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

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. 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.) After I read this book, I immediately looked up the other books in the series, which I found that I liked even better!

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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

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

Rose has become the apprentice of the town healer. 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.

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The Noble Servant


Title: The Noble Servant

Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Thornbeck / A Medieval Fairy Tale series, book 3
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: May 9th, 2017

Note: Even though The Noble Servant is the third in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other two books in the series, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest (book 1) and The Beautiful Pretender (book 2). 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 Goose Girl.

Barony of Mallin, 1365.

Lady Magdalen is summoned to Wolfberg Castle after being informed that the Duke wishes to marry her. Two years have passed since Magdalen and Steffan have spoken, and even then, they had only spent a few hours together at a dance. It seems too good to be true for him to be requesting her hand now, after hearing nothing for so long. During the two-day journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen is betrayed by her own servant. The servant forces Magdalen to switch places with her, believing her treachery will go unnoticed since Magdalen and the Duke have not seen each other in years. But they have a surprise waiting for them at the castle – the Duke has secrets of his own.

Magdalen goes along with the guise, hoping to keep those she cares about from harm. As she works as a goose girl, she befriends a shepherd, who is strangely familiar. Together, they risk everything as they begin a plan of their own to save Wolfberg and themselves from the devious plot from within the castle.

I liked getting to see Magdalen have a story all her own, after meeting her as Avelina’s friend in the last book. However, it sort of dragged on. Things picked up toward the end, but it wasn’t as action-packed as some of her other books that I can’t put down.

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The Beautiful Pretender

Title: The Beautiful Pretender
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Thornbeck / A Medieval Fairy Tale series, book 2
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: May 17th, 2016

Note: Even though The Beautiful Pretender is the second in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone story, as with the other two books in the series, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest (book 1) and The Noble Servant (book 3). 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 in which Princess and the Pea meets Beauty and the Beast.

Germany, 1363

Dorothea is one of ten ladies invited to the home of the margrave of Thornbeck for a two-week stay, after which he will choose a suitable bride. During the two weeks, the margrave secretly tests the women, hoping to find one whose character matches her beauty and status. He cannot help but be drawn to Dorothea, even though she does everything in her power to remain unnoticed.

But Dorothea is not who she claims to be, and she knows it is impossible for her to end up with the margrave, despite the connection they have. She is not actually a lady, but a servant, Avelina, posing as her lady under the orders of the earl she serves. Her situation worsens when she realizes a plot is underway to remove the margrave from his position. It may be up to her to set all things right in the end.

I liked how this book told the story of the margrave we met in The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest. (Odette and Jorgen also make a few appearances!) Dickerson has a theme of overlapping characters and their stories, and this book is no exception. If you are a fan of fairytale retellings, I definitely recommend giving this book a try!

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The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest


Title: The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Thornbeck / A Medieval Fairy Tale series, book 1
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: May 12th, 2015

Note: Even though The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is the first in a series, it can also be read as a stand-alone story, as with the next two books in the series, The Beautiful Pretender and The Noble Servant. However, the characters that are introduced in this book are featured in rest of the series, which is why I recommend staying in order.

A retelling of Swan Lake.

Germany, 1363

Odette is a respectable young maiden by day, and a stealthy poacher by night. She knows it is wrong to hunt in the margrave’s forest, but she does it to feed the poor of the village, especially the children she teaches to read. Her life gets even more complicated when she begins to develop a relationship with Jorgen – the margrave’s forester. It is his duty to catch the poacher and turn “him” over to the margrave. Little does he know that the poacher is the very same woman that he is beginning to fall for.

Rutger, Odette’s protective guardian, thinks the margrave’s forester is far beneath Odette to even consider as a suitor. Instead, he pushes her towards Mathis, a rival to Jorgen who is better off. Odette doesn’t want to disappoint her uncle, but she also doesn’t want to attach herself to someone she doesn’t love. But what kind of future could she possibly have with the man who is hunting her for her crimes?

This first book of the Thornbeck / A Medieval Fairy Tale series became an instant favorite of Dickerson’s retellings. It was not hard to fall in love with Odette – a strong and fearless heroine – and her romance with Jorgen. The story felt fresh and unique, as Swan Lake retellings are not the most common.

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