by Dina Sleiman
Earlier this week we featured a wonderful article by Melanie Dickerson on Fairy Tale retellings. The subject definitely struck a chord and many of you joined in the conversation. So today, I'm delighted to recommend Melanie's wonderful new Beauty and the Beast tale, The Merchant's Daughter.
Click here for video trailer.
We've already agreed that we love a good fairy tale retelling. I'm sure we can also agree that the cover is just gorgeous. And it captures the tone of the book so well. Zondervan did a lovely job packaging this novel.
The novel itself does an incredible job of capturing this timeless tale in a more realistic manner. Of course the theme of inner beauty is strong, but it goes further to present a story of redemption and healing. One of my favorite elements was Annabel's strong desire to read the Bible for herself and not just hear the priest's skewed take on it. As a fellow medieval writer, I was thoroughly delighted by this historical depiction, which is so true of that time. Annabel's wish to enter a convent also thrilled me, and showed her sincere devotion to God. But God channeled this love in a different direction. I found the romance in this book gentle and touching, as fit Annabel's strong but quiet spirit. The book powerfully illustrates a true sort of Godly love.
As I read it, I couldn't help but wonder, what makes this young adult fiction. It dealt with some hard realities and many themes adults would relate with. Lord Ranulf is far from a child and has experienced much heartache. I suppose the fairy tale element is popular among young adult readers, making this a smart marketing choice. But I also noticed how Annabel blossoms into young womanhood during the story. I think that might be the reason it's well suited to young adults. I know my daughter loves Melanie's books.
So yes, whether or not you are a young adult, I highly recommend this book to fairy tale fans, romance lovers, Anglophiles, and medieval enthusiasts. It's a great quick read, and you'll enjoy every moment.
Giveaway Contest: INKIES ARE ELIGIBLE! Since I somehow ended up with two copies of this book, I'm going to give one away. But you must follow my rules. You must make up your own backstory for beastly Lord Ranulf. If you were to write this book, what sort of past would you give him that might stir our compassion? Leave your ideas along with your email address in a safe format to win. I'll choose my favorite on Monday.