ISBN 13: 9780310724421
My thoughts: I really don’t read many fairy tale retellings but made an exception to The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson because of its absolutely beautiful cover and the reviews of her prior books which are retellings of other fairy tales. In The Captive Maiden, Ms. Dickerson expands on the story of Cinderella and her mistreatment by the wicked stepmother and stepsisters. Gisela attends a ball and the handsome suitor is there to entrance. However, that is about the extent of the connection with the actual Cinderella tale. Frankly, I think Ms. Dickersons’ expansion of the story line and addition of scenes and plot will thoroughly engage and enthrall the reader – perhaps 13 and up to the young-in-heart.
Gisela is made to serve and scrub for the stepmother and stepsisters, but she has a sweet attitude. She loves the horses stabled on her deceased father’s land and that is a major connection between she and the handsome hero, Valten, who is the future Duke.
There is a villain who fights Valten in the jousting tournaments (think Ivanhoe and medieval times) which are described in great detail. Swashbuckling sword fights and kidnapping scenes with and fights and rescues. Sweet romance blooms. This is sure to capture to attention of anyone who enjoys a damsel in distress and a hero who is coming to the rescue.
The book drags a bit in spots, but overall it is quite an enjoyable read. On the back cover, the publisher denotes this as “TEEN FICTION.” That it surely is but will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys a fairy tale retelling and light read. The story is replete with references to Christianity though it is not a “preachy” book. It is, after all, published by a Christian publishing house, Zondervan. It is one I can definitely recommend.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of The Captive Maiden from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.