The Golden Braid
By Melanie Dickerson
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Number of Pages: 320
Date Started: January 2, 2016
Date Finished: January 3, 2016
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 this knight 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 is about to be revealed after seventeen years of lies. 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?
I’ll start by saying that this is part of a series of fairy tale retellings and I started in the wrong order. If you want to start in the correct order, I believe the first on is The Healer’s Apprentice.From the beginning there are a few details that make it impossible not to know that our heroine/protagonist is, indeed, Rapunzel. Starting with the obvious, her name is the same, but then she also has the quite long golden hair. I greatly enjoyed that Rapunzel’s mother was given much more depth than the usual story allows, and that she appeared to have reasons for what she suggested to Rapunzel and the things she tried to make Rapunzel practice. All in all, she was quite well done, and while empathetic, still quite villainous. Rapunzel herself was also greatly characterized, ambitious, and well learned.
This was the first time I have seen a fairy tale so artfully mastered and wrapped around religion and the bible. I quite enjoyed watching Rapunzel learn the scripture and contemplate what it meant to her, the reader left to assume that her mother had never spent much time speaking of religion. For many, there needs to be a belief that someone will be there watching out for them, wishing them well, and loving them– especially for those who may not have a physical person out there doing so, and in that regard, entwining religion and God was quite perfect.
Unfortunately, while I did love the majority of the story, the reveal of who Rapunzel truly is (who her parents are) was too easily pieced together based on little snippets of foreshadowing given throughout the book, which made the official knowledge a bit lackluster, since, as a reader, it had been known for quite some time.
Overall, I greatly recommend this book, especially to people who wonder why their parents try to tell them to do certain things, to any that worry no one loves them or cares, and to those who believe every damsel in distress can’t save herself.
Author Bio: (From Amazon)
Melanie Dickerson is the author of Historical Romances, and her favorite time periods are Medieval, which she has combined with her love of fairy tales, and Regency, which shows her love for Jane Austen and the fact that she has memorized the Pride and Prejudice movie–the one with Colin Firth, of course. She is a 2-time Christy Award finalist, a 2-time Maggie Award winner, winner of The National Reader’s Choice Award for 2010’s Best First Book, and winner of the 2012 Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing, hanging out on facebook, and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama. Visit her on the web at http://www.MelanieDickerson.com.
If you like this review, and the writing style of this quirky reviewer, please consider visiting and liking my Facebook author page: Lizzy March.