Skip to main content

Book: The Beautiful Pretender

No, I have not taken a liking to medieval romantic fiction. Not even from authors my wife likes, like Melanie Dickerson. Today's review is written by Olivia, our teenager daughter.

I enjoy Melanie Dickerson's young adult fiction greatly, so when my dad gave me the option to review her newest book, The Beautiful Pretender, I jumped at the chance. I was not disappointed. The Beautiful Pretender, in a pattern set by Dickerson's previous books, is based after a fairy tale, the story of the princess and the pea. However, even though it is grounded in a traditional fairy tale, it does not stay traditional for long.

Reinhart, the young and newly established margrave of Thornbeck, has just been ordered by the king to marry, soon. The king even provides him with a list of suitable young women to choose from. Reinhart is not pleased, but with prodding from his new chancellor, Jorgen Hartman and his young new wife, Odette, he sets up a series of tests for the young ladies to pass through.

Avelina is just a servant girl, maid to Lady Dorothea of Plimmald. But when her mistress runs away, Avelina is ordered by the Duke of Plimmald to go to Thornbeck to gain the margrave's favor in hope that he will help defend Plimmald from imminent attack. She only has two orders, don't get caught, and don't get married. To her, the harder of the two is to not get caught. Or so she thinks.

But as hard as she tries, she cannot make herself stoop below the attention of the handsome young margrave. The result is a plot so intricately woven that each twist will leave you hanging on, reading just one more chapter. Adding additional flair is Avelina's strong personality, born from her peasant life, making her highly intelligent even without special pampering.

One thing I miss in the reading of this was the use of Odette's skills. Odette is alluded to being a skilled archer, but there is never a time when Avelina gets to see her using her skills. But even being a background character alongside her husband, Jorgen, she still has an immense amount of character.
I enjoyed Melanie Dickerson's exhilarating take on the traditional princess and the pea story a great deal and will enjoy reading over and over again in the future.


Dad note: I skimmed it quickly, saw nothing bad for a teenager. Yes, the world isn't as perfect. We don't read to see normal worlds. We read for ideal worlds.

Free book received in exchange for the review.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Book: Vindicating the Vixens

Well, if Vindicating the Vixens doesn’t catch your attention as a book title, I’m not sure what would. This volume, edited by Sandra L. Glahn (PhD), provides a look at some of the women of the Bible who are “Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized.” As is frequently the case, I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my review.Let’s take this a stage at a time. First stage: book setup. This is primarily an academic Biblical Studies book. Be prepared to see discussions of Greek and Hebrew words, as appropriate. You’ll also need a handle on the general flow of Biblical narrative, a willingness to look around at history, and the other tools of someone who is truly studying the text. This is no one-day read. It’s a serious study of women in the Bible, specifically those who either faced sexual violence or who have been considered sexually ‘wrong’ across years of study.A quick note: this book is timely, not opportunistic. The length of time to plan, assign, develop, and publish a multi…