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Age Appropriate For: 15 and up for scary scenes, mild romance, and violence
Best for Ages: 15 and up
Description: Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill. When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as 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.
Yet another brilliant tale from Melanie Dickerson! I have yet to be disappointed by her books. I only have one book of hers that I haven’t read and I look forward to it.
I was very curious as to how Melanie was going to pull off a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I was very impressed with the creativity of this tale. Although there are many things that are not a surprise (after all, this is a well-known fairy tale), there were many points in the story where I was on the edge of my seat.
Rose was a sweet character. I loved the struggle within her between becoming a healer and her revolution at the sight of blood. I also really loved that she makes some mistakes when it comes to love, without doing the wrong thing. I think that their needs to be more stories like this to encourage young girls that you can make mistakes, but you can always start to make the right ones.
Lord Hamlin was another honorable hero that I just loved. I really loved his tug between his feelings for Rose and his resolution to remain faithful to his betrothed that he has never met. The contrast between Lord Hamlin and his brother was wonderful.
I must admit, some of the scenes with Moncore and dealing with demons were a little creepy at times. However, I loved that God was stronger than anything that the villain can do. Parents of younger readers might want to read the book first and discuss these scenes with their children.
I highly recommend this book for those who love good morals, fairy tales, and characters you can really cheer for.