Book Review: The Golden Braid

3 Dec

Golden-BraidThe 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 him 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 are about to be revealed after seventeen years. 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?

MDickerson-339Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer’s Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award for Best First Book. Melanie earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

 

My Impressions:

I loved fairy tales as a child. I can remember the kids in the neighborhood acting out the stories that our parents read to us at bedtime. Nowadays (don’t I sound old!) children don’t know the old classics except through animated movies. That’s why think Melanie Dickerson’s retelling of old favorites is such a great idea — introduce a young adult audience to the fairy tale experience with a spiritual foundation. The Golden Braid brings to life the story of Rapunzel, she of the very long hair. Yet in this story more than just the damsel in distress needs saving. A fresh twist on a classic gets this book a recommended rating from me.

Rapunzel has moved from village to village with her adopted mother, never staying long in any one place. They are always viewed as outsiders, but Rapunzel has never questioned Mother’s actions until now. The rules are tightening on Rapunzel, and she dreams of a freedom she has never known. After meeting a handsome, yet irritating, knight, Rapunzel dares to live her life unfettered by restrictions.

Rapunzel is an interesting character: a bit naive, completely innocent to the dangers of the world, yet hungry for knowledge. Her desire to read the Holy Writ opens up new ideas for her, especially the nature of God as a loving Father, something she has never known. As she learns God’s truth, she yearns for the secrets in her own life to be exposed. The handsome and tough Sir Gerek is also a complex character who learns that man’s plans are not always the way God wants things to go. Both of these characters grow in their understanding and faith as the story progresses and provide valuable insights. In fact, I think The Golden Braid would make a great choice for a high school-aged book club. Dickerson creates a richly detailed medieval world full of superstitions and old wives tales that perfectly fits the fairy tale setting. Many characters from previous books make appearances too  — a real plus for her fans.

All in all, The Golden Braid is a great read and would make a fabulous Christmas gift for the YA girl in your life!

Recommended.

Audience: high school ages and up.

To purchase this book, click HERE

(Thanks to LitFuse and Thomas Nelson for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

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