The Captive Maiden - YA Review by Kit K.

Reader: Kit K.
Age: 16
Title: The Captive Maiden
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Zondervan
Pub Date: 11/19/13
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: At the risk of me seeming like an awful person, I will admit I was definitely deterred from wanting to read the book upon seeing the publisher was Zondervan--the publisher of many a Bible at my school. After reading the book, I can say that I am ashamed of my original judgement. There were some moments talking about God in a sort of repetitive way that I decided to skip over. If you are going to try to send a holy message, I would say to delete the parts where it just repeats the same thing over and over and over again with slightly different wording.
     As for the fairytale aspect of the story, it was fairly good. My secret passion in books is fairytales, and that might have made me judge this one a bit more harshly. The beginning was great: the establishment of the villains, the meeting of the protagonist, the initial connection between the guy and the girl. It began to drop off, though, after the banquet of the first day in the tournament. The storyline began to drag on and on. The story was short in itself, but it could have ended A LOT SOONER. There comes a point when the tale closes, and it closed about half way through.
     As for the title, I would have nixed that right away. The "Captive" part references mostly the second half of the book when she's in Ruexner's clutches--the part of the book that I, personally, began pushing myself through. Overall, I just think the title wasn't as fitting as it should have been, and, because of this, I wouldn't tell my friends the title when they asked what book I was reading.
     Finally, the characters were not relatable to me as a reader. That weren't extremely enticing, they weren't boring, they just...were. I would have really liked to see the characters develop more, especially Gisela. She was the main character and she didn't have a clue what was happening around her. I mean, really? Take a hint! And stop being so gullible. Also, there were moments in the book where it felt like the author was saying a woman shouldn't save herself or be the hero, which really made me want to go slap them. Not cool...
     Overall, though, I did enjoy this book. It was cute, it was quick and it was just a nice romantic read for a rainy day.
Memorable or Forgettable: Compared to other fairytale retellings, it was not my favorite, but it was also not the worst. I would have really liked to see more character development, a better second half, and more strong female characters.
Cover: I'm going to snatch that dress right off that blondie's body. Seriously. I'm coming. I want that gown. It was a beautiful cover, and matched the description of how she looked.
Age Range: 12 through 17
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal
Annotation: A charming retelling of a fairytale like Cinderella can never be complete without the wicked villain, the handsome knight in shining honor and the all too lovable riches-to-rags-back-to-riches girl. Thankfully, Dickerson got the memo and pens a cute romance for a weekend read.

tags: historical fiction / fantasy / fairy tales / retellings / romance / Christian fiction / ya lit

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