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Rose, a woodcutter’s daughter, is apprenticed to the town healer in Hagenheim castle. When she tends a wounded Lord Hamlin, the two begin to fall in love. The only problem is he’s already betrothed in an arranged marriage to a woman he has never met.
The best aspects of this book are the history and the hint of German language.
The Healer’s Apprentice is set in Saxony in 1386. In reading, we get a taste of life at that time and place. The daily life, medical practices, culture, and laws are fascinating.
Dickerson does a good job hinting at the German language. The book contains a few German phrases, but also English phrases that hint at German. These phrases are uncommon to us, but would be a correct literal translation of the phrase from German. One example is a woman’s age said to be “five and forty years,” which is not what we would usually say but is the only way the number is expressed in German.
The book is entertaining, though slow to start. My enjoyment of it grew as I made progress. I had some trouble staying with the plot. Sometimes I couldn’t put it down, sometimes I could. Some of the situations and scenes were really interesting and unique, and I enjoyed that part of the story.
The story is loosely based on Sleeping Beauty. The Healer’s Apprentice is mostly a different story altogether, but Dickerson used Sleeping Beauty to launch her inspiration for this story.
The romance is clean but a little melodramatic. Every time a guy gives a compliment to Rose, looks her in the eye, or holds her hand, her heart “flutters.”
Most guys would not like this book. It’s just too girly and is written for a female target audience. Not all ladies will like it either. You’ll like it if you like romance novels.
I recommend this to:
- Romance fans.
• Many times she had gazed into the big brown eyes of the wealthy burghers’ horses. A favorite game was deciding if the animal was gentle and sweet or strong-willed and wily, simply from the way he looked back at her.
• Rose didn’t mind the boring work. She was so restless these days, it suited her to keep her hands busy while her thoughts were free to wander.
• Intelligent, mature adults could choose to love the person they were married to, whoever it was. Didn’t the Bible command wives and husbands to love each other? If it was a command, then it was possible.
What do you think? Does this sound like a book you’d enjoy?