Sunday, February 3, 2019

Review & Giveaway: The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

Heidi Reads... The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


She knows women are expected to marry, cook, and have children, not go to war. Can she manage to stay alive, save her mother, and keep the handsome son of a duke from discovering her secret?

When Mulan takes her father's place in battle against the besieging Teutonic Knights, she realizes she has been preparing for this journey her whole life-and that her life, and her mother's, depends on her success. As the adopted daughter of poor parents, Mulan has little power in the world. If she can't prove herself on the battlefield, she could face death-or, perhaps worse, marriage to the village butcher.

Disguised as a young man, Mulan meets the German duke's son, Wolfgang, who is determined to save his people even if it means fighting against his own brother. Wolfgang is exasperated by the new soldier who seems to be one step away from disaster at all times-or showing him up in embarrassing ways.

From rivals to reluctant friends, Mulan and Wolfgang begin to share secrets. But war is an uncertain time and dreams can die as quickly as they are born. When Mulan receives word of danger back home, she must make the ultimate choice. Can she be the son her bitter father never had? Or will she become the strong young woman she was created to be?

This fresh reimagining of the classic tale takes us to fifteenth-century Lithuania where both love and war challenge the strongest of hearts.

My Review

At first I thought this book would follow the story of Mulan close to the Disney version, but I soon realized that this retelling would take new twists and turns that brought a new life and energy to the story. I loved the different backstory to Mulan and her family, and the interesting political dynamics between the different powers of the region that are embroiled in conflict. The ugliness of war is realistically portrayed without being overly graphic, but it made me grateful for how times and society has changed, especially in attitudes toward women. I was glad that there was plenty of story before Wolfgang discovers Mulan is female, and also plenty of story after. They had great chemistry first as brief rivals, then as friends, then as more. The pacing was well-balanced with the exciting action and moments of reflection and connection between Mulan and those around her. Family dynamics are a strong theme with Wolfgang's struggles with his brother, and Mulan's loyalty to her mother and complicated relationship with her father. I admired Mulan's faith, courage, and determination as she fought for her country's allies and learned more about herself and what she wants out of life. Highly recommend to fans of clean romance, fairy tale retellings, or medieval fiction.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time Christy Award finalist, two-time Maggie Award winner, Carol Award winner, two-time winner of the Christian Retailing's Best award, and her book, The Healer's Apprentice, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Melanie earned a bachelors degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher in Georgia, Tennessee, and Ukraine. She lives with her husband and two children in Huntsville, Alabama.

Prize: Win (1) physical copy of THE WARRIOR MAIDEN by Melanie Dickerson (US ONLY) or e-copy for (INT)

Giveaway Starts: 30th January, 2019
Giveaway Ends: 13th February, 2019

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