“Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Monday, May 1, 2017

A Clever Fairy Tale Retelling You Won't Want to Miss--Review of the "Noble Servant" by Melanie Dickerson

Blurb from Goodreads:

She lost everything to an evil conspiracy . . . but that loss may just give her all she ever wanted.

Since meeting Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, at Thornbeck Castle, Lady Magdalen has not been able to stop thinking about him. She knows—as a penniless lady with little to offer in terms of a dowry—she has no real hope of marrying such a highly titled man, so it comes as a great surprise when she receives a letter from him, asking for her hand in marriage.

But all is not what it seems at Wolfberg Castle. Steffan has been evicted by his scheming uncle, and his cousin has taken over the title of duke. Left for dead, Steffan is able to escape, and disguised as a shepherd, hopes to gain entry to the castle to claim the items that will prove he is the true Duke of Wolfberg.

Journeying to the castle, Magdalen has no idea what awaits her, but she certainly did not expect her loyal maidservant to turn on her. Forcing Magdalen to trade places with her, the servant plans to marry the duke and force Magdalen to tend the geese.

Without their respective titles—and the privileges that came with them—Steffan and Magdalen are reunited in the shepherd’s field. Together they conspire to get back their rightful titles. But they must hurry . . . or else they risk losing it all to the uncle’s evil plan.

My review:

Melanie Dickerson has been a favorite author of mine since I first learned she was going to be writing a Christian fairy tale retelling!  I love fairy tale retellings (hence my blog name) and it's not always easy to find clean ones without a lot of mature content.  Ever since her first book, I have been devouring everything she writes.  I love that young girls and adults alike can enjoy these stories.

The Noble Servant is a fun twist on two fairy talesThe Goose Girl and The Prince and the Pauper!  This is the third book in Ms. Dickerson's A Medieval Fairy Tale / Thornbeck series.  You don't have to read the first two books to understand this story.  It is fun to discover the way Ms. Dickerson weaves the traditional fairy tales into this story and then puts her own spin on it.  My favorite aspects of this story are the characters and the spiritual content.

The two main characters are both very likable and relatable.  Even though they live in medieval times I find I can very much relate to them and their struggles.  It is refreshing that Magdalen, the heroine, isn't a super bold, "kick butt" type.  I love those female characters in stories (and Ms. Dickerson does have some of these heroines in her other books), but let's be real, not everyone is like that.  Magdalen, instead, is very strong spiritually. She also has great kindness, gentleness and compassion.  She does stand up for what she believes in, like when she stands up for a mute boy.  Magdalen feels compassion for Agnes, the girl who has taken everything away from her.  Steffan, the hero, also defends the helpless when he takes the beating for a man caught stealing bread.

The spiritual aspect of this book is very well written.  I feel like Magdalen and Steffan both really learn to incorporate faith into every aspect of their life and they rely on God in hard situations.  Magdalen goes right to God in prayer when she doesn't know what to do.  She also quotes Scripture.  Both characters have their world turned completely upside down and come out of their hardships with a stronger faith.  I really love the strong faith thread that is woven into this story.

This is a great book with well written characters and a great faith theme.  It isn't my favorite of Ms. Dickerson's stories but I still love it and would recommend it!  I give this book four stars.  It is a clean read.

Releases May 9th!!

Pre-order on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Noble-Servant-Melanie-Dickerson/dp/0718026608/

Melanie Dickerson's website: http://www.melaniedickerson.com/

I want to thank Thomas Nelson, Melanie Dickerson, & NetGalley for the complimentary advanced copy of this book.  I received this book for free.  No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.