13 December 2011

Review of The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson



Diana L. Flowers, Senior Reviewer/Contributor


5 stars~ *****

Enchanting Read!

In The Merchant's Daughter, Melanie Dickerson has crafted a hauntingly beautiful, medieval tale, reminiscent of the timeless classic The Beauty and The Beast. The setting is 14th century England, a time in which lords and castles, servants and comely village lasses, and superstitious townsfolk abound. Our heroine, Annabel Chapman of Glynval, England, was once the wealthy daughter of a merchant, who died and left her family penniless. To avoid marrying bailiff Tom, a lecher who stalks and terrifies her, she agrees to become a servant to Lord le Wyse, who is equally terrifying, but doesn't allow his servants to be mistreated.

Lord le Wyse is formidable; a man with one eye and numerous scars covering his body, and a disposition that leaves Annabel quaking in his presence. She has heard terrible rumors that the lord turns into a howling wolf at night and roams the woods, and actually sees him in the forest one eve on all fours emitting a gut-wrenching, groaning howl from deep within. What has caused the young lord such anguish of soul and disfigurement in his features?
Annabel wishes only to become a nun and learn the Word of God, and is given an opportunity to read and discuss the Bible with Lord le Wyse before retiring for the night. In those moments she sees the vulnerable, kind man within, filled with despair, hopelessness, and feelings of rejection because of his frightening looks. As Annabel is learning to trust God and let go of her fear, she is violently attacked by someone in the woods at night, and a seemingly endless nightmare ensues. Can the beauty and the beast save one another, by the help of God's grace, or is it too late for both of them?

This book was amazing! I was tossed between wanting to savor it or burn the midnight oil to see what happens next, so I chose a happy medium. The storyline was unpredictable, as it was filled with twists and turns, and I was mesmerized! I especially loved seeing the main characters grow and evolve after reading and studying the Bible. Lord le Wyse is absolutely intriguing, and ladies, I can assure you, though beastly, he will look good in your eyes! I was impressed that the author kept a strong spiritual thread throughout, and what a climactic ending! I am so looking forward to Melanie Dickerson's next novel...it appears she gets better with each one!


GIVEAWAY: We are giving a copy of one of Melanie's books, your choice and format, away this week.  Leave your email address with your comment.

46 comments:

  1. I'm so looking forward to everyone's comments! This book was wonderful and if you don't win a copy, be sure and order one. It will be well worth it!

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  2. I've been wanting to read this book; now after reading your review, I certainly do! I don't normally enjoy stories that are quite so far back in history, but I read Melanie's first book, "The Healer's Apprentice" and found myself totally enthralled with it. I would love to win a copy of "The Merchant's Daughter."
    Thanks for the opportunity.
    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  3. Thank you for this review and for hosting the giveaway.

    wfnren at aol dot com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

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  4. This sounds like a good read. Thanks for offering it.
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

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  5. Thanks so much, Diana! I'm so glad you liked the review! And that you agree with me that Ranulf is actually very good-looking--once you get to know him!

    Pam, thanks so much! I'm glad you liked my first book! I hope you will request it at your library if you don't win it!

    Thanks, wfnren and Wendy for leaving comments. God bless!

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  6. Welcome Pam! You will love The Merchant's Daughter! Melanie just gets better with each book it seems. Good luck to you!

    wfnren good to see you. Dropping your name in the hat!

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  7. Great review, as usual, Diana. You spoil us! I loved this book, too.

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  8. Wow! I definitely want to read this book now. I would love a chance to win this book. Thank you for sharing!
    rhonda (dot) ritenour (at) gmail (dot) com

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  9. Thank you, Carrie! Rhonda, thank you for coming over to see us! Good luck in the drawing!

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  10. Oh, Diana, the right book was picked this time as a giveaway. I so enjoy stories of this time period and genre. Melanie is such a fascinating writer and I appreciate the chance to win her book in this giveaway.

    Hope and Peace,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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  11. Barb, it's a delight to have you here as always! I know you will enjoy Melanie's new book...it is intriguing to say the least!

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  12. great review. Sounds like an interesting read.

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  13. Thank you, Tina, and welcome to OTT! Here's to a win for you!

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  14. Yes, yes, I want to win this book. LOL
    Your review makes me want to read this book more so!

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  15. Why, thank you, Maid Marian. I know Melanie would be thrilled to have her book in The Netherlands!

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  16. Wonderful review Diana. I have started reading this and it is amazing. Melanie you are a very talented writer, can't wait to read more from you!

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  17. What a great review. I want to win this book! shondaet@gmail.com

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  18. Teresa, I love Melanie's writing and stories such as hers that have twists and turns, and the readers don't know what is going to happen next. Great book!

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  19. Thank you, Shonda! It's great to see you again and I hope you end up with a copy in your hands! I loved looking at the cover as I was reading it...such a pretty one!

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  20. It sounds really good! Thanks for reviewing! Merry Christmas!

    Salena
    srstormo at yahoo dot com

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  21. Merry Christmas to you, Salena! Thank you for dropping by!

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  22. Great review! This sounds like a wonderful book.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  23. would love to read melanie's latest novel..thanks for the chance :)

    merry christmas!

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  24. Thank you, Jo. Lots of luck in the drawing!

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  25. Merry Christmas, Karen, and thank you for entering!

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  26. I would love to win The Merchants Daughter. That was a good review and I now want to know Lord le Wyse's story. Now that I have my own disability, I can understand how people feel who are different than others. Please enter me in the drawing and thanks so much for the chance to win.
    Debbie Clark
    debbiemcla(at)msn(dot)com

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  27. I read your testimony on the interview post, Debbie, and I appreciate you sharing that with us. You spoke about self-esteem issues because of physical disabilities, and it's also amazing to me the esteem issues that women have for other reasons as well. Maybe because of an abusive childhood, or spouse, or even because we don't all look like the media portrays how a woman should look.

    One thing we all need to remember, myself included, is who we are in Christ, and that we are all His princesses! We are not super models, nor do we have flawless bodies or hair, but beauty is only skin deep. Debbie, I know you are beautiful in not only the eyes of your husband, but in the eyes of your friends and family, and in the eyes of your Heavenly Father! And that's all that's important. Thank you for sharing your moving testimony with us. I hope you get a chance to find out what saves Lord le Wyse!

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  28. Winning a copy of The Merchant's Daughter would be a treat. Please enter me into the drawing. And thanks for your great blog.
    Tessa

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  29. This book sounds amazing! I loved Melanie's first book....I gave it to my sister last year for Christmas and would love to win it!! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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  30. I'd love to win a copy of this one, it's a book I'm going to read for sure! Loved "The Healer's Apprentice".
    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

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  31. Tessa, you're welcome and thank you for your kind words! We love having you here!

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  32. My entrance into early historical fiction was The Briton. Hooked me forever on anything from 14th century to 18th. This looks wonderful and thank you Diana for your insight into it. The fact that it's unpredictable is about the best thing you could have said! It has to be hard for authors (with so many historical romances out there) to write something that someone didn't see coming from a mile away! Count me in on the drawing! tojoleen-at-yahoo.com

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  33. Welcome, Martha and Pegg! If you enjoyed the Healer's Apprentice, you'll surely love this one. Thanks for your kind comments for Melanie!

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  34. Joleen, we've been missing you, but congrats on your great new job! Thank you for the kind words...I know you will enjoy this great new book by Melanie!

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  35. Thanks, Teresa, for your kind words! And to everyone else! Thank you for coming by and commenting. I really appreciate it! You all encourage me so much.

    Right now I'm under deadline (yay!) to write the next book. I have TWO MORE fairy tale retellings coming, so keep an eye out for an announcement about that, soon! And if you haven't already, please friend me on facebook. I blab about all my book news on there.

    Have a great day, all!

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  36. Melanie, that is so exciting! Looking forward to the next two books, too!!!

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  37. I have read such great reviews of this book. Would love to win! I would accept a Kindle version or paper copy. Thanks for a great opportunity!

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  38. Melanie, I can't wait...can you hurry? LOL! On a more serious note, I will keep you in my prayers for these books, and of course, your husband's situation.

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  39. Linda, thank you for dropping by! Have you entered!

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  40. The Merchant's Daughter sounds wonderful, the castles, lords and ladies, adventure and romance. Great review! Add me please.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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  41. Merry, it's good to see you again! I've been missing you! Thank you for your kind thoughts; I know you will enjoy The Merchant's Daughter as much as Carrie and I did! Count yourself entered!

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  42. I read "The Healer's Apprentice" and look forward to reading "The Merchant's Daughter". I have had on my wish list from the first review and would love to win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  43. misskallie, if you liked The Healer's Apprentice, you are sure to LOVE The Merchant's Daughter! Melanie, just seems to get better with each book somehow!

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  44. Sounds good...real good! I want this book :) I haven't read any of Melanie's books yet.

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  45. Anne, you're missing out! The Merchant's Daughter was kind of a cross between The Beauty and the Beast and Jane Eyre, b/c Lord le Wyse reminded me somewhat of Mr. Rochester. Thanks for coming by, Anne!

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  46. Congrats to Barbara Shelton for winning one of Melanie's great books! Will be emailing you shortly!

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