Author: Melanie Dickerson
Summary (From Goodreads): Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her---a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.
Review: This book was sent to me for review a little while ago, and I FINALLY got to read it. And am I ever glad it was! I am a sucker for fairy tales and happy endings, and this book was right up my alley. Sleeping Beauty was always my favorite princess, so I was really excited about this novel.
The Healer's Apprentice is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty tale; it is quite different. It is more realistic in some ways, but still very much a fairy tale. There are some new characters to the story (who are amazing) and some characters are eliminated or changed (Aurora's fairies and Malificent, respectively.)
I LOVED LOVED LOVED Lord Hamlin. He is the PERFECT Prince Charming. However, I also liked Lord Rupert, and I felt Rose's interactions and feelings for each lord were realistic and definitely relatable (I know if a prince told me I was beautiful, I'd feel pretty good too! No shame in that Rose!)
This was one of those books where I knew the ending (duh, it's a retelling of a story everyone knows) but I didn't know how it would get to that point, and that was the best part. When obstacles arose, I knew the good guys would win, but I could never for the life of me figure out how! That curiosity is what made this book all but impossible to put down.
There were a few small things that bothered me, however. The author couldn't seem to decide if she wanted to write the book in a more modern verse or in old-fashioned English. Sometimes the characters spoke as we would today, while other times she'd throw in a "thither" or "thou." Very minor, though. Also, the princes' admiring of Rose's beauty got a bit old. "You're so beautiful" over and over and over again. Yeah guys, I think she gets it. It made the princes come off as shallow and only interested in her looks (rightfully so, in one case. But again I'm treading the line of spoiler-zone.).
All in all, I LOVED this book. These minor things are the only things keeping it from five stars.
A warning however: the book gets quite religious at the end, thanking God for his gifts, and lots of praying takes place. If that bothers you, you probably won't enjoy this book as much as I did.
Recommended for: anyone who loves a fairy-tale ending (aka hopeless romantics)