Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson [REVIEW]

TITLE: The Fairest Beauty
AUTHOR: Melanie Dickerson
PUBLISHER: Zondervan
PUB DATE: Jan 8 2013
Summary from Goodreads:

"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."


It’s all about the love story. I’ll get to that a bit more later...

The Fairest Beauty is a retelling of the classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The beginning of the story was the typical starter for fairy tales, with once upon a time, the damsel in distress, blah, blah, blah... but it was a strong introduction. The setting was vivid and clear, and the characters showed promise.

Duchess Ermengard was an outstanding character. Okay, so mainly because her name sounds so much like the memes going around with the words: ERMAHGERD! I just couldn’t stop myself from chuckling and imagining this:

See what I mean? It’s a foreign name to me so you’ll have to forgive me on this one.

Let’s move on, shall we?

At first I didn’t know what to make of Gabe. First, he seems just hungry for a triumphant heroes’ recognition, but then comes a story about a sister he wasn’t able to save, making him eager to redeem himself. I imaging this lad just wants to find peace in his heart even when he doesn’t admit it. He may be a little naive at times [especially when he seemed so relaxed over meeting the duchess firsthand], but I saw him to be a striking hero nonetheless.

Sophie, on the other hand, was a typical fairy tale protagonist. Really, she was typical... I can’t think of anything else to say about her.

The first parts of the book were very interesting and eventful. It kind of slows down though by the time Gabe and Sophie reached the house of the seven, aka, the seven dwarves.

Many times through the story did I notice that the characters keep repeating what they’ve already said and/or repeat what others have said to them, it was kind of annoying. I got it the first time already, isn’t that enough?

In my opinion, one of the key elements of a retelling is the efficiency of creating a remarkable story that would stand out and perhaps become incomparable to its inspiration. I was hoping this would be one amongst the few that left their marks on their readers. The Fairest Beauty, at some point, was able to give out a touch of such. Only, the focus of it all was the blooming love story between the protagonists. The original Snow White story lacked thereof a prince worthy of the princess he didn’t even rescue in the first place. He was insignificant up until he came about the forest where Snow White’s glass coffin was laid. Here, we have a prince who has gone through great pains to rescue a girl that is betrothed to someone else and yet have grown to love over time. Gale had grown to become a steadfast hero who earned the right to be with the woman he loved.

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