The Warrior Maiden (Hagenheim #9)
by Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: February 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance, Retellings, Christian Fiction
From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a fresh reimagining of the classic Mulan tale.
Mulan isn’t afraid to pretend to be a son and assume her father’s soldier duties in war. But what happens when the handsome son of a duke discovers her secret?
Mulan is trying to resign herself to marrying the village butcher for the good of her family, but her adventurous spirit just can’t stand the thought. At the last minute, she pretends to be the son her father never had, assumes his duties as a soldier, and rides off to join the fight to protect the castle of her liege lord’s ally from the besieging Teutonic Knights.
Wolfgang and his brother Steffan leave Hagenheim with several other soldiers to help their father’s ally in Poland. When they arrive, Wolfgang is exasperated by the young soldier Mikolai who seems to either always be one step away from disaster . . . or showing Wolfgang up in embarrassing ways.
When Wolfgang discovers his former rival and reluctant friend Mikolai is actually a girl, he is determined to protect her. But battle is a dangerous place where anything can happen—and usually does.
When Mulan receives word that her mother has been accused of practicing witchcraft through her healing herbs and skills, Mulan’s only thought is of defending her. Will she be able to trust Wolfgang to help? Or will sacrificing her own life be the only way to save her mother?
Mulan has grown up in a small villiage in Lithuania. She is the daughter of Milokai, a warrior who fathered her while fighting in the East. Milokai's wife has raised Mulan as her own. Now, Mulan is a young woman and Milokai is dead. Mulan's mother attempts to marry off Mulan, however when Milokai is called to battle, Mulan assumes his place as Milokai's son. Assisted by her father's steward and her archery coach, Andrei, Mulan marches off to protect the castle of an ally from the Teutonic Knights. Fighting with Mulan is the Duke of Hagenheim's son, Wolfgang. Wolfgang's brother Stefan however is fighting for the Teutonic Knights. At first, Wolfgang sees Mulan as a rival in archery, but Mulan's skills in battle win her respect and Wolfgang see's her as an equal. Now, fighting closely with Wolfgang, Mulan must protect her secret and her feelings towards Wolfgang while continuing to fend off the Teutonic Knights, including Wolfgang's brother.
A very creative re-imagining of the Mulan story within the world of Hagenheim. At first, I was very wary of how Mulan would fit into the western European world, but with a few twists here and there, it seemed liked she was made to belong all along. I enjoyed how the spirit of Mulan was kept in her personality. Mulan was scared, but kept a very confident face, and showed bravery and ingenuity in battle, using her strengths as a woman. She balked against the gender norms of marrying for safety and security to a man who would not love her for who she is. I loved reading the battle scenes and seeing Mulan's mixed emotions as she fought to protect herself as well as what she believed was right. Mulan and Wolfgang's relationship was also very interesting. Beginning as a rivalry and then a respected friend and warrior, Wolfgang then turns into the only other person who know Mulan's secret and his feelings towards the soldier and now woman must change. There is a lot of will they or won't they that drove me a little mad as neither of them wanted to ruin the friendship forged in battle. I also appreciated the incorporation of the historic Teutonic Knights and Grand Master Rusdorf. With an exciting ending and the hope of a happily ever after, The Warrior Maiden is another wonderful installment in the Hagenheim stories.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time Christy Award finalist, two-time Maggie Award winner, Carol Award winner, two-time winner of the Christian Retailing's Best award, and her book, The Healer's Apprentice, won the National Readers Choice Award for Best First Book. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). Melanie earned a bachelors degree in special education of the hearing impaired from The University of Alabama and has worked as a teacher in Georgia, Tennessee, and Ukraine. She lives with her husband and two children in Huntsville, Alabama.