“The Fairest Beauty” by Melanie Dickerson
3 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Young, fair Sophie has always lived with walls surrounding her; walls guarding the castle, and walls built around her by the Duchess. All her life Sophie has been a captive to the Duchess, as a scullery maid who has always been held in distain by the Duchess. Sophie has tried to be kind, responsible, and obedient, but it is never enough; love is something she will never be given by the beautiful Duchess. And she is tired of trying to be perfect, to be good enough for just an acknowledging glance from the Duchess. What Sophie wants now is to be free, to go somewhere safe and to live her life in peace. But how? When could she ever be freed from the only “home” she has ever known? Can she get out, and stay out, of this prison?
Gabehart is the son of Duke Wilhelm and the lovely Duchess, Rose. He’s never lived up to his parents expectations, Valten beating him to the punch every single time. And it’s no wonder, ever since the accident, Gabe has felt worthless, been worthless to those around him. So instead of trying to beat his older brother at a game he could never win, Gabehart has tried his hand at the game of revelry; he is quite good at those kinds of activities. But when news that Valten’s betrothed is not dead but very alive, Gabe gets an idea. Valten has been laid up with a broken leg for some time, and Gabehart knows Valten won’t go for the young lady for a while yet. But that doesn’t mean he can’t go and bring her to the castle. Maybe this was the opportunity he has always needed to redeem himself. He’ll go and be back before anyone notices and maybe then he will have beaten his brother at something other than archery. With his hopes high, Gabe sets out to retrieve the young Duchess, but he get far more than he bargained for in the girl as well as the journey.
“The Fairest Beauty” by Melanie Dickerson was a very enjoyable read. I had read the first book in this series, “The Healer’s Apprentice” a while ago and really enjoyed it. So when I heard that she was coming out with a third book (I haven’t had a chance to read Melanie’s second book) I was very excited, and then I saw the cover, and well, I have a weakness for pretty covers (yes, I am vain). I’ve wanted to read it forever it seems like but never got around to purchasing it. But thanks to my awesome older sister who was super sweet and bought it for me, I now have been able read it. Better late than never, I think? “The Fairest Beauty” is so darling, and is a great read for those who love fairy tale retellings.
I thought that the writing was good and the story itself was really enjoyable. The characters were well written and I thought that they had pretty good depth for it being such a short story. But my favorite part was the dwarves; there are a few that are really sweet and endearing, and they become friends and protectors of “Snow White.” Over all I think it was a very good book, but my only problem with it was that the book didn’t delve that deeply into each character; I felt a little distant from Gabe and Sophie. I liked them and thought they were good people, but I didn’t feel super attached to them; they were developed well, but I didn’t really “grow” with them, if that makes sense. I liked them, but I wanted a little more from some of the characters and their moments together. Other than that, I thought that “The Fairest Beauty” was a cute and enjoyable read.
I hope this review was helpful.