The Peasant's Dream (Hagenheim #11)
by Melanie Dickerson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: July 7th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Fairy Tale, Retellings
In this reverse Cinderella story, a poor farmer’s son, who dreams of using his talent as a woodcarver to make a better life for himself, falls in love with a duke’s daughter and must fight for a chance to win her heart.
Adela is the youngest daughter of Duke Wilhelm of Hagenheim and is never allowed outside of the castle walls. She loves her family, but she sneaks away one day to the market in the town center. There she meets a handsome young man and wonders what it might be like to fall in love with a poor farmer with a kind heart instead of marrying the man her family is suggesting for her.
Frederick earns the income for his family and defends his mother from his father’s drunken rages. He also uses his talent and creativity to carve figures, animals, and scenes into wood, and he's asked to carve these scenes into cathedral doors when his talent is noticed. Frederick is inspired by the sweet and beautiful Adela, but he has no knowledge of her true identity. When he gets swept up into a plan to kidnap the duke’s daughter, both are shaken by what they learn about the other.
With the heartbroken Adela resigned to an arranged marriage with her noble suitor, Frederick must decide what he’s willing to risk for love.
Google Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Melanie_Dickerson_The_Peasant_s_Dream?id=K7G-DwAAQBAJ
Adela, the youngest daughter of the Duke of Hagenheim longs for adventure and true love, just like her older siblings have found before her. When Adela hears that yet another suitor, the son of the Duke of Grundelsbach, Lord Barthold will be calling on her she decides to leave the castle unguarded and dressed as a peasant. While at the market, she meets Frederick. Frederick is a peasant who works tirelessly on his father's farm where his drunken father often beats Frederick and his mother. In his free time Frederick hones his wood carving skills and has found a job carving for the bishop of Hagenheim. Adela and Frederick ease into one another's company as they talk of art and their families. However, Frederick doesn't know of Adela's true identity and when some boys from the countryside hatch a plan to kidnap the Duke's daughter for some extra money, Frederick becomes caught up in their plan and his future as well as his relationship with Adela are compromised.
The Peasant's Dream is the eleventh book in the Hagenheim series. While reading the previous books will help fill in some details, it is not necessary to read them all in order to enjoy The Peasant's Dream. In this reversal retelling of Cinderella, Adela and Frederick are able to find love on their own and form a deeper and meaningful bond than simply meeting at a ball. There were enough elements from the Cinderella story to make it recognizable, but also plenty of new twists to add excitement and suspense. Adela and Frederick's character's both had depth and interesting backstories. I really enjoyed that they were able to bond over art and tales of their family even though they were from such different backgrounds. The suspense and excitement was kept heightened as the plan to capture Adela goes awry, Barthold's jealousy takes over and Lord Conrat begins to meddle further. One thing I didn't particularly enjoy was the addition of the overly religious themes. I understood its place in Frederick's wood carvings, but it seemed overbearing at points. Overall, The Peasant's Dream is a fast-paced, enjoyable fairy tale retelling and a pleasant addition to the world of Hagenheim.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author who combines her love for history, adventure, and romance. Her books have won a Christy Award, two Maggie Awards, The National Reader’s Choice Award, the Christian Retailing’s Best Award, the Book Buyer’s Best Award, the Golden Quill, and the Carol Award. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children and adults in the U.S., Germany, and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing stories of love and adventure near Huntsville, Alabama.