17 November 2015

Noela reviews The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

The Golden Braid
Thomas Nelson (November 17, 2015)

Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****

The Golden Braid’ delivers a sublimely executed retelling of the classic tale Rapunzel ~ flourishing with chivalrous and daring deeds, burgeoning faith, and a beautifully enchanting though conflicted romance. Taking place during the 15th century in a world so vastly contrasting to ours; we visit imposing castles and encounter heroic knights engaging in clanging swordfights. In reality, our worlds are not so dissimilar in the fact that evil and jealousies still reside in the heart of man. But the beauty of the author’s gifted and mesmerizing story-telling, is that we may escape with our imagination to an exquisitely inspiring and unforgettable, happy-ever-after!

Na├»ve and innocent, the fair maiden Rapunzel with golden, flowing hair, is once more torn from a village as her oppressive mother moves them on, after a young farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage. Again, her mother cites the evils and deception of men. Though uninterested in this man, Rapunzel is disheartened to be uprooted repeatedly, never having a chance to belong, to make friends, or especially to learn to read. She hopes that with this next move to the larger city of Hagenheim, she may yet fulfill her yearning to read at least. When along the road, they are set upon by some brigands; her mother’s dire warnings of men seem to be proving true.

In the wake of being rescued by the gallant knight, Sir Gerek, everything that is instilled in Rapunzel by her mother regarding men, has her questioning its validity. Though her knight protector seems arrogant, he also proves to be honourable and curiously pleasant to look at and be with, which greatly perplexes Rapunzel. In Hagenheim, she grows fonder of this gruff though kindly knight despite knowing he has vowed to marry only for riches and rank. Here though in this city of secrets, Rapunzel’s life is turned on its head as mysteries and betrayals uncovered will change her life forever. Will the poor, peasant maiden ever find liberty and love or stay chained to lies and deception?

It was almost dungeon-worthy torture having to set the book down, but then neither did I want to make it to the last page! There was also a wonderful anointing on this tale that lifted my spirit as well as imagination, illustrating the scriptural admonition of ‘not leaning unto your own understanding’. The Golden Braid is a truly charming book, and a top favorite of mine for 2015!


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Available to purchase at these places: Amazon; CBD; Barnes & Noble; BAM; and others!

GIVEAWAY: (CFP) We have a copy of the book for one blessed winner!  Answer this question--what aspect of Noela's review has you yearning to read The Golden Braid?
(Remember to leave your email for contact purposes should you win. Using (at) and (dot) will protect you against spammers.)



62 comments:

  1. wow. Wow. WOW!

    NOELA, You have me hooked!!!! And it was this line that did it - "Here though in this city of secrets, Rapunzel’s life is turned on its head as mysteries and betrayals uncovered will change her life forever." There was a quick check in my spirit as I felt for a moment what Rapunzel must have felt. Sounds crazy, I know.

    Y'all know where to find me. :-)

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    1. I want you to read this book so bad, Anne!! :-) Definitely not crazy at all, we all get those 'check's' in our spirit from time to time, and it's wonderful to be able to resonate with people, fictional or otherwise. That's the skill of a great author, and it shows that she understands people.. Bless you Anne, and thanks!!

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  2. Oh this review thrills me to my toes and I can't wait to read The Golden Braid. This author just seems to keep outdoing herself. I have this one in my TBR pile so don't enter me in the draw. Just wanted to whet my appetite for the read.

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    1. Haha great to hear, Kav! :-) I hope this book isn't too far from the top of your TBR pile, because it's a story that will thrill you inside out as well as to your toes! I completely agree with you. All of Melanie's books are rare treasures but somehow I just love each one a little more! Looking forward to reading your review Kav!

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  3. Sounds great!
    Find me at justjanatrocketmaildotcom

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    1. Thanks for coming by to read about The Golden Braid, Jan! It truly is an exceptional story. All the best!!

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  4. What an amazing and captivating review, NOELA! Sounds like a delicious story...the cover definitely is!

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    1. Thank you Diana! Isn't that cover just GORGEOUS!! Oh yeah, the story definitely is delicious. Honestly, I so wish I had time to read it again. I would in a heartbeat if I could. :)

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    2. Diana, please see my apology below!!! Your copy is coming, whenever I finally get my author copies, I promise!!!

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    3. I responded below, Melanie! Blessings!!

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  5. Aw, thank you SO MUCH for this awesome review, Noela!!! I am so, so happy you enjoyed the book! And thank you for doing this giveaway! I love this blog!

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    1. Thanks Melanie, and you're welcome!! It's such a pleasure to read stories like yours that are so intriguing and captivating in every sense... All I can say, is please don't ever stop writing!! ;) We love you, too!!

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  6. That sounds like it's going to be so good. I can't wait to read it.

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    1. It's even better than good, 'Gittyupm'!! :-) We hope you come back to leave your email tho, in case you're our winner!

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  7. Noela, what a great review! I love your parting comments about it almost being dungeon-worthy torture to put the book down. I love reading books like that and this one sounds like it will be. Love the cover too.
    Blessings, Tina
    tfrice(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. Torturous for sure, Tina!! ;) I'm with you, you know a book is REALLY good when it's extremely difficult to put down! God bless!

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  8. I really hope I win!!!
    ~Charis Z.
    gracelz1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. All the best with your entry then, Charis!! :-) It's an awesome read for sure!

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  9. NOELA, thank you for your exquisite review! THE GOLDEN BRAID is already on my wish list. Blessings to you.

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    1. Thank you, Caryl, you're so sweet and such a blessing! This book should be on everybody's wish list—it is soo good!!!

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  10. There really isn't just one aspect of this review that makes me want to read The Golden Braid, but I do appreciate learning more about the book than I knew previously. I've read all of Melanie's books, so as soon as I hear of one coming out, it goes on my "must get" list. This one will be a Christmas gift for my daughter, since she loves the books too. Thanks for the chance to win it and help out with my Christmas shopping!

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Pam, we should get the MGL abbreviation going!! ;) Melanie's books are also on my Must Get List as well! All the best with your entry, it'd be nice to help you with your Christmas shopping!!

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  11. This one sounds so good! The cover and your review, Noela, make it seem positively irresistible. Going on my list.

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    1. Yep, it is futile to resist, lol, so don't even try! ;) Can't wait to hear what you think about it! Hoping for a win for you!! Thanks, Marcia!

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  12. Heroic knights and castles and 15th century. Forget the hard ships and inconvenience of survival methods...let's just pretend everything is easy!

    missionwife AT hotmail DOT com

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    1. Of course, Melody! :-) When we get taken away on an adventure of a lifetime, we don't want to think too much about all that. Although I have to say, Melanie's book doesn't skirt all those things by any means!!

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  13. Oh my goodness, this sounds so amazing!! I've heard so many good things about this book, I can't wait to read it for myself!!

    alander87 at allcom dot net

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    1. It's definitely not one to miss, Abby!! All the best with your entry, I'm excited for you to read it too!! :-)

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  14. Congratulations on your new release. The cover is beautiful. I am ordering this book for my granddaughter who is a fan.
    -Virginia

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    1. Thanks for your comment and congrats to Melanie, Virginia! I'm sure your granddaughter will love this book!!

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  15. I have been wanting to read this since I first heard she was writing it, but your review really made me want to read it! The rapunzel theme, and the cover make me soooo excited to read it. I LOVE Melanie Dickerson's books, would be really happy to add this one to my collection. My email is - Ninjaspy13 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Oh, it put it as my old blog name. Lol, my name is Megan. :P

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    2. Cool, great to hear Megan!! Oh you are gonna LOVE this one, Megan! All the best with your entry!! :)

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  16. This sounds like a beautiful re-telling of one of my favorite fairy tales.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Rapunzel is a great fairy-tale isn't it Mary?! But oh boy, Melanie's tales easily outshine them for me!!

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  17. The cover is just beautiful and I must say I'm very intrigued after reading your review.

    pwestfall7 at Hotmail dot com

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    1. Excellent! And let me tell you Pam, you won't be disappointed—it's a beautiful, memorable, and very intriguing story! :-)

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  18. It is so amazing to me to see how people are able to bring something new to an old story Sound good!

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    1. I know, Tina!! Melanie Dickerson does an amazing job at re-telling these fairy tales, by adding intrigue, romance, mystery, and faith, making the story come alive in our heart and spirit! Love them!!

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  19. OOH!!! Wow!! I am so intrigued by this!! I absolutely love fairy tales and especially Rapunzel. I can't wait to read the story for myself!! :)

    kdanisk at yahoo dot com

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    1. I love them too 'Kvwriter'! I think my fave fairytale would have to be Cinderella and was so excited to read Melanie's re-telling of that one in a story called 'The Captive Maiden'. But I absolutely loved Melanie's 'Rapunzel' version featured here also! I really hope you get to enjoy it soon!!

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  20. "Almost dungeon-worthy torture" to set the book down? Wow. I am loving what I am reading about this one. Thanks for the review and giveaway!
    momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

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    1. Well it WAS pretty painful to have to put this fabulous story down... ;) Enjoy when you get to read it, Loraine, and all the best with your entry!

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  21. Diana Flowers, I want you to know that I have you on my list to get a copy of this book! I am so, so sorry it didn't come before the release date, but unbelievably, I still don't have a single copy myself!!! By some fluke, the books I as the author was supposed to receive did not get shipped when they were supposed to, and then, now, the book is backordered! They sold out of the first printing and are waiting for the second printing to arrive. Isn't that CRAZY!!!??? So, please accept my apology! I meant for you to have a review copy way before the release date!!!

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    1. MELANIE, you are so sweet but no apology is necessary. God is in control and I had company from TX for 10 days, and then had to go to Dr's for tests after she left and got way behind on my reading. So when I DO get the book it will be perfecting timing for me to relax and enjoy it. I'm just so sorry you haven't got your copies yet. :( You are such a dear and so thoughtful. Thank you and no worries, ok?

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    1. It's a fascinating time period isn't it Kim?!! A draw-card for me as well!

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  23. Oh geeze, Noela, your review literally make me want to crawl in the book & not come out until I hit the end!!!! It sounds like pure torture to put it down...haha!

    To answer the question, what compels me to want to read the book from her review....well, just read the review and it already gets my reading glands salivating!! Seriously drooling here :-) And, come on, Melanie Dickerson, now who wouldn't WANT to read one of her books?? You'd be confined to the dungeon if I had my say on it if you refused.....haha!! Not really, but I think you know what I mean. ;-) Lastly and most importantly, you use my favorite scripture to sum up the moral of the story "not leaning unto your own understanding". That right there already compels me to want to read it! To add a P.S. here....just look at that cover, makes me want to read what's on the pages in the first place.

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    1. Lol, ALL great reasons to want to read Melanie's book!! :-) I LOVE your comments Trixi, they're always one of the highlights of the day! I look forward to you reading The Golden Braid, but not to the torture you'll face if you put it down! ;) Blessings, and all the best!!

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  24. Exquisite review, Noela - thank you!! Melanie is one of those authors whose books have been on my TBR list for some time, but unfortunately - I haven't had the opportunity to read one. I will have to make it a point to read 'The Golden Braid'. Your entire review is beautiful and compelling, the comment re: the anointing on the story lifting your spirit was the clincher for me.

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    1. Ohh Bonnie, you will have to find the time to read all of Melanie's books!! They are AMAZING!!! I know you will love them!! Thanks and hugs, Bonnie!

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  25. A book that tortures me to turn the pages even when I should turn out the light is special! The Golden Braid sounds wonderful.
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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    1. You got that right, Merry!! They're the best kind of books don't you think?!! Hope you get to enjoy it soon!

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  26. Beautiful review as usual Noela. Your words were so eloquent and "fairy tale-like" that I want to go back and reread the whole book again! (Yes, I already have a copy so no need to enter me into the giveaway). My review will be up Friday, but boy, I sure love yours. I'm sending everyone over here. :).

    This is the first retelling of a fairy tale story that I've read and truly enjoyed AND the first one of Melanie's I've read. I can't wait to add all of Melanie's other books to my TBR list!

    Thanks again for a great review!

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    1. Aw thanks Annie, what a sweetheart you are! Thank you so much for your kind words. I know what you mean about re-reading it again... If I could, I'd re-read all of Melanie's books again! Beginning with this one, lol. I'm so happy you've discovered Melanie's fairy-tale re-tellings. The others are going to blow you away! Bless you, and thanks for your comment!

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  27. I do like her writing! toss me in .. I'd love to read this one ;)
    dkstevensne AToutlookD otCoM

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    1. Tossing you in our virtual box of names right now, Deanna! All the best!! :)

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  28. The thing that I like about it is that it sounds like a fairy tale. I love books that take you to a place of long ago. Thank you for having the giveaway. mommystuck1(at)optonline(dot)net

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    1. Melanie Dickerson does an incredible job of creating that fairy tale ambience in her stories, Tammy. And that's a large part of why they're so captivating. They really do 'take you away' to another time and era. I sure hope you get to enjoy this wonderful story soon, Tammy! :)

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  29. What a wonderful review! I think what struck me the most is the concept ' Lean not on your own understanding'. I think we all to often do, and I am trying to learn to leave things in God's hands! Thanks for the giveaway - I would love to win.
    bettimace at gmail dot com

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    1. Oh how right you are, Betti! It's definitely a great reminder for us all! Thank you and God bless, Betti. I would love you to win too!!

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  30. I really like the fairy tale woven into her books..
    dkstevensneAToutlookDOT Com

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