Saturday, May 18, 2013

Review + Giveaway // The Fairest Beauty By Melanie Dickerson

The Fairest Beauty// T h e   F a i r e s t   B e a u t y //
B y   M e l a n i e   D i c k e r s o n
{B o o k   R e v i e w   B y  B e t h a n y  &  M a d i}
Title: The Fairest Beauty
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Source: Both ladies received a review copy from the publisher to review
Number of Pages: 323
ISBN: 0310724392
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing
Publication Date: January 2013
Bethany's Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Madi's Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
// Book Synopsis //
"A daring rescue. A difficult choice."

Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother's jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie's one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe?

Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl's inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother's future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what.

When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts."
// Book Trailer //

// Bethany's Book Review //
Wow. Just wow. I LOVED this book! There were so many aspects of this book - so many little things that really added up - I just can't believe how wonderful this book was! Melanie has done it again and left a lasting mark on the classic Snow White fairytale, writing a novel even better than the original!
First off, I think it's super cool how Melanie re-writes well known fairytales and makes them even more amazing than the originals! I loved how The Fairest Beauty was heavily based on Snow White, yet it had some unique aspects that were very original and made this classical story even better. I liked how she kept the "evil" stepmother, knight in shining armor, and the seven dwarfs in the story but added the unique parts like the cross necklace and it's life saving scene, and how Lady Rose from The Healers Apprentice was incorporated at the end of the book.
Second of all, I just loved Sophie. Like a lot. I loved her sweet character and her unwavering faith in Jesus Christ even when she didn't know what He was doing or why she was going through hardships. My second favorite character was Gabe. What a hero. He was so respectful of Sophie and a true gentleman. Another note I'd like to add while I'm talking about the characters, is I liked how Melanie handled the evil witch in the original Snow White. I liked how she was actually a stepmother in the book, and how even though it was quite obvious that she was less than kind and very cruel, I liked how she wasn't made out to be a scary or spirit-filled witch. It was very obvious that she was the "bad girl" but we were spared nasty details and all that.
Another thing I adored about this book was how Christ was a part of the story. I loved all the Bible verses that characters brought up or quoted as well as the prayer and emphasis on making sure the marriage was according to God's will. I also loved how there was an emphasis on the family's blessing on the marriage, as that is something I see lacking in our culture today.
This book was so excited and a real adventure! I actually started it at 10 p.m. thinking I'd just start it and wasn't really planning on staying up late or reading a lot. Ha! Long story made short, I was up until midnight where I finally stopped after completing half of the book, and then it was only because my eyes were giving up on me! I just could not put it down! I kept telling myself "I'll just finish this last chapter" but it ended up being more like " I'll just hit the half-way mark." :) A total page-turner -  the pages just flew by and I found it very easy to read and a great enjoyment. I would highly recommend this book to all fairytale lovers, as it's full of action, and has the essential Snow White details with a few nice extra touches, and has a nice Christian view and is in my opinion, a wonderful teen-fiction. Bravo, Melanie! I simply cannot wait for your next book The Captive Maiden to come out later this year!!

// Madi's Book Review //
I just finished this book a few minutes ago, so I'm still recovering. This book was FABULOUS. Melanie Dickerson is most definitely one of my top 5 favorite authors of all time. I loved how when Gabe was nursing Sophie's wound in the woods he mentioned the same healer from The Healers Apprentice. I love how there is always some small link between her princess spin-offs that connect them to each other. In fact, I believe her next book, which is a Cinderella spin-off, is about Gabe's brother, Valten. I really can't wait for The Captive Maiden to release. I've read all of Melanie's books so far, and they are all 6 out of 5 stars (but seriously). So far, all of Melanie's books are medieval times renditions of well known classical fairytales. The Merchants Daughter is a Beauty and the Beast spin-off, The Healers Apprentice covered Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), and The Fairest Beauty was Snow White. I don't know why someone didn't think of doing this sooner, but in my humble opinion, Melanie is a stinking genius. What better way to grip a teenage girls heart than with princes and princesses?! There is none.
Sophie doesn't know it, but she is a Duke's daughter. Born for wealth and prestige, she was raised as a kitchen maid. As if that wasn't bad enough, she is always being found guilty for some small transgression or another by Duchess Ermengard, the lady of the castle and Sophie's stepmother (though she doesn't know that at first). All her fellow servants adore her, and the only time she gets in trouble is when she is helping someone else. Sophie is the kind of woman that we should all strive to be: loving, kind, caring and forgiving of her enemies. But she is treated so cruelly that all she wants to do is to escape the walls that confine her. And through Gabeheart, she gets that chance.
Gabe, the second eldest son of his family, is known for being a bit irresponsible and flighty. He can only imagine the fame and respect he will get from rescuing his brothers betrothed while Valten lies in bed with a broken leg. He never expected to fall for Sophie . . .
I loved watching Gabe grow from a boy to a man, and Sophia from a mistreated maid to a lady of wealth and family. This story will tear your heart apart, so beware. It's so neat to watch Gabe go from young and irresponsible to trying his hardest to be the kind of man Sophie deserves. I love the respect and integrity that comes so naturally with the times of Sophie and Gabe, and I love being reminded how lucky I am to have the family that I have, and the things that I am blessed with. I love everything about this book. I couldn't find a single fault in it, and I'm not gonna try. If you have read any of my other book reviews here on TLM, you know that I'm a pretty tough critic when it comes to the the books that I read and the stuff that I put into my head, so this is saying a lot for Melanie's work. I HIGHLY recommend not only this book, but anything written by Melanie. She is a wonderful author, and she has quite a way with words. I hope that y'all will take our advice and go to your local library or bookstore and get one of Melanie's books. You won't regret it.

// The Giveaway //
 Today we are so excited to be able to giveaway a copy of The Fairest Beauty, thanks to the wonderful team at Zondervan! To enter this giveaway, please use the RaffleCopter form below. Giveaway is open to the U.S. {Please no P.O. addresses} and will run until May 31st 2013. After this the winner will be contacted via email with a request to email us their mailing address so we can forward that to the Zondervan team to get the prize sent out. The winners name will also be announced on the RaffleCopter widget below after the giveaway ends and a winner is drawn at random using provided through RaffleCopter. As always, if you have any questions just leave a comment! We would like to sincerely thank Melanie Dickerson for writing this wonderful novel, as well as Charleen, Candice, and the rest of the Zondervan team for providing the giveaway copy! You guys have a great remainder of the weekend, and happy entering! =)
~The Literary Maidens

N o t e :: We were not paid to review The Fairest Beauty or giveaway a copy on this blog, and received a free copy of the book to read and review.  All thoughts expressed in the reviews are our own and completely honest and unbiased.



  1. I haven't read any of Melanie's books, but would like to - basing them on a fairytale is such a neat idea!

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  2. This sounds like a great book! Thanks for sharing these reviews :)

  3. I haven't read any of her books, but this one sounds amazing!

  4. I haven't read any of her books but I have heard a lot about this one. I also discovered your blog, so glad I did.

  5. Thanks for hosting a giveaway, ladies! Such a pretty website!

  6. I have only read one book so far of Melanie's and it is this one! It quickly became one of my favorite books! :)

  7. I have read The Merchant's Daughter and loved it! Beauty and the Beast is my favorite disney princess fairy tale and it was really nice reading a Christian book based on it.

  8. I haven't read any of them yet, but I have heard that they are great! That's why I want to read them. :)

  9. I have read all three of Melanie's books and loved them all! She is such an amazing author and I can't wait for The Captive Maiden!

  10. Thanks for the giveaway :) This book has been on my wishlist since it was a bookclub read that I missed.

  11. I have read The Merchant's Daughter and The Healer's Apprentice. I loved them!

  12. I have yet to read one of Melanie's novels yet, but Fairest Beauty is on my to-read list!

    I love fairy tales, fantasy, medieval, epic type adventure stories, and Fairest Beauty sounds like that kind of story.

  13. I absolutely LOVE this book and the entire series. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. This looks interesting-- thanks for the giveaway!

  15. I have read Ms. Melanie's other books and I was blown away by them. I am a huge fan of fairy tale remakes and Ms. Melanie did a great job putting her twist on the tales. :)

  16. I love Melanie's books and can't wait to read this one.

  17. I actually have the Healer's Apprentice on my shelf and I'm looking forward to reading it this Summer :)

  18. I just recently read one of her books for the first time and WOW I loved every minute of it! :)

    1. (Luis Lisa Shantz Medeiros) is who it shows as me under the raffle and Facebook.... :) love your blog!

  19. I have read the Healer's Apprentice & The Merchant's Daughter! I loved both of them :)

  20. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  21. I haven't read any of Melanie's books but, I would love to. A re-telling of a fairytale, with a Christian perspective.

  22. I haven't read any of her books yet. Snow White is one of my favorite fairy tales so I thought this retelling sounded good and would love to try it.

  23. I would love to enter this giveaway. This book looks sooo good! Thanks for having this. :)


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