The Orphan's Wish

The Orphan's Wish

by Melanie Dickerson


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The Orphan's Wish 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well I really wanted to love this book but it just didn't happen. She is still my favorite author and I LOVE her books, but where I normally finish her books in one sitting, I walked away from this one about 20 times. Great idea for a book but bounced around /drug on.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Ohhh, the issues I had with this book. First off, the quiet but annoyingly present whitewashing of one of my favorite childhood fables. Good lord, could this have been made any more white-bread boring?! I've been working my way through Dickerson's Hagenheim series --- the whole series meant to be re-imaginings of classic stories --- and while some of them have been just okay, some have been really enjoyable. So while I had my doubts about this one, I gave her the benefit of the doubt since the one I read before this, about a landlocked Little Mermaid, was actually a lot of fun (even though, again, I had my doubts about that one, taking a mermaid out of the water... but Dickerson made that one work, surprisingly!). Let me just say, I'm not hating on the German setting itself. I married into a German family, clearly I'm down with the culture :-) But Germany in the context of ALADDIN -- an ARABIAN fable --- nah, didn't work for me. All the magic, allure, sand, desert winds, mystical stories ... all gone here. Instead, Dickerson gives us a whiny, spoiled brat of a female lead, her family all-around serving a heaping helping of white saviour complex, and pretty much all the non-white characters have been made servants or criminals. Aladdin falls in love with Kirstyn in all her blonde-haired, blue-eyed glory. Later on, when the merchant's daughter develops an interest in him, Dickerson writes of how Aladdin finds her "pretty" with her dark hair and small mouth, but not nearly as beautiful as Kirstyn with her "pale blond hair, full lips and large blue eyes". YAWN. Aladdin has had his traditionally Muslim beliefs canceled and is now preaching the importance of strict Christian morals. There is virtually NO trace of the original story except for the use of the names Aladdin and Abu (Abu here is a small homeless child Aladdin looks after). Maybe, if you really stretch, you could liken Kirstyn's kidnapping to the time Jafar tried to keep Jasmine captive... but that's about it. Beyond that, let's talk about the writing itself: * Historical "say what now?" moments: IE. Dickerson writes, regarding Kirstyn, "She was only sixteen and marriage seemed like something far in the future." Marriage at 16 far-fetched in the 1400s? Where if you took good care of yourself, you MAYBE made it to 40?! LOL * The dialogue in general: UGH, SO MELODRAMATIC. Reminded me of silent film emoting. Not every moment of the day is that *OMG* *SWOON* *SCOWL* *GASP* * All around boring or head-knock-into-wall inducing characters: IE. Anna to her violent boyfriend: "You promise not to hit me again?"... proceeds to believe him... *eyeroll* * The same few sentiments are repeated over and over again to convince the reader that Kirstyn and Aladdin are totally headed for forever love: Mainly, 1) They love long walks in the woods and 2) They of course understand each other better than anyone else in the world. Problem is, they spend the majority of the book spending ZERO time together, sooo... Lastly, while I understand this book is published through a Christian publisher (so some religious elements are to be expected at some point), here the religious undertones were not well done (as to feel natural to the story's enviroment / set up), instead coming off much too forced. The ending scenes are especially heavy-handed. I'll continue on with the series installments, but this one was a definite disappointment.
Jennybug52 11 months ago
4 stars- This is the latest story in Melanie Dickerson’s Hagenheim series. It retells the tale of Aladdin with a fresh set of eyes. The story takes the famous street rat and places him in medieval Germany. I think the author did a very nice job of making the story her own and including familiar characters in different ways. This story was clean yet full of medieval romance and drama. It would be perfect for any teenage romantic. Aladdin didn’t let the circumstances of his early life define him and he strove to be a man of integrity. Both he and Kristyn were wonderful role models for teenagers of today. The book showed how hard work is important but that caring for those around you is just as important. I wish these books had been around when I was a teenager because my hopelessly romantic self would have devoured them. There were various references to different characters that I am assuming are from other books in the series. Since I haven’t read the rest of the series I didn’t know much about these characters. This book was completely a stand alone story but if you have read the other books in the series you would probably enjoy the references. I would recommend this book to my friends with teenage daughters or even those that just like a sweet romance. 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.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
Great Fantasy YA Novel I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild, I was not required to give it a favorable review. This is the third book in the series and it makes you think back to the time was I was a teenager and the feelings that I had about both about myself and others around me at that age. I think young women go through so much with both the changes in themselves and those around them. I enjoyed this, I will share this with my teenage great niece like I did the two other books.
rkfall More than 1 year ago
This book is a historical fiction based on the 1400s and I thought it would be great as it was a retelling of Aladdin. I found this book to be intriguing, suspenseful, including love and loss and love with the hope of rescue. I enjoyed the details she went into in this story and it really caught my attention. It made me happy, scared and sad sometimes, with an eagerness to find out what happens next and to keep on reading. The main female character's courage was inspiring in the way of how she faced her fears. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
SemmieWise More than 1 year ago
** “And one never knows what the future holds. But I shall say no more. We will not tell God what will be, but we shall pray and ask God to guide our future, then meet it when it comes.” ** Melanie Dickerson offers another delightful medieval retelling of a classic fairytale — this time with Aladdin’s story in “The Orphan’s Wish.” Ala ad’din is rescued from the Holy Land in 1401 by a priest, who takes the young orphan boy to Hagenheim in Lower Saxony, renaming him Aladdin. The priest provides both academic and spiritual training to Aladdin, allowing him to one day grow into a fine man. After his death, though, the boy ends up in Hagenheim’s orphanage, where he meets Lady Kirstyn, the young daughter of Duke Wilhelm. As they grow older, Aladdin and Kirstyn grow closer and develop a deep friendship. As he reaches his teen years, Aladdin realizes he loves Kirstyn but fears he, a foreign orphan boy, will never be good enough for the duke’s daughter. Aladdin leaves Hagenheim to make a future for himself, meeting businessman Cedric Kaufmann who quickly takes in Aladdin, making him a partner in his business. But as the young orphan’s fortune and reputation quickly grow, and even though everything he touches seems to turn to gold, he continues to question his worth and ability to win the fair Kirstyn’s heart and her father’s approval of their love. When a dangerous and terrifying event affects Kirstyn, Aladdin quickly jumps to her rescue. Will he be able to rescue her? And will the two youngsters ever be reunited and be able to overcome their self doubts and worries to come together forever. Dickerson, as always, does a fantastic job of taking a well-known fairytale and adapting it to a different time and a different world. She offers just the right amount of romance mixed with thrills — this time with threats, kidnappings, murders and evil deeds. She also does a great job of developing her characters, even beyond the lovable Aladdin and Kirstyn. Readers will fall in love with young orphan Abu, whom Aladdin rescues; and will be intrigued by characters like Herr Kaufmann, who employs Aladdin and treats him like a son, and the orphan Anna, whose attempt at helping her just might backfire on Kirstyn. “The Orphan’s Wish” is much more than just a fun revamping of a fairytale, though. It offers up many golden lessons. It reminds us to always turn to God in times of need; the value of our scars and the lessons we can learn from them; we don’t need to fear evil; the importance of loyalty; overcoming the thought that we are never good enough; the concept of deception versus honesty; and the fact that God will bless integrity. This story is ultimately an awesome reminder of God and who He is — reminding us of God’s redemption and the peace that we can receive from Him, and that only God and His spirit can soothe a broken heart. “The Orphan’s Wish” is a fun and delightful story. Readers will also enjoy brief visits from characters of Dickerson’s other novels. Five stars out of five. Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fun take on the story of Aladdin while bringing in characters from the author's other books. I fully enjoyed it although there are darker moments in this book than some of her other books. This being said the characters felt realistic and it was a good read. I recommend it.
LucyMR1 More than 1 year ago
Melanie Dickerson has quickly made me a fan of YA and I’m loving her Fairy Tale Retellings. This retelling of Aladdin had me quickly turning pages to see what happened next. At times it had me on the edge wanting to help the characters out of situations. I loved that it started at childhood and built the relationship of Aladdin and Lady Kirstyn slowly. This story shows how God restores our brokenness if we remain faithful. I will save this for my granddaughter to read. I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Starting age: Fourteen Positive Elements: Aladdin take his responsibilities for Herr Kaufmann seriously; Kirstyn shows kindness and care toward orphans; Aladdin shows compassion to an orphan; Kirstyn's faith grows. Cons: Aladdin and another steal; Kirstyn disobeys her father. Spiritual Elements: Aladdin quotes 1 John 4:4b; Salvation is mentioned briefly; characters pray; Aladdin pictures Christ on the cross; Kirstyn's faith grows. Violence: Aladdin is attacked by a bear; Kirstyn is knocked unconscious by a thump on the head; a minor character is beaten by another; Kirstyn is struck; it is mentioned that whenever a minor character gets drunk, he becomes violent. Other: Two minor characters kiss; it is briefly mentioned tried to molest another; Kirstyn and Aladdin kiss. Rating: 3.5 Stars Conclusion: I want to note right off that my rating of The Orphan's Wish is my opinion only. While The Orphan's Wish seemed rushed to me, Melanie Dickerson again produced another good read. Simply, The Orphan's Wish was not my favorite, but was still an entertaining read. Again, the rating is opinion only. Don't let it stop you from picking The Orphan's Wish up!
Riv69 More than 1 year ago
I think the premise of the story is definitely interesting, however this book just didn't grab my attention. I struggles to get through the plot and I didn't find myself connecting with the characters. It's a sweet new twist on the classic Aladdin tale but I'm afraid my heart is too taken on the Disney archetype that I had trouble enjoying the story.
Riv69 More than 1 year ago
I think the premise of the story is definitely interesting, however this book just didn't grab my attention. I struggles to get through the plot and I didn't find myself connecting with the characters. It's a sweet new twist on the classic Aladdin tale but I'm afraid my heart is too taken on the Disney archetype that I had trouble enjoying the story.
ThBooklouver More than 1 year ago
I really like the way Melanie Dickerson takes a classic fairytale and transforms it into a completely independent story, and with Aladdin that's exactly what happened. In The Orphan's Wish we see an Aladdin who has a hard life, but who uses his cunning for good. Although he has insecurities and problems that he must solve, he does everything he can to be worthy. I liked his participation in this story, especially because he was a mysterious character who invited me to continue reading. The romance develops slowly because Lady Kirstyn and Aladdin belong to two different social classes and that is a big impediment. However, both characters do their part to overcome the obstacles in the best way, even if they don't always turn out the way they expect. This novel has been easy to read and very entertaining. It is the perfect company for those who seek a quick, enjoyable and full of adventures reading. -I received a book from the publisher, but this didn't influence my opinion-
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
The Orphan's Wish #8 Hagenheim by Melanie Dickerson The Orphan's Wish is a lovely and fun retelling of the fairy tale Aladdin. Melanie Dickerson weaves a delightful story with a faith theme woven throughout which gives a deeper depth of the story-line and characters. There are several characters that soon made it to my favorites list and those who had evil intents that had me hoping they would be found out in time. I enjoyed the childhood adventures Aladdin and Kirstyn had and hoped they could recapture that adventurous spirit once again in adulthood. Of course, things are so different for them now than when they were children. Will these differences hinder their friendship or give them a strength to build upon? Then something tragic occurs that forces Aladdin to rethink his priorities and goals. Will he be in time to help Kirstyn before it is too late and never be able to declare his true feelings for her? Will the ordeal Kirstyn is forced into destroy her or will she find the strength she needs to keep going and believing God will provide a miracle for her? I appreciate the faith elements within the story-line and the lessons the characters learned. . .such as, to learn to lean on God and trust Him in all areas of their lives (a lesson for us all). I enjoyed the descriptive details of the era the story is set in, which brought the story to life for me. Growing up, Aladdin was never a favorite fairy tale but this retelling has changed my mind about the story. ~I received an e-book copy of this book from the publisher/author/NetGalley (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
bookstoregal More than 1 year ago
A sweet romance! I enjoyed this book. However, if you are looking for the story of Aladdin, as in the classics, this is not it. I was a bit disappointed in that part at first, but I got over it, and just enjoyed the story. :) I've liked most of these fairy tale re-tellings by Melanie Dickerson, though a few were a little too "mushy" for me. This one, however, was a good romance, but also had a good plot to it. Thanks Fiction Guild for the book! This was given to me in exchange for an honest review.
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
My son read this one - here's his take) Aladdin has always been my favorite movie in the Disney Princess saga and this book, though, in my opinion, not quite as good as the Disney film, is an interesting re-telling of it. Taking into consideration that I usually prefer the original to the remake or sequel, I believe this is a very good recount of Aladdin’s story. It’s not the style I’m used to in a book, but it still managed to keep me wanting to read it, and invested me in Aladdin and Kirstyn’s romance. As usually happens to me when I read a good book, I felt as if I were in the story myself. The ending felt fulfilling and I enjoyed the hints toward other books in the series. The way the different characters’ stories tie in to each other, was well written and sometimes surprising. For the first book I’ve read in this series, it was enough to get me interested in starting another of Melanie Dickerson’s books. I recommend this to all lovers of impossible romances and surprising twists. I received this book courtesy of BookLook and Thomas Nelson. All opinions are my own and I was not asked to review this book positively.
swimreadbreathe4JC More than 1 year ago
The Orphan’s Wish is written by New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson. It was published in 2018 by Thomas Nelson. The following book review contains spoilers. This newest installment in Melanie Dickerson’s fairy tale romance series puts an interesting spin on the classic story of Aladdin. The book takes place in Hagenheim, Germany, and follows the story of two young lovers. Aladdin, an orphaned Arab boy rescued from his life of poverty and stealing, falls in love with Kirsten, the daughter of Duke Wilhelm. Their love seems forbidden by the chasm of their ranks, and so Aladdin sets off to make a life and fortune for himself. But when Kirsten is kidnapped and pulled into a terrible plot, Aladdin must overcome his feelings of unworthiness and risk sacrificing everything he has built in order to save her. I’m a huge fan of Melanie Dickerson, and so of course I was on board for The Orphan’s Wish. I was pleasantly surprised with how well she formed the plot. Ms. Dickerson never ceases to amaze with the ability to put an original twist on fairy tales, and work in a Christian message while she’s at it. This book was no different, and it addressed some pretty important modern issues too. For instance, Aladdin struggles with feelings of guilt from his past, when he was forced to steal for Mustapha, his master. He sees himself through Mustapha’s eyes and battles with self-rejection as a result. This is a perspective he is forced to overcome. Another serious problem that was displayed was abusive relationships. Two of Kirsten’s captors, Anna and Michael, are dating. However, Michael is both verbally and physically abusive to Anna. The story shows her being continually hurt by him, and yet still going back to the unhealthy relationship because she has nowhere else to go. This, tragically, is a concern that is all too common, and I appreciate that the author did not turn a blind eye to social problems in favor of a happy-go-lucky story. That being said, I would not recommend the book to younger audiences because of the mature issues addressed, but ages thirteen and up should be fine. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and am anxiously anticipating the next one. Thank you to the Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Fiction Guild, as well as Net Galley, for providing a copy of this book for me to review. All opinions are my own and were not required to be positive. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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.*
Phyllis_H More than 1 year ago
The Orphan's Wish by Melanie Dickerson Could this orphan ever be good enough for the duke's daughter? My rating is 4.5 stars 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. Read the full review of The Orphan's Wish by Melanie Dickerson with a Preview at I would like to thank JustRead Tours for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Melanie Dickerson's new vision of the Aladdin's story in The Orphan's Wish. This eighth installment from the Hagenheim series was wonderful! I love how Aladdin and Kirstyn interacted with one another. I would give The Orphan’s Wish 4 ½ stars and recommend it. Melanie Dickerson fans will not be disappointed. Great read!
JCMorrows More than 1 year ago
I fell in love with Melanie's books years ago in an intriguing twist of fate that can only be described as a situation where truth is stranger than fiction. This is just a mother in a long Line of amazing fairy tales written without magic or any actual fairies. REAL people live out AMAZING adventures in these true-to-life Historical Happily Ever Afters!
JoyGirl16 More than 1 year ago
About a year ago I discovered how much I loved Melanie Dickerson’s books. After I read the first book in this series, I went and found all her books and read them. I have loved all of her books so when The Orphan’s Wish became available, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! This book did not disappoint! I actually had not read anything about it before I started reading it so it wasn’t until I was a couple chapters in that I realized it was based on Aladdin’s story. Both Aladdin and Lady Kirstyn have wishes in this story. They are both wishing for something that may not be considered acceptable in that day and age. She comes from a wealthy and powerful family. He grew up in an orphanage. Their worlds are miles apart, yet they desire to be together and will do whatever it takes to be there for each other and take care of each other. I love the friendship you see between the two friends and how they grow to love each other even more. You will enjoy The Orphan’s Wish! Be sure to check out all of Melanie Dickerson’s other books, too! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Abold24 More than 1 year ago
This book is a historical romance that is based on the fairy tale about Aladdin. I have read Ms. Dickerson’s books before, but none of her books based on fairy tales. This book was different than her Regency Spy series. The genre of this book is romance. The tale is about Aladdin and Kirstyn which begins during their childhood and continues to adulthood. Throughout the book, both characters reveal their faith in God and how they rely on Him through everything. The inspirational parts of the book is another reason I enjoy reading Ms. Dickerson. This book provides an interesting twist to the story of Aladdin if you enjoy the classic fairy tales. If you enjoy historical romance books, you will enjoy this book. I recommend you read this book. ***I was given a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. This is my honest opinion. Even though I received this copy free, I have purchased her books before.
mrskbookstogo More than 1 year ago
Aladdin's story-line weaves a reader's emotions in and out of bear attacks, jealous heirs, kidnappings, and killings. Those characters which will tug at your heart will know a victory that is priceless. Those characters of whom ill-got-gains is their "soul" focus will be held accountable. Melanie's "gifted" talent for re-telling our most beloved tales continues to enthrall, captivate, and endear her readers. These novels are crafted for the generations of readers beyond our place in time! MrsK
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
The Orphan's Wish Is a Christian retelling of Aladdin. Oh how enjoyable it is there Ms. Dickerson is so gifted on how she works this out for you. It is so fantastic this story breaks your heart in the very beginning, but as it goes on it gets happier and you are hooked from word one in pulling for Aladdin. Will he find true happiness again as an orphan? The author was able to make this world come to life in your mind. You really visualize and conceptualize the entire world of Aladdin. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all of the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to
June0 More than 1 year ago
You know when you are reading a book and wonder what else could possibly happen but you are only half way through the book so apparently there is something? This is one of those books. And then wow, the second half of the book each page just gets better and better. The characters are all well developed. Some you love and some you absolutely hate. No fluff here. I loved Aladdin's integrity even from such a young age. I've enjoyed all of Ms Dickerson's Hagenheim series. Getting to revisit old favorite characters like Valten, Duke Wilhelm, the healer Frau Lena. And even trips to the top of the tower to peek at the kingdom once again are fun. This was an amazing story and I think a lot of people are going to enjoy it!