The Healer’s Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson is the first book in her Hagenheim series. These books are Christian medieval fairy-tale romances with hints of Disney. For instance, this first book is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty.
The setting is: medieval Germany, Rose is training to be the local healer. Even though she is squeamish at the sight of blood, she is determined to succeed. Healers are not required to get married and she wishes to avoid a particularly sketchy suitor. But when the future-duke, Wilhelm comes home and injures himself, it is Rose who must tend to his wounds. Through each meeting they gradually develop feelings for each other. However, Wilhelm is betrothed to a mysterious lady in hiding. Wilhelm is tasked with the job of killing the man who threatens her life.
I am a huge Disney fan, so the little references filled me with joy. The characters are so easy to love (or hate) and the writing style is easy to read.
I also enjoyed the Christian themes I found in this book (and continued throughout the series). Keep in mind, this is medieval Germany so the predominant religion is Catholic (Adventists did not exist then!) But through the story, Rose slowly discovers a wonderful relationship with God. Wilhelm learns to let God win battles for him and God’s will wins out in the end.
The end of the story kept me on the edge of my seat! Dickerson’s writing is very captivating. I give this book two thumbs up and highly recommend it.