Friday, November 26, 2010

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson

The Healer's Apprentice is a novel set in Germany during the late 1300's. The dedication to detail in the story transported me to a time that became very real to me. I could picture every aspect of the story with such clarity. It was as if I were there with them as they were in the town, walking through the countryside, dancing at the ball or going through their everyday lives. The background story is that of "sleeping beauty" but has so much more added to the story.

Rose is a seventeen year old woodcutters daughter who has been taken under the wing of the local Healer. She has grown up in the area so she knows all about the Duke and his family. When Lord Hamlin and Lord Rupert ride through town Rose and Wilhelm's eyes find each other but only for a brief moment. Lord Rupert, on the other hand, makes eye contact with Rose and even winks and speaks to her as he rides by. Later when Lord Hamlin is injured he is brought to Frau Gerusha's home for healing Rose is the only one there. She must see to his wounds. Despite her fears she does what she must. She is a strong character in many ways. While you see her admit her shortcomings and fears she rarely falters when it comes to doing what she feels is right.

Lord Hamlin is a strong man with character and morals. He takes his responsibilities as a leader very seriously. He has been betrothed to another all of his life. She has been in hiding for the last 18 years because of the danger to her life from the evil villain. Lord Hamlin has devoted his time to finding Moncore so that his betrothed can come out of hiding at last. But Moncore escapes capture time and time again. While he knows his commitment to Lady Salomea and is dedicated to that end, he can no more fight his growing feelings for Rose than stop breathing. He does his best to keep his distance, but prays that somehow God will allow him to be with Rose.

The secondary characters are just as believable as the two main ones. Rose's best friend, Hildy is a dreamer and a total romantic. Frau Gerusha is the Healer and is a strong and loving woman. Lord Rupert, the scoundrel brother of Lord Hamlin, is easy to read even when he appears to be changing his ways to win Rose. The evil Moncore was very believable and at times quite scary.

In this book we are faced with many real life choices. Rose must either follow her heart or listen to wise council from someone who knows what is best for her. When someone grows up without the love they need it is easy to fall victim to someone who is not wanting their best interest but his own. We also see that timing can play a major part in life. When we rush ahead sometimes we can mess things up. It also shows in a very interesting way the power that we are given through Jesus' name. We just need to trust Him to use it when the time is right and then not be afraid to call upon that great Name!

I fell in love with the story and the characters from the very first page. I read the entire book in one night. I had stayed up cooking and everyone else was in bed (the night before Thanksgiving). So the house was quiet and I just floated away to the world created in this book. I finished at 6 in the morning. I didn't want the book to end for I had to come back to the present. I can't wait for my youngest daughter to be old enough to read it. I feel it can help her as she has to make some of the same choices in her young life. While I do think it is a wonderful YA book I would encourage anyone to read it. I really like reading a lot of the new YA books that are coming out. This would make a wonderful Christmas gift!

I look forward to Melanie Dickerson's next book, due out in 2012 (hopefully sooner!!!)


and this book video:



I hope you will take the time this holiday and get a copy.