The Silent Songbird

Title: The Silent Songbird
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 7
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 8th, 2016

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Note: Even though The Silent Songbird is the seventh in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of The Little Mermaid.

Evangeline, the ward of King Richard II, wants nothing more than to be free and to live her life outside the castle. And when the king decides that she will marry his closest advisor, a vile man at least twice her age, she knows she must seize whatever chance she has and flee the castle.

Pretending to be mute to keep herself unknown, she joins Wesley le Wyse and his small band of servants, heading back to their own village. She wishes she did not have to deceive Wesley, especially as she begins to form a friendship with him. But too much is at stake for her to reveal her identity now. Will she win her freedom, and find happiness with the man she loves, or will her ruse not be worth the all the deceit in the end?

I really enjoyed this retelling of The Little Mermaid! I haven’t actually read many retellings of the mute redhead with a fiery spirit, so this was a fun read. At this point, I am wondering if Melanie Dickerson has any more Hagenheim books up her sleeve? Maybe Aladdin, or Little Red Riding Hood, or something? Anything? I’m not ready for this series to come to an end!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

The Golden Braid

Title: The Golden Braid
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 6
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 17th, 2015

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Note: Even though The Golden Braid is the sixth in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of Rapunzel. 

Hagenheim, 1413

When sheltered Rapunzel receives another marriage proposal, her controlling and over-protective mother moves them to a new city, one where she hopes to better hide Rapunzel from unwelcome suitors. Rapunzel and her mother meet some trouble on the road, and are rescued by a knight – Sir Gerek – who is later rescued by Rapunzel, who knows a thing or two about knife throwing.

Wanting nothing better than to learn to read and write, Rapunzel begs Sir Gerek to teach her. Reluctantly, Sir Gerek agrees to educate her, despite the fact that they each find the other to be difficult. That is, until they realize that their feelings for each other are beginning to deepen. But will Rapunzel’s mother once again get in the way of her daughter’s happiness?

I loved this book. It’s definitely an imaginative retelling of Rapunzel that felt new and fresh. If you are a fan of fairytales, this one is a must-read!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  
  

The Princess Spy

Title: The Princess Spy
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 5
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 4th, 2014

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Note: Even though The Princess Spy is the fifth in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of The Frog Prince. 

Hagenheim, 1413

A romantic at heart, Margaretha has high hopes for her suitor, Lord Claybrook. But when Colin, an injured Englishman, arrives in Hagenheim claiming to be attacked by none other than Claybrook himself, Margaretha begins to doubt that her suitor’s motives are true. Because of Colin’s language barrier, he is unable to explain himself to anyone other than Margaretha, who alone speaks english.

As Margaretha befriends Colin and helps him recover, she decides to take a closer look at Claybrook. To her dismay, she begins to uncover his secret plot to overthrow her father, the Duke of Hagenheim, and realizes that the future of her family’s kingdom – and her own future with the man she truly loves – depend on her own stealth and resourcefulness.

I really enjoyed this book, though it was not obvious that it was a Frog Prince retelling. I thought it was fun getting to know Margaretha more, after reading stories about her mother and her brothers, too!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  
  

The Captive Maiden

Title: The Captive Maiden
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 4
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: November 23rd, 2013

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Note: Even though The Captive Maiden is the fourth in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of Cinderella.

Hagenheim, 1403

Ever since her noble father’s death, Gisela has been mistreated by her stepmother and forced to work as a servant in her own home. But she does not let her stepmother’s cruelty change her kind, compassionate heart. She is as beautiful inside as she is out, and Valten, the firstborn son of the Duke of Hagenheim, notices. Gisela used to daydream of falling in love with Valten years ago, having been around him and his family when her father was alive. But now, her dreams have turned to ash as she is considered so far beneath him. Everyone, except Valten, seems to think so.

A ball is thrown in Valten’s honor, and Gisela simply has to go, even if she risks her stepmother’s wrath. But Gisela soon has bigger things to worry about when her very life is in danger and she is used as bait to help capture the Duke’s son. Will Valten be able to save Gisela, and save himself?

I read this book before The Fairest Beauty, the one that precedes it. Because of that, I have been a fan of Valten from the beginning. I love him, Gisela, and their romance. It is so beautiful! This book might be my favorite Melanie Dickerson book ever written. (Besides The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest; that one is definitely up there.) I recommend this book for any fans of Cinderella retellings!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  
  

The Fairest Beauty

Title: The Fairest Beauty
Author: Melanie Dickerson

Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 3
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: January 21st, 2013

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Note: Even though The Fairest Beauty is the third in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of Snow White.

Sophie is being held captive by her evil stepmother, the duchess, after the death of her father. Assumed to be dead all these years, she has been forced to live the life of a lowly servant. When Gabe gets word that his older brother’s betrothed is not only alive but held captive by a cruel duchess, he immediately sets out to help rescue her, since his injured brother cannot go himself.

Gabe does everything he can to rescue Sophie and bring her back to his home in Hagenheim. He wants to keep her safe and protect her, but as they spend more and more time together, he begins to see that what truly needs protecting is his own heart. Even though they both know that Sophie must marry his older brother, they find themselves struggling to get each other off their minds.

Let me just say how much I love this book! The story is a classic fairytale story of rescue and romance, and the characters are hard not to love. I did read this book out of order (oops, again), so I have to admit that I favor the older brother over the younger… who we get to follow in the next book, The Captive Maiden.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  
  

The Merchant’s Daughter

Title: The Merchant’s Daughter
Author: Melanie Dickerson

Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 2
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: December 4th, 2011

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Note: Even though The Merchant’s Daughter is the second in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in some other stories, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

England, 1352 

After the downfall and death of her once wealthy father, Annabel finds herself working as a servant to Lord Ranulf, as a way of helping her struggling family. She has no idea what to expect of her new master, since she has heard rumors of his beastliness. But underneath his gruff exterior, she discovers a man she did not expect, one who is kind and fiercely protective.

Annabel is continuously threatened by the bailiff, a man with no good intentions, and she knows she is in danger. She does not want to involve Ranulf in the situation, but he may be the only one who can make everything right in the end. The two of them find themselves not only in physical danger, but also the danger of the heart as they wrestle with feelings that should not exist between a servant and her master.

This was the first Melanie Dickerson book I ever read! (Out of order, yet it didn’t matter one bit.) I randomly stumbled upon it among other secondhand books, and I’m so glad I did. After I enjoyed this book so much, I immediately looked up the other books in the series, which I found that I liked even better!

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series:

  
  

The Healer’s Apprentice


Title: The Healer’s Apprentice

Author: Melanie Dickerson

Series: Hagenheim / Fairy Tale Romance series, book 1
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: September 15th, 2010

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Note: Even though The Healer’s Apprentice is the first in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other books in the series. However, the characters that are in this book are featured in rest of the series, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of The Sleeping Beauty.

Hagenheim, 1386

As implied in the title, Rose has become the apprentice of the town healer, and she is eager to show how helpful and reliable she can be. This is her chance to make something of herself, despite her lowly upbringing. When the future Duke of Hagenheim, Lord Hamlin, comes to the healer injured, Rose has the chance to prove herself – but she doesn’t expect to fall in love along the way.

The future Duke cannot, of course, marry so far beneath his elevated position – which is exactly why we know that he, too, battles feelings of his own for the lovely apprentice. But they both know that they cannot be together, no matter how much they may want that. Is the love developing between them enough to make a way?

Let me start by saying that I love Melanie Dickerson’s fairytale retellings overall! Unfortunately, this book was not a favorite of mine. It was a little hard to get into, especially compared to some of her other books. Here are some thoughts as to why:

  1. I wasn’t that into the romance of the story, and that is pretty much all this story is – a romance. So I think that is where she lost me.
  2. Also, it is very Christian. I know that is the genre it falls under, but sometimes it just felt like too much for me. (And this is coming from someone who has called herself a Christian her entire life.) Some of Dickerson’s books come across this way, but others do not. This is definitely just personal preference when it comes to reading fiction.
  3. Lastly, Dickerson has a way of not allowing her characters to be together, like they cannot fall in love because one of them is above the other in terms of status. Part of this, I completely understand because it is a way to develop conflict within the romance. But that’s just it – it is one way. Yet it seems that this is her go-to in every single book of hers. How could this person possibly love me, when I am so far beneath them? (Spoiler alert: somehow, their different statuses never seem to matter as much as they think they do.)

All that to say, I really do like these books as a whole. This one, not as much as others.

Click on the links below to get your copy of this book and the others in its series: