Thursday, December 22, 2011

Review: The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson

Title: The Merchant's Daughter 
Author: Melanie Dickerson 
Release Date: November 29,2011
Source: NetGalley

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger.

Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.
Review: I love historical fiction. So, so much! I love fairy tale re-tellings. I love reading historical fiction set in the medieval times. When I first came across The Merchant’s Daughter, I loved the premise and I decided to give it a try. A few pages into the book I realized that it was a historical fiction novel set in medieval England and later realized that it was a Beauty and the Beast re-telling!

I loved the plot! The time in which this book is set it not really written about these days and its always refreshing to see the world. I’m a history nerd and I’ve studied a lot about the different times in history, but if I hadn’t, I would have been surprised at the social difference from that time to today. Women were considered so low in the social status and they really were only good for keeping the house and taking care of the children and the husband. Many weren’t even allowed to read Bibles, as seen in this book! The plot incorporated the world perfectly with the characters and the situations that our protagonist, Annabel, gets herself into.

I will say that a lot of times, when there is a lot of talk of the Bible and other religious things, I get a little frazzled. I don’t like preachy books and as I continued to read on, I realized that the Bible played a huge part in the plot and was something big to our characters. It didn’t seem preachy though and I, personally, wasn’t surprised. Much. It fit the time really well, since religion was HUGE part of people’s lives in the 1300s(not saying that it isn’t today!) It really felt like it a part of the story and part of the characters lives and not intended to be preachy.

Annabel was as independent as women could be back then and she wasn’t going to take any wrong doing from anyone. She occasionally did act as her role, which was a servant, but other times, she was not going to take crap from anyone. For instance, Annabel’s family wants her to marry an old man who is willing to help her family out of debt…most girls her age would go right into but not Annabel. She wasn’t fazed by anyone or anything. She was herself and she accepted it!

Ranulf, who was such a tormented guy, didn’t really get…in depth. I felt that his character was lacking and his life before he He fit the place of the beast perfectly and I liked reading from his POV also! the secondary characters really help bring about the plot details and the climax. It goes to show how important family was, even though women weren’t considered as equal to men!

Overall, I loved this book! While, yes, some things were cliché (it’s kind of hard not to be, being a re-telling) but I loved how Beauty and the Beast was incorporated into this story! I think all of you should give it a chance!

Overall: 4/5
Cover Comments: 5/5—I love it! The dress, the mirror (with the beast) and the background all go really well with the story!

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