ARC Review: The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

The Golden Braid (Fairy Tales #6) by Melanie Dickerson

Release Date: November 17, 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction
Subtitle: Good

"The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man around. And her skills as an artist rival those of any artist she’s met. But for a woman in medieval times, the one skill she most desires is the hardest one to obtain: the ability to read.

After yet another young man asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides they need to move once again, but this time to a larger city. Rapunzel’s heart soars—surely there she can fulfill her dream. But Mother won’t let her close to a man. She claims that no man can be trusted.

After being rescued by a knight on the road to the city, and in turn rescuing him farther down the road, Rapunzel’s opportunity arrives at last. This knight, Sir Gerek, agrees to educate Rapunzel in order to pay back his debt. She just has to put up with his arrogant nature and single-minded focus on riches and prestige.

But this Rapunzel story is unlike any other and the mystery that she uncovers will change everything—except her happily ever after."

A historical fiction retelling of the fairy tale Rapunzel, with a little dash of madness thrown in! Mother Gothel is usually a little on the crazy side in Rapunzel stories, because kidnapping children isn't usually 100% on the sane side of the T-chart, but in the version she's hard slides into home plate with the crazy... It started to get a little weird. I would skim through some of her rants because I would get a little heeby jeeby, so good job MD on the crazy sell with Mother Gothel!

The plot is actually interwoven with one MD's previous novel's The Princess Spy (Fairy tales #5) which follows Margaretha's adventure, so if you really, really digged the climax of the story and felt like it was pretty underdeveloped in this book -- that's probably why. It was really developed, and super drawn out, with ups and downs and secrets and lies all drawn out in that book. I liked that she didn't try to retell too much of the same parts, but gave us a little more depth on certain previously unseen aspects, like the servants in the kitchens.

I really liked Rapunzel's character growth in this version. In the beginning, she desperately wants to learn how to read, so that she can write down the songs that she makes up. She, in typical Disney princess fashion, has a beautiful singing voice and makes up songs in her spare time and wants a way to write them down, but she can't read or write. Don't worry though, she's got some badass knife throwing skills (teach some how to knife throw?)

So cue meet-cute with handsome knight Gerek -- bam, reading tutor! Very grumpy first interactions with Gerek that are wonderfully grumpy. She slowly realizes just how crazy Mother Gothel actually is, which leads to some self discovery. This was a pretty standard romance novel read for me, but I did like that they did take the time to get to know each other. They got over themselves, essentially, before trying to jump into sacred matrimony, to borrow the phrase, which I fully appreciated MD! Overall, I enjoyed their story, and the fact that it followed the Rapunzel fairy tale, I was a fan!

3 out of 5 stars.