Book Review: Fairest Beauty

Book Review: Fairest Beauty

About The Book:

A daring rescue. A difficult choice.

Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother’s jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie’s one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe?

Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl’s inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what.

When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts.

About the Author:

Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer’s Apprentice and The Merchant’s Daughter, both Christy Award finalists, winner of The National Reader’s Choice Award for 2010’s Best First Book, and winner of the 2012 Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.

My Thoughts:

This “happily ever after” twist on the Snow White story does capture your attention.  It is full of enough action, adventure and romance to keep you turning the pages.

As for the characters, I couldn’t help but love Gabe and I thought that his character showed a great deal of genuine, believable growth from beginning to end.  I had mixed feelings about Sophie.  Honestly, I found her too good to be true in the beginning and too self focused in the end.  It left me wondering which was the real Sophie.

The thing that I struggled the most with in this book was the intensity of physical touch in Gabe and Sophie’s relationship.  The author did clearly show how this was a factor in escalating the relationship and the attraction between them, but I wasn’t really left with the impression that it is something that should be handled with more care.  Yes, the touch stayed “innocent” but then again, is it really innocent to pursue something that another isn’t free to give?  Just because this story turned out “happily ever after” doesn’t mean that it’s a good example.  Still, I appreciated that there were characters that spoke to Gabe and Sophie of honor, commitment, seeking the best thing for the other and of surrendering to God’s plans, whatever they may be.  I think the synopsis really says it all.  They were out to protect their own hearts.  Gabe and Sophie didn’t show us a true picture of what love is in their pursuit of each other, for the love of Christ is a love that does not demand to possess, but instead sacrifices self.  So Gabe and Sophie’s journey to the happy ending is a bumpy one.

Overall, I liked the book because it was well written, descriptive and creative.  (And I love the cover!)  I didn’t, however, find it up to par with Dickerson’s other books in its storytelling or its spiritual themes.

***I received a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion ***