“Fairy Tale Romance Collection: The Healer’s Apprentice, The Merchant’s Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, The Captive Maiden, and The Princess Spy,” by Melanie Dickerson.

I recently had the chance to read the Fairy Tale Romance Collection: The Healer’s Apprentice, The Merchant’s Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, The Captive Maiden, and The Princess Spy,” by Melanie Dickerson. This fiction book collection was released for Kindle on March 10, 2015 by Zondervan.

About this book collection:

Romance, intrigue, and danger abound in this five-book bind-up of Melanie Dickerson’s bestselling fairy-tale retellings.

  • The Healer’s Apprentice: Rose has been appointed as a healer’s apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, and when Lord Hamlin—the future duke—is injured, it is Rose who tends to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to fall in love, and wonders if he feels the same. But Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose’s life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.
  • The Merchant’s Daughter: Annabel is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. She soon finds he is actually very kind and caring, and the two strike up a friendship that could soon become more. Then Annabel becomes involved in a situation that could possibly lead to Ranulf’s demise.
  • The Fairest Beauty: Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother’s jealousy, and receives her chance when Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle to rescue her, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother. Though romance is impossible–she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else–the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven to find help. Before long both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them, they must also protect their hearts.
  • The Captive Maiden: When Gisela learns the duke’s son, Valten–the boy she has daydreamed about for years–is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it’s only for a taste of a life she’ll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten’s eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten is everything she hoped he would be. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
  • The Princess Spy: Margaretha has always been a romantic, and hopes her newest suitor, Lord Claybrook, is destined to be her one true love. But then an injured man is brought to Hagenheim Castle, claiming to be an English lord who was attacked by Claybrook and left for dead. And only Margaretha–one of the few who speaks his language–understands the wild story. It is up to her to save her father, Colin, and Hagenheim itself from Claybrook’s wicked plot.

My Verdict:

First, let me say that I adore these books but I am NOT a fan of the collection’s title. I think they could have come up with something much better than “Fairytale Romance,” which feels silly. Don’t let that keep you from reading this really fun collection of  Medieval fairy tale retellings. I’m a huge fan of fairytales, and I really enjoy how Melanie Dickerson sets her versions in realistic historical settings, and it’s interesting to see how she achieves the same storybook endings with little to no magic. In this collection, The Healer’s Apprentice is a based on the story of Sleeping Beauty, The Merchant’s Daughter is based on the story of Beauty and the Beast, The Fairest Beauty is based on the story of Snow White, The Captive Maiden is based on the story of Cinderella and The Princess Spy is (very, very loosely!) based on the story of The Frog Prince. I was first introduced to Dickerson through The Healer’s Apprentice, which I picked up on the way to the beach for some light reading, and it was everything I hoped it would be – even before I realized it was a retelling of my favorite fairy tale! In Dickerson’s versions, you’ll see characters from one book pop up in in the others; the books stand alone perfectly, but you will probably enjoy them more if you read them in order. These books are classified as Young Adult, but I think that’s just because they’re PG; they’re also considered Christian Fiction, but I think the elements of faith fit perfectly into their historical settings, where the church is very much at the heart of village/castle life. Also, this collection is a really great way to get the first five of Dickerson’s books at a big discount, and it’s nice to have them all in one place so I can reread them easily. Definitely recommended!

If you’d like to check out the Fairy Tale Romance Collection it is currently on sale for $19.99 for Kindle right now. If you prefer reading physical copies you can purchase each book separately here. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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