Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Healer's Apprentice

Title: The Healer's Apprentice
Author: Melanie Dickerson

Goodreads Blurb:

Two Hearts. One Hope.Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her---a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

My Take:

I have been so surprised by the talent in young adult novels I've read recently and this one is my favorite so far. It may even make my favorite books of the year list. I kept checking the back of the book and - yep - there is the label "teen fiction." The one drawback to young adult books (in my opinion) is actually common to most shorter novels. I find that a lot of times they have great stories and show incredible creativity, but often you don't always get as in depth characterization as you do with longer novels. That isn't true with this book. It feels longer than it is, the writing is rich and I felt like I was living the story right with Rose. 

Your heart beat faster when the young men flirted with her, you could smell the herbs, the food, hear the music... I wanted to reach out and carefully pet Wolfie, her dog and guardian. The author made the whole world come alive. Whether Rose was working with her mentor trying to help the sick or confiding secrets to her best friend Hildy, everything felt real. The characters mattered to me and I found myself wanting to talk about them not just while I was reading, but long after I finished and shut the back cover.

Speaking of covers, isn't this one fantastic? I think it's beautiful. The back is nearly as interesting with a gorgeous carved cabinet. I can't leave without mentioning that this story was filled with romance. It was enough to make my heart go pitter patter without being anything you couldn't hand a teenager. 

I purchased this book myself and I can already tell you it's one I'll be keeping and re-reading. I hope you'll consider it for your bookshelves.


  1. Awesome review, Lee!! this one has been on my to read list for so long!! I sometimes like YA for the reason you said you don't like it, lol. I think that some authors can be more profound in their writing by being concise. Sometimes it seems like entire scenes are added on to the end of books just to meet a page limit or something. If you liked this, i'm sure i will too :)

  2. Carrie ~ I think it was a lot of your reviews that got me started looking at this genre in the first place. :o)

  3. Hi Lee :)

    I want to read this one so bad...might have to get it soon. ;) I love the cover too..beautiful! Thanks for your great review, although my husband may not thank you since it makes me want to run out and buy the book. :D

  4. Angie ~ Well, I don't want to upset any husbands, but I hope you love the book. :o)