The Fairest Beauty, by Melanie Dickerson

The Fairest Beauty, by Melanie Dickerson

Reason for Reading: I led the book discussion for ACFW this month.

Review
When Gabe Gerstenberg learns that his brother’s fiance – who everyone thought had died – was very much alive and being held hostage by an evil duchess. Gabe’s brother is down with a broken leg, and his father is busy, so he decides to rescue her himself. He bites off more than he can chew with this rash act, and ends up running desperately from the duchesses men – with a woman that he finds very attractive and very unavailable. 

This sweet Christian historical fiction retelling of Snow White, has all the recognizable elements of the fairy tale, but is set in a realistic world. There were a few really creative twists – like the “seven dwarves” that made this story a fun creation. There were a lot of ethical questions brought to light – the main theme was: when do you know you’re following God’s wishes rather than your own? This is a good book for readers of fluffy/sweet romance, fairy tale retellings, or Christian historical fiction. Personally, I found Sophie’s character to be just a little too sweet and perfect, but I think that’s the nature of the snow white fairy tale. As far as I’m concerned, that was the only flaw in this cute retelling.

The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald

The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald

Reason for Reading: Group read with Simpler Pastimes

Review
This classic fairy-tale-style story is set in a land where the Goblins and Humans have had a “cold war” for many, many years. Long ago, the Goblins threatened that some day they will steal a princess…and their day finally comes when Princess Irene’s nurse accidentally keeps the Princess out after sunset. Luckily, they are rescued by a miner’s boy, Curdie – but now the Goblins know where the Princess lives and what she looks like. When the Goblins hatch a devious plot, Curdie and Irene become fast-friends as they act in turn as heroes. First and foremost, this is a fairy-tale. But it is also an allegory about faith. Princess Irene has a great-great-grandmother – a mysterious and heavenly woman that only she can see. Irene’s very-great grandmother gives the Princess a magical string and tells her to follow the string whenever she’s afraid – never doubting it or deviating from it, regardless of where it may take her. Irene must learn to have faith even when she thinks that the string has led her astray. And Curdie must learn to have faith in a very-great grandmother that he has never seen.  This is a sweet story, nice for reading aloud to young children.