Saturday, September 22, 2018

Review: "The Orphan's Wish" by Melanie Dickerson

Ah, Hagenheim. I absolutely love every chance I get to visit Melanie Dickerson's medieval kingdom! When I learned that her latest Fairy Tale Romance would be about Aladdin, well, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. You see, Aladdin is my favorite Disney movie, so I already knew I loved the basic story—I just didn't know how Dickerson would adapt it!

Orphaned and alone, Aladdin travels from the streets of his Arab homeland to a strange, faraway place. Growing up in an orphanage, he meets young Lady Kirstyn, whose father who is the powerful Duke of Hagenheim. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion, and their childhood friendship grows into a bond that time and opposition cannot break.

Even as a child, Aladdin works hard, learning all he can from his teachers. Through his integrity, intelligence, and sheer tenacity, he earns a position serving as the duke’s steward. But that isn't enough to erase the shame of being forced to steal as a small child—or the fact that he's an orphan with no status. If he ever wants to feel equal to his beautiful and generous friend Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim and seek his fortune.

Yet once Aladdin departs, Lady Kirstyn becomes a pawn in a terrible plot. Now, Aladdin and Kirstyn must rely on their bond to save her from unexpected danger. But will saving Kirstyn cost Aladdin his newfound status and everything he’s worked so hard to obtain? 

An enchanting new version of the well-known tale, The Orphan's Wish tells a story of courage and loyalty, friendship and love, and reminds us what "family" really means. 

First of all, let's get this straight: The Orphan's Wish is nothing like Disney's Aladdin. Yes, you have orphan boy Aladdin who falls in love with (basically) a princess. You have Abu, but he's not really Aladdin's sidekick ... and that's really where the similarities end. So as long as you don't go into it expecting the version of the story you already know, you'll really enjoy it!

While The Orphan's Wish is a love story—a "friends to lovers" romance between Aladdin and Kirstyn—it's much more the story of Aladdin, an orphaned Arab boy who was rescued by a priest and taken to an orphanage in Hagenheim, as he grows into a man and learns to accept himself and who God created him to be. As he grapples with his past, he learns what it means to have integrity even when its difficult, and he finally finds the family he's been longing for his entire life.

This is such a fun book! I loved reading Aladdin's story, and Dickerson took the plot in places I didn't expect. While I felt like some of the middle of the story was a bit slow, overall, I really enjoyed my reading experience. This is another excellent entry in Dickerson's Hagenheim series, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next! 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of other Hagenheim books: The Healer's Apprentice (#1, 4-1/2 stars), The Merchant's Daughter (#2, 5 stars), The Princess Spy (#5, 5 stars), The Golden Braid (#6, 5 stars), and The Silent Songbird (#7, 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.

Connect with Melanie: website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning if you click the link and make a purchase, I may receive a small 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."

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