Tangled with Faith and Courage

"And at last I see the light, And it's like the fog has lifted, And at last I see the light, And it's like the sky is new, And it's warm and real and bright, And the world has somehow shifted,
All at once everything looks different, Now that I see you"  - from Disney's Tangled 

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Title:  The Golden Braid
Author:  Melanie Dickerson
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Release Date:  November 17, 2015



The one who needs rescuing isn't always the one in the tower...

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.

Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel's hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again---this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.

The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight---Sir Gerek---Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to him than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery are about to be revealed after seventeen years. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

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What can I say? The tune to Disney's "I See the Light" from Tangled keep popping into my mind. It is also about Rapunzel, the fair maiden stuck in a tower with her long golden hair.  There is a difference. The difference is that The Golden Braid gives readers a theme beyond fairy tales of finding your knight. You'll have that too, but Melanie Dickenson also weaved in beautifully, the elements of new faith, the desires and meaning to find the right one for a lifetime commitment of marriage and enchanting display of historical chivalry and medieval grandeur.   I'm typically not a fan of retelling, stories that are based on a classic, OK, but retelling gets be on defense mode. However, Melanie's use of retelling a classic, and adding her own creativity in plots and writing style had me hooked. I can easily imagine the first encounter of Sir Gerek and Rapunzel, as well as the famous scene of the tower, to the final moments of every fairy tale ending, the wedding.  I truly enjoyed this sort of retelling, adding to it what I say as the best form of fairy tales, is what God has to do with it. Thank you, Melanie! 

"Forgive me for wanting riches and status more than to give love to a woman who deserves it.  I promise, if it is your will, I shall marry Rapunzel and give her everything I am, everything you provide, and I shall begin by giving her my love." (239)
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (242)  - Romans 15:13
"Instantly, a song rose inside her and she began to sing.  She sang new words, a new song to God, in praise of his hope and his unfailing love...she stopped and whispered, 'I will never sing for Mother again, but I will sing to you, God, as long as I have hope.'" (243)
Isn't it beautiful? My three favorite quotes in The Golden Braid. First one, does that not make Sir Gerek swoon worthy! Whew! Next is also one of my favorite Biblical verses, because there's always hope and we will always welcome it and crave it. And finally, a song to our beloved God of hope. In times of trouble, isn't God the one you want? Before I end, I must say the cover is gorgeous. Here it is again for you to see. Just simply stunning and makes you want to grab and read it right away! If you want a clean historical read for a young teen or young adult in your life, The Golden Braid is it. As an adult, it's perfect for me to enjoy and indulge my childhood fancy with fairy tales too. *smile

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.



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Melanie Dickerson is the author of The Healer's Apprentice, a Christy Award finalist and winner of the National Reader's Choice Award for Best First Book.  Melanie earned a bachelor's degree in special education from the University of Alabama and has been a teacher and a missionary.  She lives with her husband and two daughters in Huntsville, Alabama.

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  1. This book does sound so good! It's seems so hard to find a healthy young adult book anymore. Most young adult books out there are dark and have inappropriate scenes in them. So grateful for Christian authors!!! Jenny

  2. Thanks Jenny. I agree with you in regards to a good Christian YA novel. Though I do enjoy a dystopian YA series here aND now, there's always a time when I'd prefer a good clean and entertaining YA novel. Thanks for your kind words. Annie


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