Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Review of The Healer's Apprentice

Here's a description of the book from Zondervan:

"Two Hearts. One Hope.

Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter’s daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she’s never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny."

My Rating: Spring

My Review:

This is an intriguing, historical twist on a romantic fairytale! The historical details are wonderful in drawing the reader into this half-reality, half-make-believe world. The characters are ones older teen readers (as well as many adult readers who are young at heart) will be able to relate to. The book is well-written, with a plot that was different enough to keep me turning those pages, especially with so many sweet, romantic scenes!

One thing that is for sure about this book, though--the evil represented is completely evil! It was a bit disturbing to read about demon possession, especially since the main character was supposedly a believer. Some of those close-to-final scenes were unnerving, but (at the risk of possibly giving something away) I was pleased that good did triumph over evil in the end.

Another issue I have with the book is that there was some unresolved conflict towards the end in regards to the main characters' family. (At least, I personally felt some of the interpersonal conflict wasn't dealt with properly.)

Overall, though, the story was a very interesting one to read, and the romance was very enjoyable! The Healer's Apprentice shows true love to be sacrificial, caring, and humble, and that's what makes the story great.

12 comments:

Ruth said...

I still haven't read this one yet, but Sleeping Beauty is my favorite fairy tale, and I love inventive retellings (Robin McKinley's Spindle's End and Cameron Dokey's Beauty Sleep are two favorites!).

Ariel said...

This one is sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read still. I hope I like it as much I think I will!

Amanda said...

Amber, I LOVE your review! You described it perfectly and I completely agree with you about the "evil" in the book. You put it much better than I did and you also touched on something that also bothered me but I forgot to put in my review- the fact that Rose was a supposed "believer". While I do believe we are surrounded by the forces of darkness and "we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph. 6:12), I do not believe a child of God, whose mind is covered with the precious blood of Christ and who is protected by the full Armour of God, could have their mind tormented and/or possessed by demons. We can and are attacked from without, but not within where the Prince of Peace resides.

But, on a happier note the romance was really sweet, as was your review :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts, my friend, and I'm sorry for rambling!

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Amber S. said...

Ruth,

I think you will enjoy this one! It definitely is inventive, combining historical descriptions with lots of twists and turns. :)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Ariel,

It's always fun to have books waiting on your shelf. :) I enjoy looking at the books I have to look forward to reading!

I think you'll enjoy this one--it's very romantic!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

YOUR review was really good, and because I had read it just recently I was afraid I might end up being too much of a copy-cat! ;) Thank you for your kind words, though, and I hope I described the book alright!

Also, I'm glad I'm not the only one who was confused by Rose and the demon possession! I think you put it so well, saying, "We can and are attacked from without, but not within where the Prince of Peace resides." Your whole comment is lovely and I don't think you rambled at all! :)

Thank you again for your sweet compliments, and I definitely agree about the romance in the book! ;)

~Amber

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi! Thanks for the review!

I just wanted to say that the heroine in The Healer's Apprentice was never possessed by a demon. In the scene in question, she was being frightened by demons--oppressed but not possessed. I was trying to show that evil is real and frightening but has very little power compared to the power in Jesus, and very little power when faced with a believer who is confident in their power through Jesus.

Thanks again!
Sincerely, Melanie Dickerson

Amanda said...

Hi Melanie!
I’m so sorry if I misinterpreted the scene. To me it just seemed that Rose had no power over them, it was up to the others in the room to “cast them out”, the demons that is. But, reading through the scene again just now it didn’t say the demons were cast out of her specifically but out of the place, so maybe I assumed too much? Like Amber, I was also pleased that good did triumph over the evil in the end and you did make it clear that is was with Christ alone :) All in all it was a lovely book and I look forward to future ones!

Blessings,
Amanda Stanley

Amber S. said...

Melanie,

I enjoyed reading your book, and it was my pleasure writing a review for it! :)

Thank you for clarifying that scene for us, and, as Amanda said, I'm sorry if I misinterpreted what you were trying to say. And thank you for reminding us of the power of Jesus!

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and thank you for stopping by!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Amanda,

Well put. :) Thank you for the lovely comment, and I am in agreement--looking forward to Melanie's future books!

~Amber

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks so much, Amber and Amanda! I'm glad you didn't mind. Usually an author is helpless to give their take on anything once the book is published and people are writing reviews on it. So thanks for graciously allowing me to do that! :-)

And you have a great blog!

Merry Christmas and God bless!

Amber S. said...

Melanie,

Of course! As a hopeful future author, I can't imagine how hard it would be not sharing your thoughts on others' thoughts about your book! Thank you for taking the time to visit and leave a comment. :)

Also, thank you for the kind words about my blog! Feel free to stop by anytime. :)

Merry Christmas to you, as well!

~Amber