predictable (I guessed the big twist very early on), it was also very enjoyable! I loved both Rose's and Lord Hamlin's characters, and I couldn't wait to see just how things would get to the resolution I knew was coming. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read and a great kick-off to Dickerson's series! 4-1/2 stars. Buy the book. Buy the first five books in the series on Kindle. (Keep an eye out, as this bundle goes on sale from time to time—I got it for $1.99 last fall.) Read my reviews of Dickerson's Fairy Tale Romances The Princess Spy (5 stars), The Golden Braid (5 stars), and The Silent Songbird(5 stars) and her Medieval Fairy Tale The Beautiful Pretender (5 stars).
Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased this book myself and chose to review it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
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