Title: The Captive Maiden
Written By: Melanie Dickerson
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction/Fairy Tale Retelling
Recommended Ages: 13 & up
I was curious how a Cinderella retelling would work without the magic of the magic pumpkin and fairy godmother. This book certainly satisfied that curiosity. I liked the way Melanie changed so many of the details while still keeping the feeling of the original there.
I thought Gisela’s crush on Valten could have been a little more realistic, but otherwise I really liked her. Seeing Valten after reading the other books about him was interesting, too. I liked his character arc, but would have liked to see perhaps a little bit more change in him before the end.
The dialogue was good. I found it to be witty, interesting, and sad just as it was supposed to for the moment. It always moved the story along rather than impeding it.
Since the plot had to follow the basics of the Cinderella story, I thought this was well done. It had a bit more of an Ever After (the movie with Drew Barrymore) feel to it at the end, but I actually liked that a lot considering how much I like that movie. There were parts that made me wonder why the author decided to go that direction, but otherwise it was well done.
Overall Writing Quality: .75/1
As with the other books, some of the writing quality was lower than I would expect from a traditionally published book. Overall, however, it was a well-written book.
I did put the book down a few times. More so than the other books in the series, actually. The book was good, but didn’t keep my attention as much as I would have liked.
If you like the Cinderella fairy, but don’t like all the magic they put into it, this book is awesome! It is also great if you like medieval joust fights and other medieval activities like that. Melanie obviously did a lot of research for this book and that shines through just like I appreciate in all of my historical fiction books.