Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson | Review

Title: The Captive Maiden
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Pages: 306
Publisher: Zondervan
Goodreads rating: 3.93 Stars
Published:  November 23, 2013
Source: Paperback/Bought


Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothering bu servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela meets the duke's son, Valten-the boy she has daydreamed about for years-and learns he is throwing a ball, she vows to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent  on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.

My Thoughts

I'm a big fan of Melanie Dickerson, and The Captive Maiden was no exception. The author has a way with fairytales that really just make you love them, and I do love how she brings God and scripture into each one.

Gisela is everything you would expect a Cinderella-esque heroine to be: beautiful, kind, caring... and mistreated.  She lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters in her father's house, trying to keep her stepmother from selling off all of her late father's beloved horses.  She shares the love her father had for the animals, preferring them to her step-family.

The book changes the meeting between Gisela and the prince {or in the case of this book, the young lord} much like the live-action Cinderella movie Disney released a couple years ago - a chance meeting in the woods.  Though Gisela isn't quite as whimsical as Lily James' Cinderella, she still has the kindness we all love in our little Cinder-girls.  While The Captive Maiden is a fairtale retelling, it does try to show a little how life would have actually been during that time period {although fairly loosely}.  Like needing a male escort to go to the market {or face unwanted attention from rude men} or being completely at the mercy of your family, not matter how much you disliked them and didn't agree with how they were running the family's affairs.

However, one thing that was much more fairytale than real was the leading man's choice on a wife: he was able to pick from any of the single, beautiful females of the land.  Lord Valten has been a little shafted in love, since his betrothed married his younger brother.  But he isn't too upset by that, as he hardly knew her, yet alone loved her, and his younger brother was quite in love with the girl {and she with him}.  After traveling and competing in tournaments for a while, Valten decided it was time to go home and settle down.  Enter Gisela and a chance meeting in the marketplace.  They quickly bond over their love of horses and both find the other very attractive.

While there was some typical, expected elements to this book, it took a rather unexpected turn a little over halfway through, and had at least one good "what in the world?" moment towards the end.  If you like fairytale retellings or just want to give one a whirl, this would be a great one to pick up.  Though I would suggest starting with the first one, as this is the fourth in a series and would ruin the others with some of the information causually thrown out later in the book.

Overall, it was a great quitck read and I would highly recommend it!


Kirby preppybookprincess said...

Melanie Dickerson has been on my list of authors to try for forever, and now your review definitely has me wanting to read a book of hers ASAP. Great review!

Kari said...

Thanks! She's one of my favorites, and I totally just stumbled across the second in this series at the library a few years ago (I think). Didn't realize it was a series, but am loving the fact that it is!