Book Review: The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson

A daring rescue. A difficult choice. Sophie desperately wants to get away from her stepmother’s jealousy, and believes escape is her only chance to be happy. Then a young man named Gabe arrives from Hagenheim Castle, claiming she is betrothed to his older brother, and everything twists upside down. This could be Sophie’s one chance at freedom—but can she trust another person to keep her safe? Gabe defied his parents Rose and Wilhelm by going to find Sophie, and now he believes they had a right to worry: the girl’s inner and outer beauty has enchanted him. Though romance is impossible—she is his brother’s future wife, and Gabe himself is betrothed to someone else—he promises himself he will see the mission through, no matter what. When the pair flee to the Cottage of the Seven, they find help—but also find their feelings for each other have grown. Now both must not only protect each other from the dangers around them—they must also protect their hearts.

Isn’t that a gorgeous cover?! I just love it!

And I love this book. I have the privilege of being a first reader for Melanie [meaning I get to read the books way early and make suggestions if necessary]. I first read The Fairest Beauty last year and have been itching to get my hands on an actual copy ever since!

The second time through, it still didn’t disappoint! Ah! Happy, waffy sigh!

I love Sophie and Gabe. I love the Cottage of the Seven and how she made only one of them a dwarf and loved the rest of them just as much as she gave them the characteristics of the more traditional dwarfs in other ways.

I loved to hate Duchess Ermengard [sp?]. I loved the way Melanie worked the elements of the more traditional retellings of Snow White into this book while not resorting to any of the fantastical, magical or mystical elements usually found. Everything in here was realistic in that sense. There were healing herbs and so on but no more so than anywhere else – or what we would call homeopathic remedies today.

Gabe is the younger brother – the one who never quite measures up. Here, in rescuing Sophie, he proves his worth not only to her but to his family as well. Though Sophie is betrothed to Valten, Gabe’s older brother, and Gabe is betrothed to another girl, any reader of romance [even YA romance like this one], knows the two main characters will end up together – and Melanie does a masterful job of this.

Already, I’m looking forward to the chance to reread Melanie’s next book, The Captive Maiden. You can find out more about it in this post on her blog.

Overall rating: 9 out of 10 stars

Thanks to Melanie and the publisher for a copy in exchange for my review.