The Healer's Apprentice

Melanie Dickerson, Zondervan, $9.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-310-72143-7
Set in the fictional medieval German town of Hagenheim, this historical romance covers the eight-month period before Lord Hamlin, the duke's eldest son, weds his betrothed, Lady Salomea, who's being kept in hiding from the evil Moncore, a conjurer determined to control her with demonic possession. But Hamlin's first meeting with the young beauty, Rose (supposedly the woodcutter's daughter, training with the castle healer), reveals that they are a match made in heaven; their shared moral rectitude and devotion to duty place many obstacles in their path before Rose's true identity can be revealed. Alternating between the two protagonists' viewpoints, the plot unfolds at a satisfying clip with zesty supporting characters (the healer, the duke's younger son), which add intrigue. A light-handed Christian subtext weaves seamlessly through the novel: illness, injury, and malevolence are all combated "in the name of Jesus." Dickerson combines fairy tale ambience (an unkind stepmother, a rat-filled dungeon, a caricature of a bad guy) with historical touches like herbal remedies, musical instruments, and architectural details to create a colorful and convincing atmosphere in this strong debut. Ages 15–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 978-0-310-40753-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-5200-6900-5
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