Tuesday, March 19, 2013

“The Merchant's Daughter" by Melanie Dickerson

{Elizabeths Review}

I am such a hopeless fairytale romantic. Knowing that this book by Melanie Dickerson is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast, I knew I would be captivated. It is the third novel I've read (and loved!) by this author. I am very pleased to find that The Merchant's Daughter is just as enjoyable as her other work!  

Our classic 'beauty' takes character form in Annabel, a lovely heroine as beautiful on the inside as she is in her outward appearance. Rejected by her destitute family and forced to work off their debt for the new lord of the area, I greatly appreciated seeing a working "Belle" do hard labor. This leading lady has a character depth that's perfectly suited for the target audience of Young Adult readers. Annabel is pursued by a repulsive and unwelcome bailiff who seems to derive a wicked pleasure from making her uncomfortable with his advances. The unlikely hero arises in Lord Ranulf. Our 'beast' is an emotionally crippled man of title and wealth. His wounds on his face and hand reflect the deep scarring in his soul inflicted by a past love. I have to be honest, I love a dark anti-hero. The more brooding and damaged they are, the more entranced I become. When a character is so jaded and messed up, their cathartic change into a hero is so strong and much more moving.  

Melanie Dickerson has this amazing ability to write in a way that goes beyond the 'Young Adult' label. Enjoyable for any age, I can honestly see mothers and daughters being able to read her novels together. She has this gift for taking beloved fairytales and spinning them into a new light. Filling each book with a Godly presence, her characters are life-like in their struggles and reactions to change.  

This book is actually the second novel written by Dickerson. I backtracked after reading and being very pleased with The Fairest Beauty. Bequeathing her with another 5 stars, I hope that this author never tires of breathing life into the fairytale classics.

{About The Merchants Daughter}

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.

{More books by Melanie Dickerson ~ click on the photos to read our reviews}

P.S. I've heard that there will be a new novel by Melanie Dickerson coming out next fall based on Cinderella! Learn more about this Melanie and her upcoming books at www.melaniedickerson.com.


Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks so much for the awesome review, Elizabeth!!! I'm a hopeless fairy tale romantic too! ;-) Thanks so much for spreading the word about my books! You know that Valten is the hero in The Captive Maiden, my Cinderella story, right? I hope you will like him too!

Elizabeth Coulston said...

I'm glad you liked the review! I look forward to reading Valten's heroic tale! Honestly, I had a feeling he would be next when I was reading 'The Fairest Beauty'. I love your books and I hope that your inspiration never runs dry!