From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a fresh reimagining of the classic Mulan tale in fifteenth century Lithuania where both love and war challenge the strongest of hearts.
When Mulan takes her father’s place in battle against the besieging Teutonic Knights, she realizes she has been preparing for this journey her whole life—and that her life, and her mother’s, depends on her success. As the adopted daughter of poor parents, Mulan has little power in the world. If she can’t prove herself on the battlefield, she could face death—or, perhaps worse, marriage to the village butcher.
Disguised as a young man, Mulan meets the German duke’s son, Wolfgang, who is determined to save his people even if it means fighting against his own brother. Wolfgang is exasperated by the new soldier who seems to be one step away from disaster at all times—or showing him up in embarrassing ways.
From rivals to reluctant friends, Mulan and Wolfgang begin to share secrets. But war is an uncertain time and dreams can die as quickly as they are born. When Mulan receives word of danger back home, she must make the ultimate choice. Can she be the son her bitter father never had? Or will she become the strong young woman she was created to be?
“When it comes to happily-ever-afters, Melanie Dickerson is the undisputed queen of fairy-tale romance, and all I can say is—long live the queen!” —Julie Lessman, award-winning author
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Sold by:||HarperCollins Publishing|
|File size:||6 MB|
|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Melanie Dickerson is a New York Times bestselling author and a Christy Award winner. Her first book, The Healer’s Apprentice, won the National Readers’ Choice Award for Best First Book in 2010, and The Merchant’s Daughter won the 2012 Carol Award. Melanie spends her time daydreaming, researching the most fascinating historical time periods, and writing stories at her home near Huntsville, Alabama, where she gathers dandelion greens for her two adorable guinea pigs between writing and editing her happily ever afters. Visit her online at MelanieDickerson.com; Facebook: MelanieDickersonBooks; Twitter: @MelanieAuthor.
Read an Excerpt
Early Summer 1423
Village of Mindius, Lithuania
Galloping her horse past the big oak tree, Mulan pulled the bowstring taut. She aimed at the knothole with one eye closed and sent the arrow flying toward the target. It struck the tree but missed the knothole.
"Don't shoot behind you!" Andrei flailed his skinny arms. "Keep the target in front of you."
Shooting from a moving horse was much more difficult than when standing still, but she was improving. At least she'd escaped, for the moment, the cooking and cleaning chores. And practicing war skills kept her from facing the uncertain future — and her mother's grief.
Her stomach churned.
"You put yourself at a disadvantage if you have to shoot behind you." Andrei was only twelve years old, which was six years younger than Mulan, but he'd accompanied her father on his last two military campaigns as his attendant. "Shoot in front of you, before you reach the target."
As an orphan, Andrei would only accept food from Mulan and her mother if he worked for it. Mulan enjoyed his company, as he liked the same things she did — horses and archery. She learned war skills from him. He'd even taught her a bit about sword fighting, although she wasn't very good at that.
Mulan wheeled her horse around. Aksoma was sluggish and awkward at turning, unaccustomed as she was to war games. Perhaps Mulan should be training on her father's horse.
She dismounted and walked toward the tree. As she retrieved her arrow, placing it in the quiver strapped to her waist, she spotted a man in soldier's garb riding up the lane toward her home.
She glanced at Andrei. He bit his lip, unease lining his face.
Mulan dropped the longbow where she stood and raced up the hill.
At the back of the house, she could see straight through the back doorway to the front. Her mother stood in the threshold and greeted the soldier.
Mulan and Andrei stepped inside and hid behind Mother's painted wooden chest. Mulan slid her gaze to the curtain covering her parents' bedchamber door, concealing what was inside even as she concealed herself from the man at the front door.
"Greetings," the soldier answered. "Is Mikolai at home?"
Mulan held her breath at the mention of her father.
"He's not here now. Do you have a message for him?"
The soldier's expression never altered. "Is he likely to return soon?"
"No." Mother hid one arm behind her back, as if she didn't know what to do with it.
"Then tell him Butautas requires his service. He is to report to Vilkavikis to join the army in fighting the Teutonic Knights who have besieged his ally's castle in Poland."
"Duke Konrad of Zachev."
Mother inclined her head in a nod. "Very well."
"His service is required."
"You said that already."
Mulan ducked her head out of sight, but she imagined the soldier giving Mother a sullen look.
"I shall return three days hence so Mikolai and I can travel together."
"In truth, Mikolai has been unwell. He may not be well enough when you return."
"Three days is all I can give him. See that he is ready, or else this property is forfeit to Butautas."
Mulan's stomach twisted. A wave of cold came over her now that she was still. The hose and long shirt, cinched at the waist — men's clothing that she wore when she rode her horse and practiced shooting — didn't keep her as warm as her layers of skirts. And her long black hair was tied at the back of her neck, allowing a breath of cool air to send a chill across her shoulders.
A few moments later, a horse snuffled and hooves sounded on the path, plodding away from their long, one-level stone-and-timber house.
Mulan and Andrei emerged from their hiding place. Mother met Mulan's gaze, then walked past them. She pushed open the chamber door and sighed as she stared in at the body they still had to prepare for burial. "Mikolai could not have chosen a worse time to die."
xEvening had fallen and Mulan was helping Mother clean the kitchen when someone called out, "Ponia Feodosia!"
Mulan ran to the front door. Her friend Agafia was trotting up the lane, breathing hard.
"Jankun is badly wounded."
"Motina!" Mulan called over her shoulder.
Mother came as fast as her bad hip would allow. "What is it?"
"Jankun ... needs your ... healing salve," Agafia huffed out, bending forward slightly, gulping air.
Mother grabbed a flask, closed the door behind her, and joined them on the lane. "Jankun has returned home?"
Agafia spoke quickly about her oldest brother as they walked, her face stoic and pinched. "His friends brought him home a few minutes ago. It took them a week to make the trip from Poland."
"How bad is he?"
Agafia stared at her feet. "The priest gave him the last rites."
"What happened?" Mulan spoke in a hushed voice as they made their way to the main road splitting the village in half, with homes and fields on either side of the rutted dirt path.
"He was captured by the Teutonic Knights. They tortured him, and when they felt he had told them everything he knew about the troops' position and plans, they left him to die. Some of the other Lithuanian and Polish soldiers found him."
They soon arrived at the small home Agafia shared with her family. Mulan steeled herself to see the worst.
Jankun was stretched out on a bed, unmoving. Swollen and bloody and bruised, his face was unrecognizable, though she had known him all her life. One of his eyes seemed to be missing, only a black hole remaining. Agafia had been her closest friend, and Jankun had been almost like a brother, once even defending her against the other boys in the village who taunted her because she looked different.
Jankun's mother was unwrapping bloody bandages on his legs. Her eyes were big and round, her mouth agape. She stepped back to let Mulan's mother approach his bedside.
While Mother attended the young man, Agafia and Mulan went to sit in the corner of the room. Three young men from the village who had also gone to fight stood nearby. They must have brought him home.
Everyone silently watched as Mother held out the flask. She and Jankun's mother used their fingers to smear on the foul-smelling salve.
Tears streamed down Agafia's face. Mulan placed a hand on her shoulder. The only sound was the quiet crackle of the cook fire.
Mulan caught the eye of one of the young men. "What's the news of the battle?" she whispered. "Are we winning?"
He glanced at the door and moved in that direction. Mulan followed. When they were outside in the dim light of sunset, he said, "Our army retreated and is hoping for German reinforcements." He shook his head. "The captain fears the Teutonic Knights may continue conquering Polish territory and expand here next. They're brutal, stealing people's food, killing farmers and peasants if they tried to resist. And when they take prisoners, instead of trying to exchange them or putting them in prisons, they torture them."
His eyes took on a vacant look. "It's a miracle Jankun isn't dead. And they say when their grand master Rusdorf comes with more knights, there will be no stopping him."
The name Rusdorf was familiar. Her father and Andrei had told her stories about his fierceness on the battlefield, as well as his grudges toward certain people and his hatred for women.
"We will defeat him." Why had she said that? But she didn't want to take it back.
The young man's lip curled as he peered down at her. "Rusdorf wants land, castles, power. Thousands of trained fighters do his bidding, and his men are either hired mercenaries with no conscience or think they're taking other people's land in the name of God. How can our smaller army defeat them?" He turned and went back into the house.
Mulan's heart sank. How indeed?
But a strange yearning stirred inside her. She wanted to fight against cruelty and injustice. The threat might be coming to her small Lithuanian village. She had to protect herself, her mother, and her people.
For now, though, the fight was far away. She could almost see that foreign land of Poland, the fields and forests that had become battlegrounds, where innocent people were starving and being killed by the invading force. She longed to help them, to defeat the enemy so they never came to endanger her own people.
But how was that possible? A woman, eighteen years old, was expected to marry, to have children, to cook and clean and sew, not fight.
* * *
Marriage was the only way Mulan could take care of her mother.
She hastened to clean the crumbs of her breakfast roll off the table, avoiding her mother's gaze.
"Algirdas is healthy and strong, does not drink too much wine, and you'll never starve with him as your husband."
Mulan understood why her mother wanted her to marry Algirdas. But he smelled of his profession — bloody meat. He was not as old as her other prospects, and he was wealthy enough to take care of her and her mother when Butautas cast them out of their home. Except ... she had always dreamed of leaving her village and seeing other places, doing something important.
But dreams could not keep her or her mother dry, safe, and fed.
"Algirdas is a hard worker," Mother said. "Try not to judge him until you've spent some time with him." She limped to the cupboard where a small barrel of spiced beer was stored.
Mulan placed the bread on the table, along with a knife and some butter. She took the cup of spiced beer from her mother's hand and carried it to the table, then ran back as Mother filled the other cup from the barrel's spout.
"There's no need to hurry." Mother got that look on her face — pursed lips, brows drawn together.
"Yes, Mother. I shall walk as slowly and gracefully as a swimming swan when Algirdas comes calling."
"Hmm." Mother still wore that worried look.
Mulan said a quick prayer and then saw the pigs wandering into the front entryway of the house.
"Shoo!" She bounded toward them and swatted the air with her hands. But the pigs were not as eager to leave as she was to get them out. As she pushed the sow's shoulder, one of the piglets darted between Mulan legs. She tried to step over it, but her foot caught on its portly body. She pitched forward and landed on her hands and knees on the stone floor.
Mulan jumped up and looked down at her pale blue kirtle. Her heart thudded at the mud stains marring the beautiful fine linen fabric of her best dress. Her wide headband had fallen askew, and she pushed it up.
A heavy sigh sounded behind her. Mulan turned to see her mother standing there, hands braced on her hips.
"It's not so bad. I don't think he'll even notice." Mulan snatched up a cleaning cloth. "Perhaps I can wipe most of it off." Why was she so clumsy?
Her stomach churned at the memory that sprang to mind of her father yelling at her. She must have been only about six or seven years old, and her mother had been teaching her to make cepelinai. She was carrying the bowl of curd with which to fill the potato dumplings and spilled the creamy cheese all over the floor.
"Clumsy! Wasteful!" her father yelled. "Can you do nothing without spilling?"
His words still stung, even though twelve years had passed. Was it true? Was she so clumsy she could she do nothing without spilling?
Mother seized the broom and used it to guide the pigs out the door while Mulan rubbed furiously at her dress with the wet cloth. But her rubbing did little to get rid of the stains. She didn't have another gown nearly so fine. Her next best one had a stain from spilling soup on it, and another had a hole burned in it from when she'd stoked the fire a little too vigorously and a hot ember flew out. She did have the green gown that was so tight she could barely breathe in it. "Should I go change?"
"No time. I see him coming up the path." Mother gestured toward the door. "You go greet him."
Mulan threw the cleaning cloth behind the cupboard, adjusted the embroidered belt that encircled her waist, and hurried to the door. Move slowly. Take a deep breath.
She jerked open the door.
Algirdas wore a plain gray shirt that laced up in the front and was open at the throat. His hair was slicked back with some sort of grease, and he carried a bulging hemp-cloth bag.
"Greetings." Mulan forced a smile.
He nodded and held up the bag. "Two fresh hares for your larder."
"My mother and I thank you." Mulan took the bag from his hand. "Please come in."
His gaze flickered over her dress, pausing a moment on the stains. Then he stepped inside.
So he saw the stains on my dress. Men didn't care about such things, did they? Perhaps she could impress him with something else.
Algirdas sat at the small table, where Mother, who was all smiles, directed him.
"Feodosia, it is good to see you looking well," Algirdas said, but his words were stilted, as if he'd practiced them. "And how is Mikolai?"
"Mikolai has not been feeling well." Mother stared down at the table while she spoke, something she did when she was not being forthcoming. "But we want to hear about you, Algirdas. All is well with your mother, I trust?"
"Thank you, yes. Mother complains of a pain in her shoulder, but she is otherwise well, and business is good."
Mulan sat beside Mother, across from Algirdas, and he stared at her face. No one spoke. What did one say to a butcher? Ask him about his favorite cuts of meat?
"Your sister just had a baby, is that not true?" Mother asked.
"Yes, her fourth. Mother only had two survive beyond infancy, but she is very pleased that all of my sister's babies have lived."
"Children are a gift from the Lord." Mother said the words cheerfully enough, but then an almost imperceptible grimace flickered over her face. Her mother had never been able to have a baby.
"Mulan is from the Orient, is she not?" Algirdas was still studying her face. "I think I've heard a story about Mikolai finding her as a small child after a battle and bringing her to you. Is that right?"
"Yes." Mother looked down at the table again.
"Why did you never give her a Lithuanian name? Mulan doesn't sound Lithuanian."
"The first time I saw her, I asked her what her name was. She said 'Mulan.' And Mikolai said, 'If the child knows her name, then we'll not be changing it.' So Mulan has always been her name." Mother smiled.
Queasiness flipped Mulan's stomach. Was her Oriental appearance — black hair, slightly darker skin, and almond-shaped eyes — unpleasant to Algirdas? Certain boys in the village had taunted her, calling her "Mongol," and even some women looked askance at her, as if they disapproved of her. But Mother always told her she was beautiful, and even her father when asked had grunted and said, "You are not an ugly girl."
But when Mulan was around twelve years old, she discovered that the story her mother had told her about being found as a child by her father after a battle had been false. She heard her parents arguing, and the next morning she asked her mother about it.
"Truth is, your mother was a woman Mikolai met when he was fighting east of here, a woman from the Orient. And when she died, she left a child — you — about three years old. Your father brought you to me, knowing how much I longed for a child."
Mulan and her mother had agreed not to tell anyone else the truth. Let them believe she'd been a foundling, the result of war.
Algirdas eyed the tankard of spiced beer nearest him. Mother looked at Mulan, raised her brows, then looked at the cup.
Mulan extended her hand and plastered on a smile. "Please, have some of Mother's delicious spiced beer."
"Mulan helped me make it." Mother was quick to point out.
They all picked up the cup that was in front of them and took a drink. Mother glanced at her, then the bread on the table.
"Have some bread." Mulan stood and reached for the knife. "I shall slice it for us." Holding the loaf of bread in one hand and the knife in the other, she sawed through the bread. As she encountered the tough bottom crust of the loaf, she sawed extra hard. She broke through, and her elbow bumped into her cup and it tipped over. Beer splashed on the floor and her feet — and Algirdas's too.
"Oh, I'm so sorry." Mulan ran to get a cleaning cloth. She came hastening back, and when she had almost reached where Algirdas was sitting, her foot touched the puddle of beer and shot out from under her.
She flailed her arms, trying to grab anything that might keep her from falling. Algirdas reached out, and she grabbed for his arm but missed. She hit the floor on her back.
"Are you all right?" Algirdas stood over her.
She blinked up at him. He reached toward her. She took his hand and pulled herself up.
"That was not as graceful as a swimming swan." She tried to laugh but her face was warming. How could she make a fool of herself with Algirdas there to speak about marriage? And her dress was certainly ruined now, covered in spiced beer.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Warrior Maiden"
Copyright © 2019 Melanie Dickerson.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm delightfully surprised! Not because Melanie Dickerson has once again penned a masterful fairytale re-telling—I expect that from the Queen of happily-ever-afters. And I'm not surprised at how beautifully written and clever this novel is! And I'm not surprised at the angsty, kissy journey to romance—I expect that from Dickerson's magical tales. And I'm not surprised (as some readers were) at the spiritual thread intricately woven throughout...as this author stays true to the genre Christian fiction. I love that about her writing. Then why am I surprised you might ask? Because I don't care for stories about women fighting in battles and donning men's clothing as a disguise AT all, but I LOVED this!! So yeah, utterly, totally, blissfully surprised! If you enjoy medieval tales about brave knights, lovely maidens, powerful dukes, and opulent castles, you're sure to enjoy The Warrior Maiden! I was given a complimentary copy of this novel by Thomas Nelson publishing and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Melanie Dickerson takes the classic legend of Mulan, transporting it to Lithuania and into the Hagenheim Universe. I was so excited when I heard that the next book in the Hagenheim Dynasty was Mulan. I love how Ms. Dickerson has been embracing more diverse heroes and heroines with the additions of Mulan and Aladdin. Mulan has always been one of my favorite stories because of her bravery, patriotism, and loyalty to her family, as well as her Asian ethnicity (I'm Asian-American). Mulan bravely volunteers to serve her country in place of her deceased father in order to protect her mother from being thrown out of her home. Skilled with a bow, she is small and quick, with a wide streak of stubborn. I admired her faith and relationship with her mother, though there is not a lot between them in the book, it is clear that her mother is a kind, godly woman. Wolfgang and his brother Steffan are sent to fight alongside the Lithuanians against the Teutonic Knights, but Steffan instead chooses to fight with the Teutonic Knights. Wolfgang stays true to his duty, determined to act honorably in his obligations and in battle. He is a fierce fighter, faithful friend, and noble to the core. Overall, a riveting story, with a worthy heroine and hero who bravely stand up for what they believe in. I found some of the facets of the story interesting in how they seemed to be drawing a parallel between events of the story and modern day legalism and Christianity in politics. There are strong themes of family, faith, and second chances. Plenty of action keeps the story going, I liked how the book was realistic about Mulan's strengths and weaknesses. A must read for fans of Melanie Dickerson's Hagenheim Series! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
4 stars- This is the 9th book in the Hagenheim series. It retells the story of Mulan, but this time set in 15th century Lithuania and Poland. In an act of desperation, Mulan disguises herself as a man and takes the place of her father to face the invading Teutonic Knights in neighboring Poland. There she meets Wolfgang, the son of the Duke of Hagenheim. Wolfgang is not sure what to make of this new soldier and they form a somewhat reluctant friendship. But what will happen if he discovers Mulan is really a woman? I haven’t read many of Melanie’s books but of the several I have read, this is my favorite. It was full of danger and romance and intrigue. Mulan was a strong character that did what she felt called to do to save her family. This book is wonderful for teenagers. It’s full of sweet, innocent romance and action that is written just for young adults. Wolfgang was also a strong character and a nice example of what a Godly young man should be like. He handled the struggles he faced with his wayward brother Steffan well. There is a lot in the book that would make great talking points with your teenager or book club. I liked the discussion questions at the end. At times I did wonder if some of the dialogue concerning women’s rights wasn’t a bit modern for that time period. I’d be curious to research that topic a bit more. I would highly recommend this story to teenagers who love a good fairy tale retelling and a sweet, fast paced romance with some great battle scenes throughout. I look forward to book 10 in the series. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
The Warrior Maiden #9 Hagenheim series by Melanie Dickerson The Warrior Maiden is a faith-based retelling of the fairy tale Mulan (I had never heard of the fairy tale Mulan before reading this book) set in 1423 Lithuania. I enjoyed this medieval story with brave knights, powerful dukes, fair maidens, warriors and the spiritual elements woven within the story-line. Mulan certainly is a surprising character and Wolfgang is not only handsome but strong and wise but a little baffled by Mulan, who he knows as the brave warrior Mikolai. There are some tense moments when a serious injury reveals a closely guarded secret. Will the secret be kept in confidence or will it be shared bringing even more danger? An enjoyable retelling of the fairy tale Mulan. ~I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
I have always loved fairy-tales. These books put such an awesome CHRISTIAN twist to the stories. I hope she continues to write. Easy, entertaining and relaxing read that makes you read every word to the last page.
I have always loved fairy-tales. These books put such an awesome CHRISTIAN twist to the stories. I hope she continues to write. Easy, entertaining and relaxing read that makes you read every word to the last page.
The Warrior Maiden is book nine from Melanie Dickerson’s series, Hagenheim. In this installment, a reader gets a retelling of the fairy tale of Mulan. I thought this was a fun and unique retelling of a tale that I do not normally see being retold. I thought Mulan’s story was great. I give The Warrior Maiden five plus stars. It is definitely my favorite of the series that I have read. I highly recommend it. I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
I love how Melanie Dickerson blends faith with the magic and beauty of the classic fairytales we know and love. In the Warrior Maiden, Mulan is honored and has the opportunity to prove herself as a warrior, but also as a friend and a daughter. The romance between Mulan and Wolfgang is beautiful and sweet, and well developed throughout the book as their friendship grows as they get to know each other. Overall a great book! I am always a fan of Melanie Dickerson and this book does not disappoint.
Mulan doesn't look like all the other girls, nor does she act like them. Her mother wants her married, maybe to the butcher. Mulan wants to be a warrior. She dresses in men's clothes and practices shooting her long bow and using swords with a young friend who has been to war. Mulan has a secret, her father has died. No one must know or her mother will be homeless. So she dresses as a man to fight against the Teutonic Knights. Wolfgang and Steffan are brothers. Wolfgang wants to fight against the Knights, but Steffan wants power and glory, so he wants to fight with them. When Mulan meets Wolfgang, who is the son of a German Duke, will she be able to hide what she is? Will Wolfgang and his brother have to fight against and maybe kill the other? There are a lot of mentions of God and Christianity.. Of course these wars are being fought about religion. I thought it was well written with an eye to detail. I received this book from Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for a honest review. I voluntarily read this book.
This is the 5th book in Dickerson's Hagenheim series that I have read. This is a series that can either be read in order or as stand alones. I have to say this has probably been my favorite so far. Though I have not seen the Disney movie, Mulan, I thoroughly enjoyed this retelling of the fairy tale. The writing was beautiful and enchanting as every fairy tale should be. Dickerson is a masterful story teller with a carefully crafted plot and a detailed setting that drew me right into the middle of these warring countries. I think this book would be thoroughly enjoyed by young adults. ** I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
THE WARRIOR MAIDEN is a very engaging book, but I can't help noticing the similarities to the Disney movie Mulan. The herione. Mulan, decides to cut her hair, dress like a man and join the battle in place of her dead father. Once there, she is immediately thrust into battle, and forced to "prove her worth" by joining an archery contest, where she meets prince charming, who is unaware of her true identity, (?) and hates her for besting him. inevitably, she gets hurt, and has to tell him her secret. I will say, he handles it pretty well, considering. He keeps her secret well until the enemy overhears their conversation. This is where the action picks up, and they start taking turns saving each others butts. overall, this is a very engaging book, and I devoured it in a day and a half. I am a big, big fan of Melanie Dickerson, and I highly recommend this book. five stars. I was given a copy free. All opinions are my own.
Okay, the beginning of this book I couldn’t help but have songs from the Disney version of Mulan in my head. I like the differences in this book compared to the movie. I was wondering how Melanie would work around some issues. Like Wolfgang falling in love with Mulan. Can’t do that when he thinks she’s a dude. But she fixed that in a very skillful way. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and how Mulan was strong yet feminine. She doesn’t loose who she is and stays true to herself. If you enjoy fairytales with a twist I am sure you will enjoy this book. A copy of this book was given to me through the BookLook Blogger program. All opinions are my own.
Way too good i hope i get to meet dickerson one day
Melanie Dickerson's retelling of Mulan in "The Warrior Maiden" promises to be a hit with her fans and with new readers as well. With a new twist to an old fairy tail and, likeable characters (and unlikeable villains), readers will pick up the book, only to have to finish before the put it down. Heroes and villains, a strong female lead, an exciting plot, a vivid setting--what's not to like? But then I've been a fan of all of Melanie Dickerson's fairy tell retellings. I received a copy of this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for this honest review. The opinons are expressly my own.
Melanie Dickerson's fairy tale retellings have long captivated me and I have looked forward to sharing them with my girls as they have grown. My oldest began to read her fairly recently and has already devoured her backlist, requesting her own copy of each novel for birthday and Christmas presents. Fans of Dickerson know why: she tells exciting, adventurous, romantic tales with heroines who are imperfect but worthy role models. This latest novel is certainly no exception, and a strong candidate for my favorite of hers (I'm still not sure any book can dethrone The Captive Maiden, my first Dickerson read). I loved the characters, the plot surprised me in a few places, and the ending was powerful and unrushed. Mulan's fierce and beautiful heart won me over from the start. She loves her mother deeply and is willing to do whatever necessary to protect her, giving up her dreams and even her own life. Wolfgang is perhaps less focused at the beginning of the novel, but his honor and integrity soon rise to hero status as it becomes clearer to him what really matters. Christianity was part of many lives during this time period, so the characters naturally discuss spiritual things. I was intrigued by the many differences noted, too; for example, Mulan's mistaken idea that carrying only a part of Scripture might be blasphemous as it separated part from the whole. But I loved how Wolfgang gently corrected the notion, then read portions of 1 John to her as they sat. Guilt and forgiveness are addressed in multiple spots as well, again gently and without preaching, but truth is always spoken. Part of what makes these books so special is that I can share a novel with my younger teens, we can enjoy them, talk about them, get as fangirly as we'd like to, and I don't have to worry about what may be on the next page, either word or scene, even with as wonderful a romance as this book is. I highly recommend it to fans of fairy tales, for moms and even their youngest teens, as a book they can both get something out of even as they are thoroughly entertained. The positive role models are desperately needed for today's teens and Dickerson's place on my daughter's, and my own, keeper shelf is permanent and growing with each new release! I received a review copy of this book from the author and publisher but was under no obligation to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are both honest and my own.
Melanie has crafted another winner in this fairy tale retelling of the story of Mulan. The Warrior Maiden is full of romance, humor, and exciting moments that kept me on the edge of my seat while reading this fun story. Mulan exhibits more bravery than I could ever have and it makes for quite a compelling tale. It also sets up Steffan’s story, which releases this December, quite nicely. Can’t wait for my next visit to Hagenheim! I received this book from the author and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
First off, I loved the fitting title and gorgeous cover of the book. I also loved the well-paced story line that held my attention from beginning to end. I liked that The Warrior Maiden was loosely based on the Mulan movie, but didn't strictly adhere to the movie's plot. The author gave fresh resolutions to scenarios from the movie. There was a different setting and reason for war. These variations allowed the story to give a nod to the original while retaining its own uniqueness. I also liked that the author subtly addressed gender equality through the character of Mulan and her experiences. Though sometimes moody, Mulan's determination and resilience made her a strong female leader. Her ability to deal with difficult situations inspired others to have confidence in her. She demonstrated solid confidence and faith in God numerous times. Unfortunately, I felt like this book was not as well-written as some of Melanie Dickerson's other books. Especially in the beginning, some conversations felt choppy and stilted. My husband and I agreed that certain things the characters did were unrealistic. (Not naming them because I don't want to include spoilers.) Plus, I strongly disliked Mulan's pet name for Wolfgang. Bottom line: I loved the story enough to overlook the sometimes mediocre prose and give it a permanent home on my bookshelf. Lastly, The Warrior Maiden is part of Melanie Dickerson's YA Fairy Tale Romance series. I have read some, but not all of them and this functioned fine as a stand-alone. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
The Warrior Maiden ( Hagenheim #9 ) By; Rachel Good The Warrior Maiden is book nine in The Hagenheim series. The author has another winner in her fairy tale of the classic Mulan Tale. I love the story and the characters, both were well written and realistic. Mulan is not afraid to go to war as her father’s son. Can she keep her secret? What will happen to her if she is found out? Mulan is a brave and courageous woman. She meets Wolfgang and they become friends. Will he find out her secret? I really enjoyed this fairy tale of Mulan. I was given a complimentary copy of this book. but was not told that I had to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.
In The Warrior Maiden, eighteen year old Mulan faces two choices to provide support for her widowed mother: marry the wealthy butcher or takes her adopted father’s place in the army, disguising herself as a young man. With her Asian features, she stands out in their Lithuanian village, limiting her choice of suitors. Although small in stature, she is skilled as an archer and foolishly courageous. However, she is not an experienced soldier, yet she would rather take her chances in the army. She hopes to keep her identity from Wolfgang, the son of a German duke, who leads the small army in its fight against the Teutonic Knights. What happens when Mulan’s identify is revealed? Will Mulan and Wolfgang be in time to rescue her imprisoned mother? Will her mother – a herbalist and healer – be tried as a witch by the Knights? Will Mulan’s bravery make her a national hero or a pariah? What does her future hold? Dickerson’s novels feature wholesome relationships, making this series a good choice for teen readers. Her characters learn the meaning of values like sacrifice, courage, and nobility as they adjust to life’s difficult situations. Her novels are filled with well-researched historical detail, endearing characters, light romance, and a faith element that is evident but not preachy. Readers will enjoy this medieval retelling of a familiar tale and look forward to the next one, The Piper’s Pursuit, coming in 2020.
The Warrior Maiden By Melanie Dickerson Courageous and brave Mulan takes the place of her deceased father to fight in order to save her and her mother’s home. Although you might think you know the story of Mulan this spin on the tale is a quite different adventure than the original. I really enjoyed this story as it was well written and kept my attention until the end.
My review: Genre: Historical Christian fiction, young adult, medieval fiction. My Rating: 5 stars. Recommendation: 15 up because of romance, and some slight violence. My favorite character is: Wolfgang is my favorite of the brothers so far, and I loved seeing more about him especially his POV. He seemed the kindest of the brothers and the best at seeing his “love” interest as a love interest and was smart enough to know what he needed to do to protect her without letting her pull anything that could be bad for her which was a big plus, and made me like him even more. My Verse for Wolfgang is Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (King James Version.) My thoughts: Is it just that it has been a while since I read this series or is this the best book in the series? And I liked how there was more action with the main characters together. I only have two problems, and those are the facts that one: the beginning of the book was a little repetitive and two: that it wasn't longer! I loved this so much, and I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK!!! ACK!!! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. AND Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This isn't life-changing fiction, but if you were looking for that, you probably wouldn't bee looking at historical romances. It's a good book for the genre. I have enjoyed reading Dickerson's fairy tale romances and looked forward to The Warrior Maiden. After reading The Orphan's wish, I wasn't sure I wanted to read TWM. I'm glad I did. This was closer to Dickerson's usual work. A sweet story of faithful people with flaws finding each other. Mulan doesn't break the mold entirely, even masqueraded as a man. She's feisty but sweet. She's focused on keeping a roof over her mother's head rather than shopping for a husband. Wolfgang also follows type. He's not a tragically flawed love interest, unlike the story we will find when his brother Steffan gets his own book. Their romance follows a smoother past than many of the other stories in the fairy tale collection by this author. As such, it was a diverting read. The young ladies that I know to enjoy these types of books will enjoy TWM. I did find Mulan's desire to be close enough to Wolfgang to call him Wolfie a bit nauseating. There were also a couple of details that made me think the author took the easy way out. For instance, this could have been set in "the Orient" and still maintained the link to the rest of the characters in the series. It would have required more research, but a novel set in medieval China would have been a breath of fresh air. There was also a scene at the end where I felt suspense could have been built if Mulan was kept in the dark...thus keeping the reader in the dark. Finally, I must say that I find it ridiculous to read reviews that complain about books through Thomas Nelson and other Christian publishers containing Christian references. If you choose not to be an informed reader, then that's my issue. Not that of the publisher. It's like me getting mad and my Labrador Retriever puppy because when he gets excited, he picks up the nearest thing in his mouth and retrieves in. It is part of who he is and only ignorance on my part would have me expecting anything different from him. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Mulan is a young woman who was brought to Europe by her soldier father to his wife who has always wanted children. The mother loves Mulan like she is her own. The story itself opens with a knight delivering a missive to the house saying if Mulan's father does not report in 3 days, all of his land and property are forfeit. As soon as he leaves, we find out that he has just died (though no one mourns his death). With them days from being homeless, her mother tries to arrange a marriage with anyone in the village who would take them in. The suitor we meet is little better than an ogre and treats the clumsy but loveable Mulan like a soon-to-be servant. Mulan cannot endure this, so she decides to take her father's place so her mother will continue to have a place to live. We then switch to the second main character's point of view - Wolfgang. He and his brother are called into their father's study where we learn two things: 1) the older brother is extremely unlikable and harbors sympathies for their enemy, and 2) they will leave tomorrow to go to Poland and help their ally in the same war Mulan's father has been drafted into. It is pretty clear that a meeting between the two will soon occur! I don't want to give any spoilers, so I will conclude with a few additional notes. The book was well written and I found the love story to be sweet. And I loved how kick-ass Mulan was even after her secret is discovered. However, it wasn't clear to me why the setting was moved to eastern Europe instead of left in Asia. There wasn't such a specific historical event that left me thinking that this was a warranted move. Even so, I wouldn't have minded too much but then part way through the book a cloying religious presence basically got rid of all non-religious dialogue. Some would have been fine, but it was so clearly a modern Evangelical take on Christianity rather than anything medieval Christianity would have been like. So, I would recommend this book for those who like historical fiction and romance, but also Christian fiction readers because of such a heavy modern Christian presence in the book. I also don't have any trigger warnings for the book. There is a fair amount of battle scenes, so some blood and injuries. However, nothing with sex or language. For these reasons, I would recommend it to teenagers and up.
“God is great. He has blessed me for His purposes, to do His good will. I had very little to do with it.” 3.5. This was an enjoyable read, and I really like reading YA type books in between the heavier subjects of other genres. I’ve never seen the Disney movie Mulan so I have no idea about how close it is or isn’t. To be honest, I really enjoy these books as simply stories of their own. This is a well done story about a girl who becomes a warrior for her mother. The characters are enjoyable, the story is well done, and I enjoyed watching the characters grow in their faith as the book progressed. It’s what I like to see most in a YA novel. I thought the book well done. It’s not a deep read as i usually pick, but I have found that lighter more enjoyable reads are so necessary to break up the others. This was a fun read for me...and I liked that! I always enjoy Melanie Dickerson’s books. “He is a kind and gentle Father who loves us. After all, everything before Jesus was leading up to this provision, the sacrifice of the Son, as the way to be forgiven and welcomed into heaven.” God forgives us for being careless and not knowing what to do. We’ll never be able to be good enough to makeup for what happened...God’s grace is sufficient.” “God will make a way.” I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
A retelling of Mulan in Medieval Europe There is an ancient Chinese ballad about a maiden who takes her father's place in the Chinese army and saves the day. You are probably familiar with the story from the Disney movie. (I've attempted watching the movie twice but fell asleep both times!) Author Melanie Dickerson places Mulan in Europe and instead of battling the Huns, she joins the army of a Duke to fight against the Teutonic Knights, a group of militaristic monks. I really appreciated how the author showed who these monks were in such an interesting way that integrated into the story so well. I don't always relate to strong women characters. Do I believe women should be shy and retiring? Absolutely not! But I don't get women trying to be like men in every way. Mulan was very relateable, though. While she disliked the ""womanly"" arts of cooking and cleaning, preferring to be outdoors and learning archery, she was still very much a woman. She only joined the army out of necessity, to save her mother from eviction. Her strength in the face of fear was very admirable as was her compassion and kindness. I loved Wolfgang! He is a younger son in the family of the Duke of Hagenheim, the family involved in all the stories of this series. He struggled with feelings of guilt related to an incident in his childhood and subconsciously tried to earn forgiveness. His love for his brother caused him to make some choices that almost got Mulan hurt, and that broke his heart. There were some beautiful spiritual truths that came out through this narrative as both Mulan and Wolfgang sought to figure out their place in the world. Most of the story was wonderful, with fun situations and a great picture of what it would have been like for a woman to attempt impersonating a man at that time in history. There was a section, however, pertaining to one of the battles, that seemed to lack some details and appeared a bit abrupt. If you enjoy young adult fairy tale retellings or even just medieval fiction, I recommend this for your library. Read with a Preview at AmongTheReads.net I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.