By Kelly Bridgewater
Back Cover Copy:
The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.
Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.
Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.
The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?
As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?
Melanie Dickerson did it again. With the publication of her newest novel, The Golden Braid, I returned to Hagenheim and immersed myself in the once familiar fairy tale of Rapunzel. Read my review of The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest here. This time around I got to hang out with Rapunzel and learn the back story of why she was taken from her parents and raised by Gothel. The Golden Braid had everything I have come to know and love about Dickerson’s writing.
First, the setting. I love how Dickerson stays true to the time period with the clothes everyone wears and the horses and carts to carry things. As in some of her other fairy tale stories, Dickerson shows the importance of education and how sad that in the past education wasn’t valued or shared. Only the wealthy were taught to read and write and do math. I really liked returning to Hagenheim and meeting some of the characters from the previous books.
As for the characters Rapunzel and Gerek, I enjoyed getting to know them. Rapunzel is a trapped young lady, wanting to be loved because she felt like her first round parents didn’t want her. Gothel filled her mind with lies by stating her birth parents abandoned her when she was three years old. Rapunzel had a hole in her heart that she wanted filled. Luckily, she found God and realized his love and helped close the gap in her heart. However, Gerek believed he would abuse his wife just because that is what his father did. I’m glad that he realized he was sent away when he was six to be a page and he watched how Duke Wilhelm and Lady Rose showed love for each other.
The conflict was interesting and kept me on the edge of my toes. I did have a problem about fifty-six percent into the book (according to my Kindle). Duke Wilhelm went away while another King came to visit with all his guards. The guards overtook the castle and stored Lady Rose and the remaining children in the solar. Then the King tried to force the oldest daughter to marry him. If you have read any of Dickerson’s other fairy tales novels, this should sound really familiar. It does. It happened in another book practically the same way. The story does change course after the conflict is fixed, then it moves into Dickerson’s imagination. Even though I kept flipping the pages thinking to myself that I have already read this scene, it didn’t stop me from reading the rest of the story to completion.
In true fairy tale fashion, Melanie Dickerson’s The Golden Braid captured my love with the description setting and memorable characters. I loved Dickerson’s ability to bring familiar fairy tales to life.
I received a complimentary copy of Melanie Dickerson’s The Golden Braid from Thomas Nelson and the opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase The Golden Braid