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The Healer's Apprentice (Hagenheim Series #1) by Melanie Dickerson: A Book Review

The Healer’s Apprentice (Hagenheim Series #1)
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Genre: YA, Historical fiction, Christian
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: 2010
Pages: 272
Source: Personal Collection
Synopsis: Two Hearts. One Hope. 
     Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her---a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill. 

     When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

      My Review: Melanie Dickerson retells the story of “Sleeping Beauty” with a Christian twist in The Healer’s Apprentice. The story is set in medieval Germany. Instead of a spinning wheel, fairies, and sleeping curse with an evil fairy as its villain, it is instead an evil pagan worshipper who curses the Duke of Marienburg's daughter so that she will be possessed by demons and driven mad. In an effort to protect his daughter from the curse, the duke hides his daughter from the pagan worshipper until his daughter is ready to marry her fiance, the Duke of Hagenheim’s son, who is his enemy. This marriage is to end the warring strife between the two dukedoms and to help bring prosperity and peace.

     The center of the story is Rose, a woodcutter’s daughter. She has secured a great position that few in her status could ever hope to dream of-- an apprentice to the royal healer. However, she still gets sick at the sight of blood and wonders if she is cut out to be a healer. She relies on her teacher to help cure the sick and heal the wounded. But when Lord Hamlin, the Duke of Hagenheim's son is injured and her teacher is nowhere near, Rose is forced to take Lord Hamlin’s life in her hands and heal him. The two begin to form a connection and eventually fall in love. There is, however, an obstacle. The two are forbidden to fall in love for Lord Hamlin is engaged to the Duke of Marienburg's mysterious daughter, and Rose’s mother is forcing her to marry an old man. 

     Although I did like Rose, I found that she was annoying at times and sometimes I did not like her. The reason is because she was always constantly worrying about what people would think of her. However, she is very faithful to God. She quotes the biblical scriptures and makes her decisions around God. However sometimes, she makes mistakes, especially to resent Lord Hamlin’s betrothed.

     Overall, it was a light and fun read. The novel is filled with romance, friendship, and faith. It has a powerful message about God’s love and his plan for us. There is a mystery, which is predictable, and a love triangle, which can sometimes be tedious. The characters are well-developed, and the setting is realistic. The plot is enough to keep the reader entertained. This book is recommended for anyone who is interested in Christianity, romance, fairy tales, or anyone who is looking for light and quick read. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is the author's official book trailer of The Healer's Apprentice: 



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