Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry. (from ThomasNelson.com)
If you love a good fairy tale retelling, this is a book for you. A Young Adult version of Rapunzel set in and around 15th century Hagenheim. It begins as a village tale, quickly becomes a travel adventure, and then a coming of age/country girl in the city tale.
This retelling is solid YA historical fiction. While based on a well known fairy tale, it has such a feel of being grounded in reality that it is easy to forget even though all of the important elements are there, albeit presented in a more authentic way. There is much to appreciate and enjoy in the characters as well, many of which are given multiple layers by the author. A thinking Rapunzel who wants to learn to read and calls out to God for guidance, her complicated midwife mother, evil villains, a brave but grumpy knight, the aristocracy in the castle and their servants.
What is not to love about a retelling where the heroine takes matters into her own hands and does most of the saving?
While I did have a severe case of “I think I read almost this same exact retelling” early on in the story, it quickly diverged from what I remembered of another book and became unique to itself. Definitely a book that I will recommend to readers of YA (or not), historical and inspirational fiction. Just a lovely read.
This review refers to a review ebook read courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson | Thomas Nelson, November 17, 2015 | review ebook