Carol Award: Young Adult: Finalist: The Healer’s Apprentice
Title: The Healer’s Apprentice
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Zonderkidz (Jacque Alberta, Editor)
Genre: Young Adult
Reviewed by: Darlo Gemeinhardt
The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson is a wonderful twist to a classic fairy tale. It will capture your heart with the beautiful imagery and romance of medieval Germany. The details are so rich and authentic you can hear the noise of the market place and smell the smoke of the wood fires.
Dickerson carefully builds multiple layers to each character avoiding flat, one-dimensional personalities.
Appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, Rose, a woodcarver’s daughter, is determined to prove herself. If she fails, it means marrying a disgusting merchant her mother has picked out for her.
When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured in a hunting accident, Rose must take care of him. Rose falls for him, but he is betrothed to a mystery girl who is in hiding. In the meantime, Lord Rupert, the brother of Lord Hamlin, pursues Rose. Will she give in to Rupert’s advances?
The characters are realistic and well developed. Dickerson carefully builds multiple layers to each character avoiding flat, one-dimensional personalities. It’s easy to guess where the story is headed, but the journey has enough mystery to keep you turning pages.
The book explores the relationship between peasants and nobility and the idea of waiting for the right guy, with the overarching theme that God can accomplish the impossible and fairy tales do come true.
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