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The Orphan's Wish (Hagenheim #8) by Melanie Dickerson: A Book Review

The Orphan's Wish (Hagenheim #8)
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Genre: Ya, Historical Fiction, Christian
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Pages: 351
Source: This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes an inspired retelling of the beloved folk tale Aladdin.

     Orphaned and alone, Aladdin travels from the streets of his Arab homeland to a strange, faraway place. Growing up in an orphanage, he meets young Lady Kirstyn, whose father is the powerful Duke of Hagenheim. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion, and their childhood friendship grows into a bond that time and opposition cannot break.

     Even as a child, Aladdin works hard, learning all he can from his teachers. Through his integrity, intelligence, and sheer tenacity, he earns a position serving as the duke’s steward. But that isn’t enough to erase the shame of being forced to steal as a small child—or the fact that he’s an orphan with no status. If he ever wants to feel equal to his beautiful and generous friend Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim and seek his fortune.

     Yet once Aladdin departs, Lady Kirstyn becomes a pawn in a terrible plot. Now, Aladdin and Kirstyn must rely on their bond to save her from unexpected danger. But will saving Kirstyn cost Aladdin his newfound status and everything he’s worked so hard to obtain?

     An enchanting new version of the well-known tale, The Orphan’s Wish tells a story of courage and loyalty, friendship and love, and reminds us what “family” really means.

      My Review: The Orphan’s Wish is a retelling of Aladdin. Aladdin is taken from his homeland and is brought to Hagenheim as an orphan. There he meets the beautiful Lady Kirstyn, the Duke of Hagenheim’s daughter. They become childhood friends and eventually fall in love. However, Aladdin realizes that he is poor and has nothing to offer the duke. He leaves Kirstyn and goes off to seek his fortune. While Aladdin is gone Kirstyn gets kidnapped. Will Kirstyn ever be saved and be reunited with Aladdin?

     Kirstyn is a very realistic and complex heroine. She is portrayed as a lonely young woman and the only one who can truly understand her is Aladdin. There were moments that I thought she was childish and stubborn. Eventually, she grows as a character when she gets kidnapped. Thus, the reader can sense how vulnerable she is. She becomes a stronger woman and is able to save herself in the situation. However, the event still traumatizes her and she has to deal with the aftermath. Thus, we can empathize with Kirstyn that she may never recover from the event.

    Aladdin is also a very likable character. He is also flawed. He sometimes gets caught up in his quest for ambition and wealth that he forgets what is most important in his life. He has some insecurities. He spends most of the book feeling that he is not good enough for Kirstyn. However, he realizes that Kirstyn loves him for who he is. Thus, Aladdin realizes that money is not everything. What matters is his loved ones.

   Overall, The Orphan’s Wish is about love, family, friendship, and happiness. The message of this book is to be thankful for what you already have rather than pursue earthly ambitions. Melanie Dickerson’s writing has greatly improved and I thought this was the most mature book out of all her novels. While The Orphan’s Wish did have a happy ending, the story hints that it is not a true happily ever after. The characters are still left with some emotional scars that will most likely never go away. The novel does have some flaws. There were many flashbacks that distract the reader from the story and there were a few repetitive scenes. Still, this novel was one of my most anticipated books of 2018, and it did not disappoint! I can’t wait to read the next book in the Hagenheim series! The Orphan’s Wish is definitely a must read for fairy tale lovers and a superb addition to Melanie Dickerson fans!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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