Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Review of The Merchant's Daughter

Here's a description of the book from the author's website:

"An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger.

Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart."

My Rating: Spring

My Review:

This engaging historical romance combines elements of some well-loved stories to make it an enjoyable read! Intentional or not, this book brought to mind Jane Eyre (Mr. Rochester and Jane), North & South (the BBC version, as I haven't read the book), and Disney's Beauty and the Beast (I confess to being more familiar with Disney's version than any other adaptation). I could go into detail about the scenes and characters that brought these great romances to mind, but it will be much more fun for you to read the book and see for yourself!

Like Dickerson's first novel The Healer's Apprentice, this book is sweet and just plain fun to read! Her interpretation of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale is unique enough to stand on its own and yet familiar enough to make the connection. The added faith element is inspiring - a good reminder of the blessings we have in being able to read Scripture for ourselves. Sometimes it flowed very well, but sometimes faith seemed almost forced into scenes in an unnatural way, especially towards the end. That is to say, it's great to see belief in God interwoven throughout the story, but sometimes it's included with a "preachy" and "out of the blue" feel.

While the first page or so seems a bit stilted - like the story coming to life in fits and starts - it didn't take long for this book to draw me into the past and into a tummy-tingling love story that emphasizes humility and beauty from within. For those who love the age-old Beauty and the Beast story, there's much to love in this new twist!

*With thanks to Zondervan
and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.*

Note: This book will be released November 2011.


Book Trailer:

6 comments:

Bluerose said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this one, since I liked The Healer's Apprentice!

Amber S. said...

Bluerose,

Oh, if you liked The Healer's Apprentice I think you'll love this one! :) When I saw it was available for review on NetGalley, I just couldn't wait to see if I'd get a physical copy - it was fun reading it all in one sitting on my computer!

~Amber

Faye said...

Sounds interesting. I like re-tellings of fairy tales, so I'll have to put this on my list to read :) Thanks for the review!

Kav said...

Ohhhh - no fair -- you got a sneak peek!!!! I'm really looking forward to this one as well. I love fairy tale retellings!!!

:-)

Amber S. said...

Faye,

You're welcome! :) Have you read The Healer's Apprentice? That one has a little more of an intense ending, but both are enjoyable stories! If you go to my "Book Reviews" page, you should find a link to my review of that book under "Dickerson, Melanie."

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Kav,

I did indeed! ;) While I much prefer reading physical copies of books, once in a while it's nice to read one on my computer - especially if it means I have less of a wait! ;)

Hope you enjoy this one!

~Amber