Saturday, October 7, 2023

FORTRESS OF SNOW and CASTLE OF REFUGE by Melanie Dickerson, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

FORTRESS OF SNOW  Dericott Tale #4
" . . . I, the Baron Wexcombe, will no longer search for a suitable marriage for her, nor will I acknowledge her as my sister, as I cannot vouch for her virtue. Do with her as you will, as I consider her your responsibility now, not mine."

Shuffled by one brother into the hands of another has left Mazelina Wexcombe feeling rather abandoned. And in essence, that is exactly what has happened. Following the death of her dear father, Mazy's options became extremely limited; the only man showing her any true kindness was Sir Berenger of Dericott, whose service to the king was his only avenue for advancement as the third son of an earl.

When extenuating circumstances separate Sir Berenger and Mazy's acquaintance, Mazy works tirelessly to acquire a simple independence that she finds both rewarding and refreshing until . . . the handsome young knight re-appears and her dreams for the future demand that she embark on a dangerous quest.

A delightful happily-ever-after with every element of a good fairy tale!
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 3.5 stars 

Fortress of Snow Back Cover Blurb:
Mazy dreams of independence. Sir Berenger longs to play the hero. But in each other, they may find the secret to happily ever after.

Mazelina of Wexcombe has always dreamed of traveling with her father to lands beyond the confining walls of their castle. But his sudden death deprives her of the future she imagined. Abandoned by her eldest brother, Mazy is soon forced to seek help from her beloved brother Sir John at the great estate of Strachleigh.

Her visit leads to a friendship with the dashing and noble Sir Berenger of Dericott. He has notions of rescuing a damsel in distress. But Mazy is brave enough to defend herself—and has proven that her skills in archery and knife throwing rival that of a knight’s. So when he is called away to Prussian lands, Sir Berenger looks to distinguish himself in battle.

When Sir Berenger returns, he and Mazy meet again on the streets of London, where she is making a living selling goods in the market. Meanwhile, he has been summoned by the king to receive a reward for his service. But the recognition comes with a price: He must marry a wealthy, titled widow to please the king. But when Mazy begins to suspect treachery, she embarks on a journey to the fortress of snow to warn the brave knight—and secure her own fairy-tale ending.

In this fourth novel set in the Dericott universe, Melanie Dickerson weaves an exciting reimagining of the Snow Queen tale.
Buy FORTRESS OF SNOW at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

CASTLE OF REFUGE Dericott Tale #2
"You have grown into such a beauty. Just like your mother."

Audrey, daughter of Viscount Engleford, was lovely in face and form, much to the disgust of her older sister Maris, whose envy and jealousy became a motive for destruction, or at the very least a vicious attack resulting in a permanent disfigurement. She got away with it too, was sent away, only to return. . . . . providing Audrey with the impetus to flee the life her father had planned for her . . . afraid and alone.

"'Lean not on your own understanding,' she whispered to herself. 'God, I will trust in You to take care of me.'"

Notified by his staff that a young, sick, abandoned woman has been found just outside the gates, Lord Edwin Dericott transports the unconscious female to safety within his castle's walls. Gaining a better look, she triggers a faint memory of familiarity, but his foggy recollection escapes any certainty. What transpires in the aftermath is a tale worthy of legend.

Creative, meaningful, suspenseful . . . the author pens a happily-ever-after demonstrating from beginning to end that courage and humility from within are stronger virtues than any display of malice and brute strength from without.

"Your scars are what make you beautiful, the things you have overcome, the way you have stayed gentle and kind and compassionate in spite of  . . . "
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 3.5 stars

Castle of Refuge Back Cover Blurb:
In this Ugly Duckling retelling, New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson brilliantly crafts a high-stakes, encouraging tale about a brave young woman, the true meaning of beauty, and the power of love.

Ever since she was a child, Audrey wanted her life to be extraordinary. But as the daughter of a viscount born in late fourteenth-century England, the only thing expected of her was to marry—until an act of malice by her sister, Maris, four years ago damaged her face and her prospects. Though Maris was sent away, twenty-year-old Audrey is still suffering the scars of her sister’s cruelty. When her father announces his plans to marry off his damaged daughter and bring Maris home, Audrey decides to flee in search of her true destiny.

Life outside her home is dangerous, and Audrey soon finds herself attacked, sick, and in desperate need of help. She is taken in at Dericott Castle to be nursed back to health. While there, she decides to keep her identity a secret and work as a servant in the castle. But she doesn’t count on falling in love with the young and handsome Lord Dericott, who lost his arm several months earlier and bears scars of his own.

Meanwhile, Edwin—Lord Dericott—is curious about the new, well-educated servant’s identity. All he knows is that he’s quickly becoming smitten with her. When the man Audrey’s father wanted her to marry comes looking for her, she and Edwin must make life-changing decisions about what to believe and whether or not love is truly worth trusting.

Buy CASTLE OF REFUGE at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House 

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