Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Story Time . . . THE HEALER'S APPRENTICE by Melanie Dickerson

When destiny sleeps, it can only be awakened by true love's kiss.
Rose owes everything to Frau Garusha, the town's healer. Not only has the learned woman educated Rose in reading and writing, but now she has taken her on as apprentice, effectively freeing her from her mother's oppressive matchmaking. Rose is grateful to have the choice not to marry--if only she liked the healing arts a bit more. If the smell of blood did not make her nauseous. How will she ever prove to Frau Garusha that she can be healer if she keeps messing up?

Wilhelm is the eldest son of the duke and so has responsibility. He has been fed it from birth and knows--has always known--what he must do. He must serve his people. Part of that involves marrying the daughter of a neighboring duke, Lady Salmonea. He has never met his bride, yet years of his life has revolved around her. Or rather, around freeing her. Her parents were forced to put her into hiding when she was but a babe, after the evil sorcerer Moncore threatened to unleash his demons upon her. He must find Moncore and so make the world safe for his betrothed--and if he fails at that, how will he prove himself worthy of the responsibility that will someday be his?

When Rose is forced to stitch up one of Wilhelm's wounds after a hunting incident, both recognize the immediate connection--respect and admiration, colored with something more. Both also know nothing can come of it. So when Wilhelm's younger brother showers attention on Rose, it seems the safer place to direct her attention. If only it were so easy. And if only she didn't seem to attract danger every time she turned around these days . . .

Two words for you: Oh wow. I was intrigued by the description of The Healer's Apprentice from the get-go--I mean, how could I not be? It's billed as a retelling of a fairy tale, and I've always been a sucker for them. And from the get-go, this book is one that just sweeps you away into the lovely little hamlet with its secrets and intrigue.

The characters are so compelling--determined to succeed, constantly battling failure, needing to be loved but needing even more to love others and fulfill their duties. Then there are the ones after only their own gain, their own desires, no matter the cost to others. I loved how true to the morals of the day the hero and heroine were, how much the smallest gesture could mean to them.

The plot was quick-moving and intriguing. Given that I knew from the start it's based upon a fairy tale, I could determine fairly quickly how the major plot-points would go--but there was no way I could anticipate all the twists and turns, all the gasps and sighs, that the author would take before delivering us to Happily Ever After.

The Healer's Apprentice is not just a romance--it's a story of love at its truest. It is not just a young adult novel--it's a story that appeals to what our teens most crave today and then shines the light of the Lord upon it. It's not just a fairy tale--it's a portrait of our darkest fears and our brightest dreams.

I cannot recommend this book enough. Whether for the young adult crowd it's aimed at or the adult reader who needs to escape with a story of intrigue, destiny, and heart-stopping romance, The Healer's Apprentice delivers with a resounding bang. This one goes on the must-read pile.

*I received this book free for reviewing purposes. (Though I'm now going to go buy one for my niece. ;-)

3 comments:

  1. It looks like a great book! :O)

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  2. I'm so excited to read this book! Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

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  3. Thanks for the awesome review, Roseanna! I'm so glad you liked it. :-)

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