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The Noble Servant (A Medieval Fairy Tale #3) by Melanie Dickerson: A Book Review

The Noble Servant (A Medieval Fairy Tale #3)
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Christian
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 Synopsis: She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant.

     But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . . if she makes it in time.

     The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.

     On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.

     When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

     My Review: Ever since Magdalen reunited with Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg, she has dreamed of marrying him. She wonders if her dreams will ever come true because she is a poor baron’s daughter and the duke may wish to have a more advantageous marriage. When she eventually receives a marriage proposal from the the Duke of Wolfberg, Magdalen is happy but suspicious of the betrothal. Why, after all these years, has he proposed to her? When she sets out for Wolfberg, her maidservant’s father forces Magdalen to trade places with his daughter. She arrives at the castle of Wolfberg to tend to the duke’s geese. Unbeknownst to her, Steffan has been overthrown by his uncle and gets a job as a shepherd. He meets Magdalen. When both of them meet again, they get together to have their rightful places restored to them. 

    After meeting Magdalen in The Beautiful Pretender, I was excited for her to have her own story. She was a kind and understanding character, and I wanted more of her. Magdalen is a sympathetic character. She is a dreamer. She wishes to be reunited with her love and hopes that despite her poor status, he will want to marry her. When she is forced to tend to the Duke’s geese, she laments her situation. She believes that as a nobleman’s daughter, she is not fit to become a servant. Thus, I was a bit disappoint in Magdalen. She was a champion for Avelina in The Beautiful Pretender. However, when she becomes a servant, she considers them to be beneath her. She remains aloof from them. Therefore, I thought that her character was a major change from the previous novel. She was mostly a damsel in distress, and she had to wait for people to save her. There were a few times in which I admired her intelligence. However, I would have liked more moments where Magdalen was smart and capable.

   As for Steffan himself, he was a bit disappointing. I loved him in The Beautiful Pretender. He and Magdalen were once childhood friends, and they seemed to be attracted to each other. The Beautiful Pretender hinted at a blossoming romance, and I was looking forward for their romance to grow. However, it was ruined when Steffan never considered marrying her simply because she was beneath his status. This made Steffan unlikable simply because he was having a mere flirtation with her, but Magdalen thought it was more. Thus, I didn’t think he was a worthy hero for Magdalen because he was playing with her feelings during his stay at Thornbeck Castle.
     
   Besides playing with Magdalen’s feelings, Steffan didn’t really have much character development. He was exactly like Reinhart. He didn’t have control over his kingdom, and he didn’t want to marry below his station. He was not a strong character and waited for others to rescue him. He did have moments of intelligence, for he recognized Magdalen immediately as a servant. Sadly, there was not enough character development. He could have been a really fun character, but he was not used to his full potential. 

    Overall, this book was about love, forgiveness, and friendship. The side characters were one-dimensional. Indeed, the servant’s father, who played a big role in forcing Magdalen to trade places, is never brought up again. With a big villain who played a massive role in Magdalen’s story, the reader would think that he would play a major role throughout the story. Instead, after that scene, he is almost nonexistent. I did, however, like the setting, which was set in a German castle by the sea. The descriptions were beautiful. The Noble Servant was very fast-paced and a simple love story. However, there was little originality, and it felt like a retelling of The Beautiful Pretender. The Noble Servant is perfect for those whose have never read Melanie Dickerson’s stories. However, for fans of Melanie Dickerson, we know that she is capable of writing better stories. I’m still looking forward to reading more of her works because she is a very talented author.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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