Guilt and feelings of inadequacy can be such powerful motivators, driving us to work hard for the approval of others. Working hard isn’t necessarily a bad thing, nor is seeking approval. However, when we think we need to work for God’s approval, then there is a problem.
Praise God we don’t need to be perfect on our own! The grace of God, His free gift, has provided our salvation. We don’t have to work for His love. We don’t have to work for our salvation. Jesus died on the cross to forgive us of our sins and to reconcile us to God.
The Orphan's Wish
by Melanie Dickerson
Series: Hagenheim #8
Published by Thomas Nelson
Publication Date June 26, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Fairy Tale Retelling, Clean Romance, Action/Adventure
Setting: Holy Roman Empire Middle Ages - 400 to 1600
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults, High-School/Young Adult
From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn. With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.
Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune.
But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.
I would like to thank Just Read Publicity Tours, Netgalley for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Aladdin felt compelled to be perfect. He remembered the sins of his youth with shame and felt he had to somehow be perfect to atone for them. He loved Lady Kristyn from the first time he saw her and didn’t think he was good enough to aspire to her hand. These were such strong motivations for him, driving him to excel in all he did and to leave Haggenheim to seek his fortune.
My heart went out to Aladdin when his mother died and he found himself destitute at the age of 5. The shame he felt over the thieving he had been forced to do until he was rescued by Priest and brought to Germany to live followed him throughout his life. I loved his strong protective nature towards Lady Kristyn. . .
It was interesting to see the way Aladdin viewed himself, flawed and insignificant, compared to the way others saw him, perfect and able to succeed at anything he put his hand to. I think we often do this very same thing, look at ourselves through the veil of our sins and not through the new life and forgiveness which comes through Christ. I appreciated the way author Melanie Dickerson brought Aladdin to the place where he was able to see his worth in Christ in such a sensitive and compassionate way.
Lady Kristyn is a younger daughter and often feels invisible. Her dad even forgot her birthday one year. Granted, he was dealing with a serious situation, but what young girl wants to have such an important day overlooked? The one person she always knew who heard her was Aladdin. From the time they were young, he had been her dearest friend and her champion. He even bore scars as a reminder of the time he almost lost his life to save hers. Anyone who has struggled with feelings of self-doubt, inadequacy or invisibility will be able to relate to her.
While some aspects of the story were anticipated, there were also a number of unexpected twists. One of the characters made me mad when he betrayed Aladdin unexpectedly, however it fit and needed to happen. I do wish more details would have been given about the situation with the merchant in Hagenheim. and its resolution Yes, it was obvious that it was resolved, but it felt like something more should have been said about it.
I have enjoyed all the books in this series I have read (I missed one somehow!) I appreciate the way the author integrates her faith so naturally into the lives of the characters. I also like the way she tells the stories in the time and place I picture the original fairy tales to have taken place and yet writes them as “regular” stories without magic and fairies. Melanie Dickerson is one of the authors on my “if the book is by her it is worth reading” list.
Preview of The Orphan’s Wish
Melanie's Luneburg Germany Pinterest Board(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)
Melanie Dickerson and JustRead Tours are giving away to one winner:
- (1) hardcover copy of The Orphan’s wish
- the choice of (1) ebook from the Haggenheim/Fairy Tale Romance series published by Thomas Nelson or Zondervan Fiction
Enter the giveaway here