by Melanie Dickerson
Evil could never defeat good. Though evil could lie and steal and destroy for a time, it was only for a time; God always had the final say.The Peasant’s Dream
The summer following my sophomore year of college, I needed a break. I needed to get lost in the written word and have some personal time. Have you ever felt that? My saving grace was finding the Hagenheim Fairytale series. I rarely slept, I simply read each book from start to finish. This series holds a special place in my heart. After several years now, I still find great pleasure when a new book from the series is released. I am excited to announce that the eleventh and final book in the series is released today!
Retellings of some of your favorite fairytale stories, the Hagenheim series follows two families. One in England and the other in Germany. Although I have enjoyed each and every book, Silent Songbird holds a special place in my heart. I am hoping to reread soon and write a review for it soon!
In this reverse Cinderella story, a poor farmer’s son, who dreams of using his talent as a woodcarver to make a better life for himself, falls in love with a duke’s daughter and must fight for a chance to win her heart.
Adela is the youngest daughter of Duke Wilhelm of Hagenheim and is never allowed outside of the castle walls. She loves her family, but she sneaks away one day to the market in the town center. There she meets a handsome young man and wonders what it might be like to fall in love with a poor farmer with a kind heart instead of marrying the man her family is suggesting for her.
Frederick earns the income for his family and defends his mother from his father’s drunken rages. He also uses his talent and creativity to carve figures, animals, and scenes into wood, and he’s asked to carve these scenes into cathedral doors when his talent is noticed. Frederick is inspired by the sweet and beautiful Adela, but he has no knowledge of her true identity. When he gets swept up into a plan to kidnap the duke’s daughter, both are shaken by what they learn about the other.
With the heartbroken Adela resigned to an arranged marriage with her noble suitor, Frederick must decide what he’s willing to risk for love.
I appreciated Melanie Dickerson’s willingness to write such real and difficult situations such as an abusive father, pregnancy out of marriage, discrepancies between social classes, the destructiveness of ill-used alcohol, and the importance of choosing the right spouse. As the series is written for young adults, these topics are very important to discuss. Many are experiencing one of these issues and Melanie Dickerson handled it so well. Although written as a fairytale, not everyone’s story progresses perfectly. I appreciated the Christian undertones and stories as Frederick and Adela sought after the heart of God.
I have to be honest and say this was not my favorite in the series. It seemed a little repetitive of the others. However, it was still a joy read and a good book to end the series. I am sad that the series has come to end, but I look forward to many great rereadings in the future!
Although written for young adults, the Hagenheim series is a great read for all ages. I personally always enjoy a good fairytale retelling and happily ever afters. If you have daughters, I would suggest reading the series with them. Many great discussions and topics can be derived from the pages of the series!
The Peasant’s Dream is released TODAY, July 7, 2020.
The Red Review: ❤️❤️❤️
***3 Hearts: Compelling Characters, Well-Written, Interesting Storyline (.5), Unable to Stop (.5)
- The Healer’s Apprentice – Sleeping Beauty
- The Merchant’s Daughter – Beauty and the Beast
- The Fairest Beauty – Snow White
- The Captive Maiden – Cinderella
- The Princess Spy – Frog Prince
- The Golden Braid – Rapunzel
- The Silent Songbird – Little Mermaid
- The Orphan’s Wish – Aladdin
- The Warrior Maiden – Mulan
- The Piper’s Pursuit – Pied Piper
- The Peasant’s Dream – Reverse Cinderella