The Healer's Apprentice
by Melanie Dickerson
Genre: Fantasy, Fairytale Re-telling
Ages: 12 and up
Once again I must thank people at the SurLaLune blog for posting that this book was available for free on Kindle, I had never heard of The Healer's Apprentice until then. :)
The Healer's Apprentice is the story of young Christian girl named Rose. Her family is poor, so her mother is constantly trying to marry her off to this merchant or that, but Rose will have none of it. She intends to be the healer when her mentor, Geruscha, gets too old, and the healer doesn't have to marry anyone.
Lord Wilhelm Hamlin, the Duke's heir, is betrothed to the Lady Salomea, whom he has never met. She has been in hiding for years, sent away by her father who wished to keep her safe from the evil Moncore. Wilhelm has been trying to find and neutralize this threat, but he is always one step behind.
This is a lovely re-telling of Sleeping Beauty, the characters are wonderful, their personalities rich and complex. They struggle to fulfill their duties to their families even while they are desperate to break free, which keeps one hoping that somehow there will be a miracle for them. The minor characters are also interesting, Hildy, Gunthor, Rupert, and Geruscha especially. I liked how realistic it was in the medieval sense of how important reputation and honor was, and how horrible a loss of either would be. This is Melanie Dickerson's first novel, and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for any more.
There is no profanity in this book.
There are some sexual references and innuendos, as well as one aborted assault, so it rates a 6.10.
There are several scenes of violence scattered through this novel, mostly mild but with one that was a little disturbing, so I give it a 5.10.