The Healer's Apprentice Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
A realistic, fast-paced reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale full of royalty, romance, and danger. This masterful combination of love and heartbreak - combined with the novel’s surprise ending - is everything fans of fantasy, historical, and medieval fiction yearn for.
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.
The Healer's Apprentice:
- An award-winning historical romance - a creative retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale - by author Melanie Dickerson
- Perfect for listeners ages 13-18 and adults who enjoy historical romances similar to Eva Ibbotson’s
- A romantic, fast-paced story - sure to entrance fans of fairytale retellings
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 38 minutes|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 13, 2015|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #62,577 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#17 in Clean & Wholesome Romance for Teens
#106 in Teen & Young Adult Christian Historical Fiction
#649 in Teen & Young Adult Historical Romance
Top reviews from the United States
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Where on earth was this book when I was a teenager? As a life-long fairy tale aficionado, I was intrigued by the premise and captivated from the first pages, eager to discover how Dickerson translated the Sleeping Beauty story into novel form. Sleeping Beauty just happens to be my favorite fairy tale, so the stakes were particularly high -- and overall I was quite impressed with how Dickerson translated the fantastical, magical elements of the story into a real-world historical setting. Medieval Germany is the perfect backdrop for Rose's story, a world where the Christian faith she holds dear can believably collide with old pagan traditions, and princes like Lord Hamlin quested for their ladies fair, holding honor and duty above all else. The Healer's Apprentice is a heady mix of romance and adventure, grounded in the political and social history of the fourteenth century, rich with medieval mores and customs that flesh out the Sleeping Beauty story beats that were the heartbeat of my own childhood imaginings.
In my experience with her debut Dickerson has set herself up as something of a trailblazer in the realm of faith-based fiction by capitalizing on the enduring popularity of fairy tales and the growing demand for historical fiction in the young adult market. While Rose operates in the world of medieval Europe, she is an extremely likable and wholly relatable heroine as she attempts to navigate the murky waters of young adulthood in order to find her place in the world. I loved how Dickerson developed the romance between Rose and Lord Hamlin -- its sweet intensity is a nice complement to the story's origins, fleshing out one of the most famous relationships in the fairy tale world. This is a slim novel, its only drawback being the final third of the storyline where I felt the pace was bogged down by Rose and Wilhelm's respective longing for each other getting repetitive -- a lot of talk about feelings with little forward momentum to the story's climax. And while I appreciated the twist Dickerson applied to the storyline of obvious spiritual evil (instead of stock "magic") versus faith, I wish the faith element and spiritual warfare aspects of the story had been a little less pedantic and more organic in its portrayal.
However, those qualms aside The Healer's Apprentice is a sterling example of breaking new ground in Christian fiction, and it is to be applauded for its (mostly) successful integration of secular fairy tales and faith-based literature. As such this is a novel with potentially wide appeal, crossing markets and target audiences. Dickerson has delivered a promising debut here, and with her clear appreciation for fairy tales and historical research she is an author to watch!
(Though reviews are inherently subjective, I prefer to provide some organization to my opinions through the use of a personal rubric. The following notes may contain spoilers.)
Plot and Setting: 4 -- Plot has unique elements and no major holes, but a few shaky bits and/or a slight lack of focus. It's a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, and I did enjoy it a lot, but in changing the magical elements into something more plausible, it ended up being a bit soap-opera-ish. I'm often hesitant about stories that bring in demons, but in this case I felt that aspect could've been played up a bit more, and the drama regarding Rupert toned down. Setting is clear and believable. Timeline may be a bit hard to follow. Some good points of reference at the beginning and end, but it was a bit unclear in the middle.
Characters: 5 -- Relatable, realistic, interesting, dynamic characters. Rose's image of herself and her goals changes multiple times through the story, and Wilhelm undergoes some turmoil and change, too. They are both definitely good people, but their struggles make them easy to relate to and dynamic in great ways. I liked their strengths and their vulnerabilities. Even minor characters have depth, as do the relationships between characters. I feel like we get to know multiple facets of quite a few minor characters, from Rupert to Hildy and even Moncore.
Mechanics and Writing: 4.5 -- A handful of typos, punctuation issues, or word errors, but nothing that seriously hinders understanding. A few issues with compound words (eg towns people that should be townspeople), but mainly some trouble with formatting near the end, when a lot of paragraph breaks got misplaced. I also wished the breaks between sections were a bit more obvious. Intelligent use of POV (mainly Rose and Wilhelm, plus a few bits of Moncore near the end). Skillful writing that adds to the story.
Redeeming Value: 5 -- Well-developed, central, uplifting themes. Lessons on worth, duty, and trusting God to make his plans clear rather than trying to force things to go as we wish. Also a glimpse of Moncore summoning demons--and Wilhelm banishing them in Jesus' name. Sex, alcohol, violence, etc, are not glorified at all; they are present, but with clear moral guidelines. On the negative side, Rose and Hildy fight off attacks from men, Gilbert sought violent revenge (which he soon came to regret), and Rupert asks Rose to be his mistress. More positively, Wilhelm loves Rose, but recognizes that he shouldn't even think about her too much while he's engaged to Salomea.
Personal Enjoyment: 5 -- I loved it. It made me feel in all the best ways, and leaves me content and satisfied. One I'll definitely read again.
Top reviews from other countries
Read once and found this novel just fine for a rainy afternoon, however unlikely to read again.