Friday, December 18, 2015

ARC Book Review: The Golden Braid (Hagenheim, #6)

Author: Melanie Dickerson
Edition: eARC
Received from publisher via Netgalley
Release Date: November 17th, 2015
Rating: 4 Stars

I received a copy of The Golden Braid from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

So, when I requested this book I hadn't realized that it was part of a series and I started to panic.  Because it is the sixth book in said series and I wasn't sure I wanted to read all the ones leading up to it.  I looked into it a bit and discovered that they all served as standalone novels, though, which was a relief.

The Golden Braid is a retelling of Rapunzel set in medieval times.  It's not straight up historical fiction, but more of a fairy tale, honestly.  Rapunzel has been raised to dislike men by Mother Gothel, the woman who raised her.  When they return to the city of Hagenheim to help a friend of Mother's, Rapunzel begins to secretly take reading lessons from a knight that saved her on the road.  It isn't long before she begins to question her mother and realize that staying with her mother is detrimental to her health.

At first I wasn't sure I would like this novel.  The plot was slow moving, the main characters were very 2-dimensional and not likable (Gerek was a jerk and Rapunzel was naive beyond belief), and the writing just wasn't clicking with me.  After about a third of the way in, though, things really started to change for the better.

The character growth was one of the best parts.  It happens subtly, so much so that I didn't realize how much characters had changed until nearly the end when everything was coming to a close.  While the plot never really did pick up, it changed quite frequently to focus on different events.  I was okay with this, and liked where it ended up.  The final few chapters pulled at my heart and had me a little pile of goo as our hero and heroine were always just out of reach from each other and their hearts.

I've already picked up the first book in this series to give it a go when I have the chance.  I'm eager to see how the other books are.  And no, you don't have to read these in order at all.

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