Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

Rapunzel's mother Gothel has never wanted Rapunzel to have any attention from men. She has raised Rapunzel to have a distrust of men and to stay away from them. Once again Gothel has decided to move them to a new place in order to keep Rapunzel to herself. On the road to Hagenheim the two are accosted by a couple of evil men. Sir Gerek comes to their rescue, but in the process he becomes injured and Rapunzel and her mother are forced to help him the rest of the way to Hagenheim.

Once the group arrives in Hagenheim Gothel dumps Sir Gerek at a monastery outside of Hagenheim and moves Rapunzel and herself into a small little cottage. All Rapunzel has ever wanted to learn was how to read. She asks one of the men at the monastery if someone there can teach her in exchange for her services in cleaning some of the rooms. When Sir Gerek is coerced into teaching her while he is laid up recovering Rapunzel is less than happy, but her desire to read outweighs her desire to please her mother or Sir Gerek.

When once again Gothel decides to move to another village Rapunzel has had enough and gets a job at Hagenheim castle. There she and Sir Gerek continue the friendship that was forged while Rapunzel was learning to read. But Gothel cannot let Rapunzel go and becomes part of a plot to take over the castle. Gothel will stop at nothing to keep Rapunzel to herself.

Even though Sir Gerek has determined to marry money he finds himself attached to Rapunzel. When she disappears he makes it his mission to find her. On his voyage he discovers a new trust in God and follows His leading to find Rapunzel wherever she may be and no matter how long it takes.

First off, yes, we have heard of Hagenheim castle before! One of the things I really liked about the story was that it crossed over into THE PRINCESS SPY. I thought the author did a good job of twining the two stories together. Another thing I enjoyed was the fairy tale retelling. There were enough differences to give the story a fresh twist but yet similar enough to maintain the integrity of the original fairy tale. The Spiritual aspect of the story was another favorite. Both Sir Gerek and Rapunzel needed to learn to trust in God instead of in their own power and abilities and plans. There were some frustrating moments for me in some of the behavior of the characters, but for the most part I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to readers that enjoy sweet fairy tale retellings.

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