|AUTHOR: Melanie Dickerson|
SERIES: Fairy Tales, book 6
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
PUBLICATION DATE: November 17, 2015
GENRE: fairy tales, Christian, historical fiction, romance
SETTING: Hagenheim, Lower Saxony (Germany), 1413
GIVE IT TO: MS
REVIEW: Rapunzel has always been my favorite fairy tale, so I was super-excited for the chance to review The Golden Braid. Having read three of Dickerson's other fairy tale spin-offs, The Captive Maiden, The Princess Spy, and The Fairest Beauty, I knew what to expect when I started:
- It would be addictive.
- It would have lots of scripture and praying.
- It would be squeaky-clean.
- Characters from previous books would make appearances.
- I would love it.
The 1400s Germany setting works really well for Dickerson's stories. Knights and lords and castles and fair maidens? Yes!
In the beginning, I thought Gothel might end up being a sympathetic character. She had clearly been very hurt by a man long ago, and at first, she seemed simply to want to be an independent woman and spare Rapunzel that kind of pain. I was disappointed as the story went on that she turned out to be the hag she always is in Rapunzel stories. Though I still enjoyed the Gothel backstory, a sympathetic Gothel would have been a refreshing twist.
Middle school librarians and teachers looking for clean romances with strong heroines will find Ms. Dickerson's books fit the bill nicely. It is Christian fiction, and yes, it does include plenty of quotations from scripture. The characters draw strength from God and pray to God to help them make difficult decisions. While some readers will probably find this off-putting, I will say that I enjoy these books even though I am not a religious person at all. And unlike some YA couples I've read about, I am certain that if Dickerson's characters were real people, their marriages really would be "till death do they part."
THE BOTTOM LINE: Cute, squeaky-clean fun. Give it to middle school girls looking for fairy tale romance.
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: I have all of Ms. Dickerson's books in my library, and I plan to get this one as well. I recommend these books to 6th and 7th grade girls all the time.
- Overall: 4/5
- Creativity: 4/5--I love the Gothel backstory
- Characters: 4/5
- Engrossing: 5/5
- Writing: 5/5
- Appeal to teens: 4/5
- Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5
- Language: none
- Sexuality: very mild; one chaste kiss, snuggling
- Violence: mild; Gerek's father killed his mother, then himself; knight battles; Rapunzel is skilled with a knife; allusions to rape (very, very mild though--many young readers will miss it)
- Drugs/Alcohol: mild; poisoning
- Other: Rapunzel kills a chicken for dinner. Some sensitive animal lovers will not like that part.