Blogger: Rachel Kent
Location: Books & Such main office, Santa Rosa, Calif.
The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson
This book is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. I believe it’s one of the first CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) fairytale books. While the story is a lovely historical fiction for YA readers, I think it’s a great book for adult readers as well. I really like fairytale retellings, and I’m excited to see this trend moving into the Christian market.
Both lead characters, Lord Hamlin and Rose, are well portrayed and strong. Both have deeply rooted motivations for decisions that are made in the story, and both are honorable. Rose shows in the story that sacrifice is sometimes (always?) the greatest form love can take, and I was impressed with how Melanie wrote Rose’s character with such deep emotion. The book has a happy ending, of course, and I love a good love story!
The only part of the story that I might have had a problem with, but was pleasantly surprised by, is the part in which Rose, like Sleeping Beauty, is under the sleeping spell. Magic is often hard to write about, especially in a Christian book. The way Melanie wrote this scene it worked; the spirituality of it fit into the medieval time period and the magic/spirituality was set up throughout the story. I can see how this part would have been hard to write, but congratulations to Melanie for pulling it off.
If you like fairytales or fairytale retellings, I recommend this one!
Have any of you read other CBA fairy tales? What else is out there in the Christian market?
Has anyone else read The Healer’s Apprentice? What did you think?
Have you read fairytales published by general market publishers? Why do you think there’s been a trend toward publishing these stories? What makes a fairytale attractive to a reader today?