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Customer Reviews for Zondervan The Captive Maiden

Zondervan The Captive Maiden

Happily Ever After .Or Happily Nevermore? Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke's son, Valten---the boy she has daydreamed about for years---is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
Average Customer Rating:
4.762 out of 5
4.8
 out of 
5
(21 Reviews) 21
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Rating Snapshot (21 reviews)
5 stars
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20 out of 2195%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Captive Maiden
Review 1 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

You will be held captive by this story

Date:April 21, 2014
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This might be a young adult book but any woman who loves a good fairytale, or historical romance will adore this book.
This is the first book I have read by Melanie but I am planning on reading more. If the others are as good as this I may have found another author I need to keep my eye out for.
If you know the story of Cinderella then you get the general idea for this book but it is different. Gisela and Valten meet before the ball and Valten is smitten by Gisela. Valten is a strong hero who will do what it takes to protect Gisela, he does this even before he knows her. Sigh.
You will see Gisela emerge from a scared young woman into a woman who blossoms under the love of a hero. Just as we do under the love of our Savior.
I had a feeling of anticipation the whole time I read this book. I couldn’t wait to see how Melanie would handle the storyline and the love between the two main characters is heart-twisting.
This is a must-read for any historical romance lover and a great read for your teen who enjoys reading as well.
A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 2 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The absolute BEST Cinderella story I've ever read!

Date:March 31, 2014
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JCMorrows
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
WOW! What a surprise!
I never saw this coming. In fact, I almost didn’t read The Captive Maiden because I had downloaded a sample of it for Kindle…
The way Gisela’s stepmother treats her is just so harsh – from the very first page (and this is where you first see the excellence of Melanie Dickerson’s writing), I could never have expected just how exceptional the rest of the story would be.
But I am thrilled that I won a copy! Winning a copy compelled me to read it so that I could review it and support a fellow author.
And I am SO glad I did!
This is a wonderful story! Melanie Dickerson did a great job of molding a popular fairy tale into an inspirational story for teens that, I think, will appeal to adults as well.
It’s also an answer to a prayer since I am hesitant about letting my daughter read more traditional fairy tales – which focus so much on magic. Now I can collect the previous 3 books Melanie has written and any more that are yet to come.
Melanie Dickerson has taken out the magic and weaved God into every part of this story. So instead of confusing teens, Melanie Dickerson offers hope and truth.
What a blessing!
Read it.
Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book. THANK YOU Grace! I was not required to review the book but I have to share thoughts on such a wonderful book!
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Review 3 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Couldn't read fast enough!

Date:February 24, 2014
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Dolly
Location:New Mexico
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Melanie has fashioned yet another beautiful, fresh fairy tale story in her newest novel. However, this reader began with a skeptical attitude about the worthiness of Gisela’s prince charming but not for long. Valten, who grudgingly stepped aside in the last story for true love, came to handsome, valiant, truly heroic life as he looked past Gisela’s circumstances & straight into her oh-so-lovely heart. Yet, the possibility of a happily-ever-after seems doomed at every turn. Melanie’s creative spin includes the essentials of any Cinderella story, an evil stepmother, spiteful stepsisters, a ball & beautiful gown, then adds a gold digger, an old enemy bent on revenge, as well as, a lovely peek into the kind of family Gisela’s father would have wanted her to have all along. There are no lack of enemies out to destroy their chance of building a future together, & Gisela fears she’ll end up spending her adult life dreaming of what might’ve been while she’s imprisoned by a different but no less evil monster for the sake of sparing her beloved’s life. Yet even if they overcome the impossible odds & both survive, the taunts reverberating through Gisela’s head from those wretched, loveless years threaten to destroy them from the inside out. When coupled with Valten’s less than poetic ability to communicate his feelings & stubborn unwillingness to depend on God, hope begins to slip away. Then they stumble upon an unlikely champion, but can he save them from the internal & external darkness before they’re crushed? I read this enthralling tale in one day because I couldn’t wait to find out what happened. An extra delight came through the reappearance of familiar characters & getting a closer glimpse of Valten’s family, Margaretha in particular with her kind & generous spirit so like her mother’s. Another bonus – you can fearlessly share Melanie’s wholesome, God-honoring books with your teenage daughter while actually enjoying the stories yourself!
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Review 4 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

because you're never too old for fairy tales

Date:January 6, 2014
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shannon
Location:midwest
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cinderella for the YA reader, or even the adult reader. Melanie Dickerson has written a series of books based on the beloved childhood fairy tales many of us have grown up on and cherish. She wrote the Merchants Daughter (based on Beauty and the Beast), The Healers Apprentice (based on Sleeping Beauty) and The Fairest Beauty (based on Snow White and the 7 dwarfs). Now joining the series is The Captive Maiden (based on Cinderella), this book is sure to delight the fairy tale loving YA girl who feels she has outgrown those childhood tales.
The Captive Maiden takes place in the 1400's and while I'm not the typical historical times reader I have always enjoyed Melanie Dickerson's fairy tale series. The re-telling's are great and while they are loosely based on that specific fairy tale they are also a story all of their own. Gisela
This is a book I know my fairy tale princess loving girl will be wanting to read this when she is a teen. Really this whole series is a great one to have in your bookcase. Buy the whole series and gift to a YA teen girl and they are sure to fall in love all over again with fairy tales. Some say you're never too old for fairy tales and maybe they are right! :)
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Review 5 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Teen romance. Not very realistic or historical.

Date:January 4, 2014
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Debbie from ChristFocus
Location:Harrison, AR
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
"The Captive Maiden" is a young adult retelling of Cinderella. It's based in "Spring, 1412, Hagenheim Region" to give it a historical feel, but it still reads like a fantasy. Every time Gisela needed a fancy dress or perfect-fitting dancing shoes, someone had some lying about that fit Gisela like it was made for her. During the jousting, charging knights repeatedly used pointed lances to hit the other's helmet...yet they walked away without a scratch. No broken necks, no poked-out eyes, no deaths. Gisela routinely rides spirited horses, yet when she considers throwing herself off a horse in an attempt to escape, she's convinced she'll die when she hits the ground. So it's not really realistic.
The story was primarily a romance. Valten was heroic and manly. Grisela was determined but nice. But the repeated capture and escape scenes just didn't work for me. The bad guys think it's torture to frequently let the two love birds snuggle together and plot their escape. Once, when they should be escaping from Valten's imminent death, Grisela is more focused on kissing Valten than escaping. It's all wonderfully "romantic" stuff, but it's not really what I care for.
There was an ongoing theme of needing to trust God rather than trusting in their own strength to escape the bad situation. There was no sex and no bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this book to teenagers who like romances where the hero is willing to die to save his love-at-first-sight beloved.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher through Booksneeze.com.
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Review 6 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A new spin on Cinderella plus Ivanhoe

Date:January 1, 2014
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Vera
Location:North Carolina
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I really don’t read many fairy tale retellings but made an exception to The Captive Maiden by Melanie Dickerson because of its absolutely beautiful cover and the reviews of her prior books which are retellings of other fairy tales. In The Captive Maiden, Ms. Dickerson expands on the story of Cinderella and her mistreatment by the wicked stepmother and stepsisters. Gisela attends a ball and the handsome suitor is there to entrance. However, that is about the extent of the connection with the actual Cinderella tale. Frankly, I think Ms. Dickersons’ expansion of the story line and addition of scenes and plot will thoroughly engage and enthrall the reader – perhaps 13 and up to the young-in-heart.
Gisela is made to serve and scrub for the stepmother and stepsisters, but she has a sweet attitude. She loves the horses stabled on her deceased father’s land and that is a major connection between she and the handsome hero, Valten, who is the future Duke.
There is a villain who fights Valten in the jousting tournaments (think Ivanhoe and medieval times) which are described in great detail. Swashbuckling sword fights and kidnapping scenes with and fights and rescues. Sweet romance blooms. This is sure to capture to attention of anyone who enjoys a damsel in distress and a hero who is coming to the rescue.
The book drags a bit in spots, but overall it is quite an enjoyable read. On the back cover, the publisher denotes this as “TEEN FICTION.” That it surely is but will be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys a fairy tale retelling and light read. The story is replete with references to Christianity though it is not a “preachy” book. It is, after all, published by a Christian publishing house, Zondervan. It is one I can definitely recommend.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of The Captive Maiden from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own. I received no compensation for this review.
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Review 7 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Cinderella's Fairytale Story

Date:December 30, 2013
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GraceThorson
Location:Idaho
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
In a region named Hagenheim lives a fair young maiden by the name of Gisela. She exudes an inner strength, a trait needed for her precarious situation. She resides in her home with her stepmother and two stepsisters, but she's not treated as one of the family. Instead she carries out the duties of a servant. Her stepmother and stepsisters are jealous of Gisela's beauty and treat her like a caged bird, refusing to let her live out a normal life.
Despite the frustrations found at home, Gisela faces the battle presented to her and adapts to the pressures weighing heavily upon her as a servant. The only comfort she finds is through riding her horse in the countryside. She relishes the feel of her hair whipping in the wind - it's the reprieve she needs from the demands at home. Although harassed and threatened constantly by her family, Gisela is determined not to be controlled by them; she hopes to find her freedom.
Valten is a man of honor and might. A knight and heir to his father's title of duke, he strives for perfection and extreme challenges. He's made a name for himself in winning battles and jousting tournaments. Everyone in the kingdom knows his name, every woman seeks his attention, but all that Valten truly enjoys is the feeling of accomplishment found from his conquests. He seeks worth in proving his strength and boosting his self-confidence.
After many years of fighting, Valten's heart grows restless. He's tired of the same battles, the same victories. He longs for something different, to pursue a new reason to live. He knows it's time. He intends to escape the walls he fortified for himself and settle down.
My Thoughts:
I adore fantasy and fairytales - anything medieval, but only if it's not ridiculous. The story must be grounded enough to seem real, even though it's not. Melanie Dickerson is a newly discovered author for me in the fairytale realm. I saw her first book, The Healer's Apprentice, and meant to pick it up, but never did. So far, I'm really liking her take on the old classics. The Captive Maiden has become my favorite in her series. I enjoyed her others, but I found this one to be especially good.
While Gisela was a likable character, Valten stood out to me the most. His gruff and silent demeanor, having to overcome his pride, and learning to trust God - made for a complex person. He seemed to have it all, but in reality, he had so little. He relied on himself so much for everything, it was inspiring to see him change his path when he was powerless to do anything.
I must applaud Melanie for her descriptive writing of the jousting tournaments. I thought for sure it would be a tedious part to read through, but instead, I was happy she took the time to describe the sport to her readers. The game came alive, and I felt like I was right there in the audience cheering.
The Captive Maiden is an ornate book intertwined with devious antagonists, a defiant heroine, a knight-in-shining-armor, suspenseful fighting scenes, and most importantly, a story about overcoming one's position in life.
I've read the following books by Melanie Dickerson: The Merchant's Daughter, The Fairest Beauty, and now, her newest title. I've yet to read her first, and I'm looking forward to picking it up: The Healer's Apprentice. Her stories are weaved from fairytale classics such as The Beauty and The Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella.
I'm biting at the bit for her next release - which I hope is soon! At least, I'll have her first one to read in the meantime. Come quickly, new book.
This book was provided to me by Book Sneeze in exchange for my honest review.
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Review 8 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Another Great Fairy Tale Retelling!!!

Date:December 26, 2013
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Lala
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I have loved all the fairy retelling's that Melanie has done and this latest novel is no exception! She really brought this Cinderella story to life in such a way that was full of suspense and great romance! I wished through most of the book that I had super fast reading skills so I could flip to the end to see what was going to happen! I had to keep reminding myself to slow down and comprehend everything because I was so nervously anticipating the next scene! Melanie can definitely weave a tell that has you not only on the edge of your seat, but visually imagining yourself with Gisela in every situation. I felt like I was really there at the stables with her, smelling the hay, and seeing the connection between the horse and it's owner!
My favorite part of Melanie's novels that make me love these fairy tells is the Christian message she in corporates throughout the story. The message in The Captive Maiden would come through a humble friar. As he talks about his travels and the things he has said to all kinds of people, he shares with Gisela that each person is born with a purpose from God. My absolute favorite quote from him is this:
"God wants us all to strive to grow more like Jesus, to become holy as he is holy, but God has a specific purpose for each person. How could it not be so? Everyone in a village cannot be a baker, because who would then make the candles or shoe the horses or grow the food? God says we are like a body. . . . Just as the villagers are part of a village and have different tasks, we all have tasks to do for the Lord God."
I recommend The Captive Maiden to anyone who is looking for a YA novel that can not only tell an amazing story, but when finishing the last page they will be inspired to ask God what their purpose in life is. I give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars!
*I received an ARC copy from Zondervan’s Z Street Team and was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed her are my own. (Thank you Zondervan!!!)*
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Review 9 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Dickerson does a great job rewriting 'Cinderella'.

Date:December 18, 2013
Customer Avatar
Rebecca S
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I love how Melanie Dickerson has rewritten the story of Cinderella and turned it into a new story that has you captive and wanting to know what happens next. It has everything a good fairy-tale needs, knights, castles, a maiden in distress, and a valiant rescue.
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Review 10 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 7, 2013
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debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Happily Ever After ...Or Happily Nevermore? Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke's son, Valten---the boy she has daydreamed about for years---is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
My Review:
Let me start by saying that I really don't care for the traditional Cinderella story. Even as a child I really wished someone would create a story that had all the traditional elements, then mix it up for a completely different re-telling. Dickerson has done it. She has created a story that fairy tale lovers and haters can both enjoy and relish for different reasons.
First, Dickerson did not stick to the Cinderella script/road map. I liked this primarily because while the novel is familiar, it is in no way an imitation of the original. It is a clever retelling, with all the familiar markers that make it such an appealing fairy tale to millions.
Second, the characters in this book are very well written, despite the main characters being portrayed as almost perfect human beings. But "fairly tales" are two words that are supposed to allude to perfection, beauty, and second chances despite impossible situations. Even with the almost perfection of Valten and Gisela, the secondary characters are something to rave about. ALL of them. (Nope, not going to tell.)
Lastly, I was impressed by how much "preachy stuff" was in this writing. This is something books can never have too much of, and what might be considered as excessive by the world, was just right for me. Dickerson wrote Gisela and Valten as Believers, and watching them grow in faith was amazing. Just the right sort of book to give your young adults, and something I can't wait to share with my future teenage children.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 11 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Christian Version of Cinderella, Beautifully Done!

Date:November 29, 2013
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Wman4JC
Location:miami, fl
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
As much as I have enjoyed Dickerson’s books and The Merchant’s Daughter holding a special place in my heart, The Captive Maiden has easily become my favorite book by this beloved author. The cover alone captivates the reader and when opened the story grabs you from the first page.
Even though I love the cover of this book, the man in the background didn’t appeal to me so I chose an actor who takes on Valten’s identity instead. Valten has been a champion his whole life, trying to prove himself in every area knowing his younger brother is the charmer of the two. Since Valten isn’t comfortable around the ladies and isn’t much of a talker, he finds that being active is more his style. I enjoyed his description of being a tall and intimidating warrior yet he is respectful, honorable, and loves his family deeply. More than once he reflects on how his sisters respond to him to help guide his treatment of Gisela. The longer he knows Gisela, the more he wants to please her. Even if this man doesn’t know how to express himself smoothly, I found his heart to be utterly heroic and humble.
Gisela meets Valten when they are just children, but after her father dies her life becomes enslaved to her stepmother and stepsisters. In childhood, she dreams of the young man Valten is and how he gets along with the horse he purchased from her father, as she becomes older she no longer has such silly notions. The one thing Gisela loves more than anything is her horses. Then she has an encounter with Valten and there is an instant connection between them. Valten feels protective of Gisela right away and the need to protect her only grows more intensely throughout the story.
I thought of the movies A Knight’s Tale and Ever After while reading this book. I was utterly surprised at the chances Gisela takes to see Valten compete in the tournament, but I loved her all the more for it. She greatly teaches me that some risks are well worth it. One of my FAVORITE characters in the story is easily Valten’s sister, Margaretha!! She just adds the perfect dose of lightness to the intensity and awkwardness Gisela and Valten find themselves in more than once, her chattiness (I think I just made that word up) is perfectly done. She makes one mistake in the story not realizing how grave the situation is, but she more than makes up for it.
More elements I loved in this story:
The villain, one of the knights, is the perfect challenge to Valten’s character. Even though I despised the bad guy and every action he took to defy Valten, he’s an extremely well written villain that brings the right amount of danger to the story. Valten and Gisela are constantly tested with the evil they face, but it only brings them closer to each other and their faith.
I truly loved Gisela’s best friend, Ava, the friar that Gisela meets, and Valten’s family. A good book should always have strong main characters, but an exceptionally good book will also have minor characters that enhance the story even more. Dickerson does a stand up job with each of them.
This book is all about trusting Christ and keeping Him close in prayer. Since Gisela and Valten are both believers and both find themselves in dangerous situations, they must rely on prayer more than their own strength (although they have plenty of both). As they look to Christ in their dilemmas, I’m reminded to do the same with my own. They also see their prayers answered several times in crucial moments and it just made me love the story even more.
There are characters I loved from The Fairest Beauty that make an appearance in this book…..it was like Snow White meeting Cinderella, sigh.
Gisela has many insecurities, but in the midst of danger she is able to overcome them. Valten also finds himself feeling inadequate in certain situations and must overcome his doubts with Gisela. He learns to stop comparing himself to his brother, stop proving himself in the kingdom, and letting God be his strength in diverse circumstances. Gisela yearns to protect him and they both make sacrifices for one another. Gisela even teases Valten saying maybe she’ll be the one to rescue him, I just loved that! I truly enjoyed witnessing them get past these burdens and find the real strength within themselves. Their first kiss happens when they are tied up and blindfolded, but it was appropriate and enjoyable because they are both humble warriors.
Everything in this book made sense to me, was appealing for me, and every disaster this couple overcomes made the story that much more precious to me. I also fell in love with each dress Gisela wore, she appreciated the chance to wear them and she outshines every woman in the story effortlessly. Even though she is greatly abused by her stepmother, the story does not focus on that abuse and very little detail is described. However, Dickerson brilliantly makes it clear how evil the stepmother is without glorifying this mistreatment. I was taken into this story as Gisela fights for her freedom, trusts in God, and even finds the strength to forgive all who have wronged her. I’m grateful for Gisela and for this author who beautifully writes her story.
I highly recommend The Captive Maiden for readers of all ages, but especially for those who enjoy young adult Christian novels as well as those who appreciate fairy tale retellings with an extra dose of adventure, faith, justice, spunk and beautiful heroes. This book will capture your heart, inspire you, captivate you, keep you cheering for its main characters, and illustrate a protective and loving God who is fierce and relentless in pursuing us…..believers and unbelievers alike.
I want to give a special THANK YOU to the author (and Zondervan) for the complimentary review copy provided. Thanks for thinking of me and allowing me to review this incredible book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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Review 12 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

This book is AWESOME!

Date:November 27, 2013
Customer Avatar
ZStreetTeamReader
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
A great teen read; this book is very well written.
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Review 13 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

WOW!!!!

Date:November 21, 2013
Customer Avatar
BookLovinSinger
Location:Green Lane, PA
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Five stars and a BIG thumbs up to Melanie Dickerson for succeeding, yet again, at turning a classic fairytale into an adventurous page-turner!! One thing that really stood out for me was how spiritually connected this book is, and that was one area where I found her other books to be quite lacking! DEFINITELY a great addition:) This story brings alive the sometimes heart-stopping experience of putting everything in God's hands! With intricately detailed, fantastic imagery, I savored every sentence, and yet longed to look ahead to see what surprise the next page held for me!! And what a perfectly matched couple:) Valten the strong and protective warrior. And Gisela the fierce and courageous, yet delicate and graceful damsel-in-distress. I guarantee by the time you finish this book you will be crying for MORE! As one last insight- I love how Melanie connects all the characters in her various books, for example: Duke Wilhelm (from The Healer's Apprentice) is the father of Gabe (from The Fairest Beauty) and Valten (from The Captive Maiden). That's just one really neat aspect I took note of:) For my honest opinion: The Fairest Beauty has to be my personal favorite!:( But just let me say that this book is QUALITY and WORTH THE READ!!:)
~Thanks a BUNCH to Zondervan for this AMAZING book in exchange for my honest review! I feel very honored:)~
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Review 14 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:November 20, 2013
Customer Avatar
Rosie
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Another excellent fairytale retelling from Dickerson!
I have been looking forward to Valten's tale ever since I read the final pages of The Fairest Beauty, and I was not disappointed in the least! Set two years after the closing of Gabe and Sophie's story, Valten has just returned home after a long absence. He meets a beautiful, charming, girl in the marketplace and even after so brief a meeting, he finds his heart drawn to her somehow.
I love Valten's integrity and his chivalry. He's simply the kind of hero you want to root for. Another character I really loved is Gisela. She's sweet, compassionate and has somehow managed to ignore or rebuff all the filthy lies thrown at her for almost a decade. The two together are an excellent pair.
If there's one thing that, as a writer, struck me, it's that nothing ever happened easily in this story. I don't want to give anything away, but it did seem like if something could go wrong it did. Though it sounds crazy, I like it when characters are faced with a challenge. After all, what is a story without an impossible task?
To sum up, I love what Dickerson did with her own Cinderella tale. I also enjoy any chance Dickerson offers to revisit Valten's family, and I hope we'll see them again. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great fairytale retelling with a Christian twist.
I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review of my opinions, which I have done. Thanks!
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Review 15 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Happily Ever After?

Date:November 19, 2013
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dianaFlow
Location:W Columbia, SC
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Masterful storyteller, Melanie Dickerson, has crafted another magical, enchanting novel that sweeps the reader away on a journey into the whimsical land of knights, castles, lovely maidens, and wicked stepsisters!
Since her father's death, the lovely maiden, Gisela, dreams of happier childhood memories when the Duke used to visit with his handsome son, Valten. Now she is forced to live in servitude to her wicked stepmother and stepsisters, daydreaming of the young knight in Hagenheim Castle. Her only happiness is her horses, which her cruel stepmother constantly threatens to get rid of if she disobeys. When Gisela sneaks off to the knights' tournament at Hagenheim, she catches the eye of Valten, and is invited to attend the ball during the festivities. There she is faced with a danger much worse than her stepmother's ire…one that threatens to destroy her life and hope of happiness—forever.
As I mentioned earlier, Melanie Dickerson is a master storyteller, who has the power to draw the reader in from page one and keep them mesmerized until the final climactic conclusion! Filled with an exciting storyline guaranteed to keep you flipping those pages well into the night, endearing main characters and some very nasty secondary ones, this novel is sure to bring out the "fairytale princess daydreams" in all of you ladies! As for you menfolk, there are plenty of tournaments, jousting, fighting, and "guy" stuff to keep you happy as well! An action-packed, beautifully written romance with a spiritual thread throughout, Melanie Dickerson has done it once again!!
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Review 16 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A book that is enchanting!

Date:November 14, 2013
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PastorsDaughter
Location:WV
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I very cautiously opened this book after I received it. I'm a big critic when it come to reading the "re-makings" of a fairy tale, but was instantly drawn into the story.
Giesela's story was even better then Cinderella and I really enjoyed it! The story line was welled played out and had some romantic parts without it being too mushy. It had some humor, which is always good in a story and of course a princess story can't be complete without a villain.
Melanie Dickerson wrote a wonderful story full of suspense and inspiration - even my Mom enjoyed the book!
A good book for any Medieval and fairy tale fan and worth both your time and money!
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Review 17 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Just...ahh! ♥

Date:November 8, 2013
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Leorah
Location:USA
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Alright so before I get into my actual review am I going to quickly get a few exclamation marks out of my system to keep this review as neat as possible - !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Although I have read and loved all of Melanie's books, I think The Captive Maiden just might be my favorite. Then again, I do say that about all of her books when talking of the separately but still - it was phenomenal!
So first off the characters. I loved how dreamy and yet so strong of a character Gisela was! I think a lot of girls - no matter what age - can relate to her in the way that she masked a lot of her pain by envisioning herself in this other dream world. Ever just imagine yourself elsewhere when life gets tough? I loved seeing her story play out all the more because I really and truly could FEEL her because of this and she was just such an amazing character! As for Valten...can you say swoon worthy?!
I'm not going to get into him too much as I am afraid I will start blurting out a bunch of spoilers as there are just so many scenes I want to start madly typing out where he made my head just swirl but let me tell you girls - he will definitively NOT disappoint! Serious here. He won't.
Valten and Gisela's story had me so hooked in such a way that I totally forgot that I was even reading! I laughed out loud, sighed, and gripped the pages the whole while. Even Melanie's bad characters made me all the more eager to continue reading the story!
Her villains are always so scary! Why? Because they are REAL. Not because they possess these awesome and terrifying super natural power but because they act out of true human emotions. Human emotions that you yourself have felt before - anger, greed, jealousy - and it just really makes them yes, real and all the more terrifying!
Truly, though, Melanie is just such a marvelous story teller. God truly did gift her. Which brings me to another thing that I just love in all of her books. The fact that God is such a part of them.
Melanie really does make God apart of the character's lives and apart of the plot and as I have said once before, the stories wouldn't be there without Him. They wouldn't be the same without Him! You can't say that for all. I loved how a theme in The Captive Maiden was about figuring out God's true purpose for you in life. Several times in the book did I have to stop and just think. About how the message applied to my own life. I wonder all the many times God has saved me, as well as all the many times He has used me and is going to use me. It makes me want to be closer with Him. To really and truly know Him on a more personal level. And I think for that alone, the book was worth it. ♥
Long and short of it all, this book was amazing and I would definitively recommend it. It totally grabbed at my heart strings and I am still wishing to go back and read it as I did the first time...although I am sure the second reading will be almost as good! ;)
~ Thank you Melanie and Zondervan for my copy! ~
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Review 18 for The Captive Maiden
This review is fromThe Captive Maiden - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:December 17, 2013
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debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Happily Ever After ...Or Happily Nevermore? Gisela's childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father's death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke's son, Valten---the boy she has daydreamed about for years---is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it's only for a taste of a life she'll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten's eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
My Review:
Let me start by saying that I really don't care for the traditional Cinderella story. Even as a child I really wished someone would create a story that had all the traditional elements, then mix it up for a completely different re-telling. Dickerson has done it. She has created a story that fairy tale lovers and haters can both enjoy and relish for different reasons.
First, Dickerson did not stick to the Cinderella script/road map. I liked this primarily because while the novel is familiar, it is in no way an imitation of the original. It is a clever retelling, with all the familiar markers that make it such an appealing fairy tale to millions.
Second, the characters in this book are very well written, despite the main characters being portrayed as almost perfect human beings. But "fairly tales" are two words that are supposed to allude to perfection, beauty, and second chances despite impossible situations. Even with the almost perfection of Valten and Gisela, the secondary characters are something to rave about. ALL of them. (Nope, not going to tell.)
Lastly, I was impressed by how much "preachy stuff" was in this writing. This is something books can never have too much of, and what might be considered as excessive by the world, was just right for me. Dickerson wrote Gisela and Valten as Believers, and watching them grow in faith was amazing. Just the right sort of book to give your young adults, and something I can't wait to share with my future teenage children.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 19 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Fairytale revisited - fantastic!

Date:October 14, 2013
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Janna Ryan
Location:North Platte, NE
Age:35-44
Gender:female
The newest book from Melanie Dickerson releases soon and boy is it worth the wait! Another reinvented fairytale, this time with Cinderella. We meet Gisela as her father sells a horse from his carefully bred stock to the Duke's eldest son. She isn't happy that one of her favorite horses is leaving but she is entranced with the young man. Not long after her father dies and she is left at the whims of her step mother who treats her horribly. But at least she is still around her father's horses. She dreams of the young man but one day realizes that nothing can ever happen there because she is an orphan with nothing. Years pass...
Melanie has done it again, woven a tale that is incredibly moving and amazing and taking a story that we all "know" so well and breathing new life into it. In this story we enter the world of jousting and tournaments and discovering God's purpose for your life. Gisela and Valten find that you must rely on God for deliverance because in our own strength it just isn't enough.
My favorite part of these books is how she weaves them all together. You don't have to read them in a series but it sure is fun if you do!
I highly recommend the entire set of books (as my 17 year old daughter does too!) and just keep hoping that Melanie doesn't run out of fairytales anytime soon!
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Review 20 for The Captive Maiden
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Captive Maiden is a beautiful & breathtaking story

Date:October 13, 2013
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Blooming with Books
Location:Bloomer, WI
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Captive Maiden
By Melanie Dickerson
Melanie Dickerson has done it again - creating yet another beautiful and breathtaking story based upon a fairy-tale! The delightful and gorgeous cover is just the cherry on top, the real treat lays hidden between the covers!
The Fairest Beauty left Valten with his betrothal at an end when his intended Sophie fell in love with and married Gabe his younger brother. In The Captive Maiden Valten plays a major role as he has become dissatisfied with the tournaments that take up his life and take him far from home. His father Duke Wilhelm wants him to learn how to govern and lead and to marry.
But the question is whom should he marry, after all none of the daughters of the nobility interest him with their endless prattle. One maiden has captured his attention and she seems to be little more than a peasant. A maiden who rides astride, cares about horses, and is treated like a worthless servant by her stepmother and stepsisters should be beneath the notice of the future Duke of Hagenheim. But for reasons neither Gisela or Valten can explain Gisela has captured his attention and perhaps his heart.
Treachery and betrayal work against Gisela and Valten. Jealous maidens and dangerous enemies are determined to keep them apart even if death is necessary to accomplish it. Can Gisela and Valten trust in someone greater than themselves to keep them safe even when all hope seems lost? Faith is an important factor throughout the story.
Based upon Cinderella The Captive Maiden will capture your imagination as it brings faith and fiction together in a believable heartfelt story. You will want to re-read this story again and again (I know because I'm re-reading it again) and it will join the favorites on your shelf.
I was provided a copy of The Captive Maiden by the publisher Zondervan and the author in exchange for my honest review.
Available for pre-order from your favorite online retailer!
Coming to a bookstore near you November 19, 2013!
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