The Merchant's Daughter

The Merchant's Daughter

by Melanie Dickerson


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An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf’s bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff’s vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf’s future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310727613
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 12/04/2011
Series: Fairy Tale Romance Series , #2
Edition description: Original
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 81,172
Product dimensions: 5.45(w) x 8.45(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 15 - 17 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; Facebook: MelanieDickersonBooks; Twitter: @MelanieAuthor.

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Merchant's Daughter 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 143 reviews.
dianna26 More than 1 year ago
Annabel Chapman has always dreamed of joining a convent and becoming a nun so that she may read and learn of God's word and love. She desires to read the bible and commit herself to God but, only wealthy women may enter the convent and since her father died business went down and her family got in debt. Now instead of entering a convent Annabel must either marry the repulsive Bailiff Tom or enter in an indentured servitude to the new Lord of her village, Lord Ranulf le Wyse. Vowing to never marry Bailiff Tom who has shown horrible intentions toward her, Annabel enters servitude for Lord le Wyse. Despite the fact that the Lord is rumored to be beastly and terrifying Annabel doesn't see him that way and even starts to have feelings for him, but then she finds herself in a difficult situation that endangers both their lives and turns to God for direction. I believed this book would just be just another retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but it was much more than that. This book involved no sorcery or magic so it wasn't as if Lord le Wyse was cursed...I loved that the theme was all based on inner beauty and that is what really matters. The characters were easy to connect with, the plot believable and I absolutely loved that passages from the bible were integrated within the story! I hadn't read any books from Melanie Dickerson before but now I very much look forward to her books. Overall I rate it 5 stars. Many thanks Zondervan Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
QueenofBlingEC More than 1 year ago
I adored this book! And lovers of historical fiction will adore it as well. It is obvious that Ms. Dickerson committed hours of research to the historical time and setting because the reader is immediately transported to the mid-1300¿s in Glynval, England. Annabel Chapman, the heroine, will capture your heart with her sweet spirit, her quiet beauty and her earnest desire to read through the Holy Scriptures, learning as much as she can. The hero, Lord Ranulf le Wyse will induce sympathy in the reader as he has been wounded physically; however, his emotional wounds are far more damaging. As Annabel and Lord Ranulf grow closer together, they grow spiritually, also, realizing that God truly loves them and wants only the best for them. The Merchant¿s Daughter is captivating and on a scale of 1-10, I give it a 12. This is a book that you will want to add to your 2012 reading list.
Blogger35 More than 1 year ago
This was my first time reading this author, but it will certainly not be my last. This story pulls you in starting with its cover photo which captures the essence of the book perfectly. Even though The Merchant's Daughter is a Christian romance there are other themes presented such as discrimination, forgiveness, and honor which are just as powerfully written as the romance. Falling in love requires the main characters to face their personal issues and deal with them before a solid foundation can be created. Dickerson manages to illustrate this process in an accurate manner without slowing the pace of the story. Annabel has always lived a secure life with her mom and brothers until their debts catch up with them and Annabel places herself into the care of Lord le Wyse as his indentured servant. Not knowing what to expect and hoping one day to become a nun, she boldly goes into this life to help her family pay off their debts. She immediately catches Wyse's attention with suspicion and scrutiny, but works hard to prove herself and makes the best of her situation. She carries out her tasks with grace, determination, and wisdom even when things go wrong. As she learns about Lord le Wyse and his past, her fear of him becomes respect and she discovers beauty in him that would seem impossible. When I first read the summary I immediately thought of Beauty and the Beast, I was intrigued and eager to read The Merchant's Daughter. Even though I've read lots of good books lately, I can easily say that this one is my favorite. I greatly admired Annabel's faith and courage; she was determined to do the right thing no matter what the cost. I read through it quickly and was amazed that I was experiencing Lord le Wyse through Annabel's eyes. If she was afraid of him, I was afraid of him; if she felt safe around him, I felt safe around him, etc. Another precious part of the story for me was the Bible or the Holy Writ as the author describes it. The setting is England in 1352 and Bibles were not available to the public. The way Annabel regards the Bible with such awe and reverence really touched me and helped me see my own Bible in a different way. The author succeeded in making me consider the values of true love and true beauty as God intended them to be. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical Christian romances or if you just loved Beauty and the Beast as I did. I want to thank Zondervan and Zondervan's Z Street Team for the free copy they provided for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beauty and the Beast is quite possibly one of my favorite fairytales (a love that was sparked, I'll admit, by the Disney musical). This novel put a wonderful spin on the "tale as old as time". When Annabel Chapman is stuck dealing with her lazy family's debt, she decides to take matters into her own hands. She accepts the punishment herself: she must serve the new young lord in exchange for her family being able to keep their home. Annabel is ready for the challenge, for though this lord has been called a beast, she needs to escape the disgusting advances of Bailiff Tom, who is convinced that he wants her to be his bride, even though he's older than dirt and has a daughter Annabel's own age! As she comes to know Lord le Wyse, however, she finds herself attracted to him in what may perhaps be an unhealthy way. When she is with him, though, she feels safer than with anyone else. Ranulf le Wyse, however, is constantly tortured by the memory of an unfaithful wife, and of his promise never to love another woman. But then Annabel Chapman worms her way into his life, and eventually his heart. When the villagers rise against the young lord, both Annabel and Ranulf have their faith tested in ways they never expected. After reading The Healer's Apprentice, I was very excited to see more books in this wonderful series. I highly recommend all of them, but this one in particular. The love between Annabel and Ranulf is so sweet and adorable, I was rooting for them to get together from the first moment he helped her on the street. :) The ending was so satisfying, and I can't wait to see where else Ms. Dickerson takes these wonderful characters. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good, clean romance or a fairytale just as magical as the original. I will definitely be reading this again soon!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am religious and I love this book. Annabel shows what we should do in times of need. She follows her heart and follows God's commands. She prays in her times of need and gives God her issues. This is exactly what the Bible says to do. I loved how Melanie portrayed a God-loving, God-following character. Annabel is what many Christians should act like. I loved this book and ALL of Melanie's book. Another job well done by Melanie Dickerson.
LAWonder More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful story set in the 1300's! This was a little predictable but was so well written with interesting events that it was worthy of five stars! The story is of a maiden whose family fell on hard times because of the death and demise of the father and his wealth. Her two lazy sibling brothers refused to work. Her mother convinced herself she was too feeble to work. A man Anabel felt to be despicable and old enough to be her father, sought for her hand in marriage which her elder brother granted against her wishes. In her community, a brother didn't have the power to force a sister to marry. However, her two siblings and her mother felt this was the perfect solution to their problems. When their tax debt came due, Annabel volunteered herself to the new, feared land Lord as an indentured servant to pay for their debts. The events began to unfold. I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway and am very grateful to them and the author and publisher for the opportunity to read this and add it to my library. It is cleanly written so great for Young Adult reading as well. I recommend this to all Book Clubs! Great discussion points to it!
LiederMadchen More than 1 year ago
After reading The Healer's Apprentice, I knew that Melanie Dickerson was an author to watch. There are so few Christian fantasy authors out there, and even fewer whose style of writing I enjoy so much. If anything, I liked The Merchant's Daughter even more than the first. Annabel is a unique heroine. She isn't strong and doesn't stand up for herself, but she has a great sense of honor and loyalty and doesn't complain no matter how difficult things are for her. These traits gain her trust from many, even, very reluctantly, from the bitter Lord Ranulf. What I liked best about her was her sense of wonder at being able to do such a thing as read the Bible. The story is very realistic in the historical sense in that hardly anyone even owned a Bible back then. The romance was slow and sweet as Beauty (Annabel), unintentionally and unaware, captures the heart of the Beast (Lord Ranulf). Ranulf has been burned before (literally and figuratively) and doesn't trust anyone, especially women. That just makes it all the more lovely as he learns that he will do anything for this one, even give her up to keep her safe. Peril, in the form of Bailiff Tom, adds excitement and urgency to the story. First Annabel and then her friends are placed in danger and while she may not be willing to stand up for herself, Annabel would die for her friends. The eloquent writing and well-researched background make this story well-nigh perfect. I am looking forward to Melanie Dickerson's next novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a very enjoyable read. Great story line and realy held my interest
Anonymous 6 months ago
I totally enjoyed this book !! It is well written with a great Storyline.
Truly_Bookish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿m a sucker for fairytale retellings and when I saw that The Merchant¿s Daughter was from a Christian author and publisher, I knew I had to read it. The Merchant¿s Daughter is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in England during the fourteenth century.As the title implies, Annabel was born the daughter of a wealthy merchant and was raised with money and privilege. The story suggests that Annabel¿s father doted on her and indulged her, even allowing her to learn to read which was rare for most people and especially for women at that time. Annabel¿s family looses their wealth when their ships are lost at sea and her father dies from the plague. Now 17-years-old, Annabel gets lots of unwanted attention from men who want to take advantage of her beauty and the idea that she must be desperate to marry so she can return to the lifestyle she was accustomed to.Annabel¿s mother and two older brothers are selfish, lazy and manipulative. In order to save the family home, Annabel volunteers to become an indentured servant to lord of the area, Ranulf, the story¿s `beast.¿ Ranulf is a rich man who has been scarred from a childhood encounter with a wolf. His first wife married him for his money and then rejected and cheated on him, telling him that no woman could ever love him because of how he looks. Ranulf is angry, bitter and especially unkind to Annabel because, like his wife, she is pretty. Annabel hates the kind of lecherous attention she gets from men and wants to go to a convent where she can read and study the bible. Both characters feel intense betrayal from their families and both need to love and be loved in order to be made whole.Annabel and Ranulf are very likable and you root for them to find happiness after so much loss and betrayal. The romance between these two is well developed as we see how they get to know each other¿s hearts through Annabel¿s nightly Bible readings to Ranulf. There are very strong Christian elements throughout the story as we see how God heals both physical and emotional hurts and how He wants what¿s best for us; we only have to trust Him. This being a story of Beauty and the Beast, we also see how a person¿s good character always trumps the physical appearance. The Merchant¿s Daughter is a quick and romantic read that I recommend to anyone who likes sweet love stories, fairytales or Christian fiction. I enjoyed this and look forward to other books by Dickerson.Content: Kissing, attempted rape and some violence. My Rating: Really Good!
Paper_Dreams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had very little expectations going into this, simply because I knew very little about the book or its author. The summary sounded good though, and when I had the opportunity to read this via NetGalley I decided to give it a go. I am very glad I did. This was a fantastic fairy-tale retelling that perfectly blended together God, romance, and historical issues. From the beginning, I admired Annabel. She does everything for her family without acknowledgment, respect, or respite from them. When her brothers become determined to marry her off to the lecherous bailiff in order to save them from debt, she instead ends up indentured to the beastly, Ranulf. Ranulf¿s is gruff and tough. He definitely has his issues in the beginning, but slowly with Annabel¿s help he begins to change. I loved the relationship between the two of them. The fact that it grew so naturally, and without the all too common symptoms of ¿insta-love¿ was absolutely refreshing. Some will probably choose not to read this because of its somewhat Christian nature. I feel, however, that the religious elements felt like a natural part of the story. At no point did I feel like I was being preached at. I actually found it to be very inspiring and uplifting. I could completely understand and relate to Annabel¿s questions about God. I also loved that this was a retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales, Beauty & the Beast. I did not realize it at first, but as the story progressed the parallels became stronger. The way the author took the fairy tale, but blended it into a story all her own was marvelous. Overall, I was very impressed with this book, and would definitely recommend it. Fans of a good, clean romance will love this. Fans of Entwined by Heather Dixon or Beastly by Alex Flinn are likely to enjoy this as well. This is definitely a book worth your time.
RivkaBelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review originally published on my blog awordsworth.blogspot.comAnnabel's father was a wealthy merchant, who lost everything - including his life. His family, unused to working, simply didn't, even though there was no way to pay the "nonworking fee" to the often-absent Lord. When new Lord Ranulf decides to move to the village to make his home there, Annabel's family faces either a hefty fine or three-years of indentured labor by one member of the family. Seeing a chance to help her family, while also escaping the very unwelcome advances of Bailiff Tom, Annabel goes to the Manor House and offers herself and her services. And so begins the heart of the story.Lord Ranulf is a man of mystery with a dark past and quick-fire temper - though also a surprising tendency towards heroism. Annabel is a girl whose dearest wish is to escape to a convent and become a nun - where she can read the Word of God for herself. The villagers are (in general) skeptical, judgmental and superstitious, their priest's weekly sermons filled with condemnation and warnings against the evil seductions of women. Bailiff Tom is a skeeze holding a deep grudge against Annabel for refusing to marry him, and Annabel's brothers are equally as detestable. It's an interesting, colorful cast of characters and by trick of the narration we get to see both Lord Ranulf and Annabel's thoughts - thus watching as they both struggle to understand the other, and what is going on around them.I really, really, really enjoyed The Merchant's Daughter. I felt the historical context to be very fitting, and Annabel's struggles to understand herself and her interactions with the community - especially Lord Ranulf - make a lot of sense when viewed within that context. Every week she is told by the church that she, as a woman, is evil and a stumbling block to man. Women are disdained (although their labor is certainly very welcome!), yet once Annabel does gain access to the Scriptures, and reads them for herself - she discovers there's more to life. And more to God. Her journey is one of both spiritual and emotional development, and when her moment comes at last, I cheered for her. Lord Ranulf has a compelling story of his own, and watching them grow together? Yup, everything this Beauty and the Beast-loving girl could ask for.
rhonda1111 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
5 STARSI read a great story that not only had a happy ending, but helped me as well with the scriptures that were shared. Its a clean old fashioned romance. I would definately read more from Melanie Dickerson.Annabel, her two older brothers and her mom where on trial for not working the land for the last 3 years. When Annabel father was alive they were rich and spoiled. With her fathers death and loss of his ships they were poor.Her brother accepted the baliff offer of marrying Annabel forgiving thier debt.Annabel did not want to marry someone old as her father and would rather she worked their family debt by being a servant for 3 years to the new Lord Ranulf.Annabel dream was to join a nunnery and be able to study the bible for herself.Lord Ranulf has scars and injuries from saving a servant from a wild animal. His wife and child died 3 years ago. He is building a big home and brought of workers when he moved to the area. Lord Ranulf also lost his eye in the accident and asked if anyone could read. Annabel finally volunteered to read to him. He wanted someone to read the bible to him.So Annabel got her prayers of reading in the bible.Tom the Bayliff would not stop trying to force her to marry him.The story touched me and left me feeling good. I was given this ebook to read in exchange of honest review by Netgalley.
gincam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The Merchant's Daughter", by Melanie Dickerson, is a very well-written and thoughtful historical romance. However, it is also an inspirational romance, written in such a compelling manner that the reader's own longings for spiritual answers are stirred just as are those of the characters in the story. Set in mid-1300s England, the story line very much makes us aware of the strictures of the feudal and judicial systems of the era. Superstition warred with religious faith, and brave were those who sought out the word of God. Anabel Chapman is a young woman who longs to read the Bible, and to live out her days in a nunnery. She thinks not of marrying, but of living a devout life. Her father was a rich merchant who lost his shipping fortune and then died when a virulent illness affected many in their home village. Anabel's mother and brothers resisted working to pay their debts to the feudal system, and when the new lord comes to claim his lands, they must pay him for their years of sloth. The payment due is for one family member to serve the new lord for three years as a servant. Anabel seizes the opportunity to leave her idle, dependent family and to avoid marrying the loathsome and persistent Bailiff Tom. The new lord, Ranulf Le Wyse, disfigured and maimed by an attacking wolf, is said to be "beastly" in both looks and temper. Rumor-mongers claim he is cursed and that he brings an ill wind with him to the village. Anabel and Ranulf's first meeting is unexpected and unpleasant, but she later comes to see that he has been greatly misjudged. Her gentleness and unaffected beauty warm his cold heart and do much to change his mistrust of women. Anabel is overjoyed when Ranulf asks her to read to him from the Bible each evening. The more she reads, the more she wants to learn of the Lord's teachings and holy word. Despite all that he has suffered in his life, Ranulf has never completely turned away from his faith. Seeing the genuine spiritual yearning in Anabel reaffirms his own love of God. As their friendship and mutual respect begins to grow, so does the jealousy and malicious intent of others out to do them harm. Will their spiritual strengths and genuine love for each other be strong enough to defeat their enemies and lead to a lifetime of happiness? I very much enjoyed "The Merchant's Daughter", and I also look forward to reading "The Healer's Apprentice" from the talented Melanie Dickerson. "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever."Psalm 28:7-9
sworsnup on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The author creates a beautiful setting, and characters I couldn¿t get enough of. The twists and turns kept me turning pages and wanting more.
MichelleSutton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Merchant's Daughter was a compelling read that had a creative twist on the infamous fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. I fell in love with the characters. The intro of the family situation that led to her being an indentured servant was a bit tedious, but once she entered the service of Lord Ranulf, the pacing picked up and I was enthralled with the story until I finished the last page. I read this novel quickly, but not because it was a simple story. I loved the depth of emotion and the character arc. I wanted to smack bailiff Tom for being such a slimy jerk and for causing so much trouble for everyone. I felt Annabelle's frustration as she could not do much about it without causing more difficulty for herself and others. Thankfully Lord Ranulf was a decent man who protected his servants.I felt Lord Ranulf's pain from his past and loved when the author placed the reader in his point of view. I enjoyed watching him go from gruff and defensive, to softening as she read the Holy Writ to him. Once again, Melanie Dickerson shows the reader how beautiful a person's tender spirit is, and how that can soften even the hardest of hearts. Annabelle wasn't just comely on the outside, which, as she said, caused her more trouble than anything else. Lord Ranulf wanted to judge her as shallow because she was beautiful, but he learned that for some women beauty is truly more than skin deep. Annabelle was a wonderful heroine with a precious personality. She wasn't a wimp, though. She was a fighter, but she did everything with dignity. She exemplified a beautiful spirit as her faith grew from reading the Bible. She protected those she loved.My heart was gladdened when Annabelle realized that she had feelings of love for Lord Ranulf, and they were good rather than something to be afraid of. I thought that was well done. I loved how they both concluded that they must tell the truth. I didn't feel like the communication was contrived at all, nor did their relationship feel forced. It developed naturally and in a way that made my heart warm. And those kisses were well worth the wait! This would be a great book for teens to show them that beauty isn't recognized by a good man through flirting or enticing ways, but depth of spirit and character. A soft spoken woman with honor and integrity will attract a good man more than any of the things the world says will draw the attention of men--at least not the kind of attention most woman want--which is the kind resulting in love. This story does a great job of illustrating true beauty. Loved this novel!
dpchapman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Beauty and the Beast and this retelling is wonderful. I normally do not like historic fiction, this I did not want to put down.Set in England during the 1300¿s, The Merchant¿s Daughter had a real feel for the time period. The characters were complex and the story never dragged. I liked how the heroine Annabelle was strong and brave but all the while searching to understand God better.This is one story I would recommend to teens and women alike. It is a clean, Christian romance and I give it 4 stars.
Sneezybee23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The death of her father changed Annabel Chapman's life drastically. Unable to pay her family's debts and unwilling to marry the much older Baliff Tom, Annabel is forced into indentured servitude to the gruff Lord Ranulf le Wyse. Her intention is become a nun after serving her term under Ranulf, but as she encounters Ranulf, she finds herself sometimes pleasantly surprised. As Annabel struggles with her feelings, she witnesses an incident that could place Ranulf in danger. Will the truth preserve or destroy their lives? Is Annabel willing to give up her dream in exchange for an uncertain future?The Merchant's Daughter is the first book I've read by Melanie Dickerson and I'll definitely be looking for more. Maybe it is because the story has a less common sort of historical setting, but I loved the setting and it was part of what really hooked my attention, even before the characters and storyline did. All characters were authentic, which is something important to me when I'm reading a book. The romance, struggles and action created a charming story. I would definitely read The Merchant's Daughter again.I'm not sure why this was categorized as Young Adult (YA) Fiction. Annabel Chapman is a young woman, but I think this book could appeal to far more than the YA market ¿ historical romance, historical fiction, romantic fiction. I recommend to anyone looking for a clean historical romance.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received an advanced reading copy of this book free from Zondervan Publishers as part of their blogger review 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."
pacey1927 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"The Merchant's Daughter" is the second Christian book I have read by Melanie Dickerson. I want to be clear in my review that the book is Christian fiction and readers should be aware of this going in. I love fairy tales and was very interested to read this book since it is based on Beauty and the Beast. In this story a new lord has taken residence in a medieval village. He is grouchy and disfigured and he acts quite beastly. Annabel must work as the Lord's servant for three years to pay off her family's debt. She knows her family was wrong and chooses the servant responsibilities over her other option which was marrying an old bailiff who is mean and insistent upon her. As time goes by, Annabel sees how wonderful Lord Ranulf is and knows that his disfigurement and scars were because of selfless acts he did to protect people under his station. Annabel wants nothing more than to read the Bible and maybe go into a convent eventually. When Lord Ranulf asks him to read to him aloud from the Bible each night, Annabel couldn't be happier. Of course there has to be some kind of drama to the story so the Bailiff ends up becoming the evil guy who incites the villagers to attack Lord Ranulf. He also continues to harass Annabel at every opportunity. Things come to a head there when Bailiff Tom is injured when someone comes to save Annabel from his advances. Enter a coroner with some tough questions.So the plot was okay. The story moved at a brisk pace and the writing style is very pleasant. I loved the atmosphere and the historical details. But unfortunately too many of the plot pieces were exactly the same as in Dickerson's previous novel, "The Healer's Apprentice". The two books were far to similar to each other and I was disappointed by the lack of unique characters and plot devices in this book. Poor, Christian, pretty and innocent girl? Check. Secretive, strong leader? Check. Bad guy who likes the girl but is super icky? Check. Friend who saves you but you swear to keep the secret? Check. I will say that the Christian theme is more heavy handed in this book as the couple reads from the Bible each night and I actually found I preferred that to the first book. In "Healer's Apprentice", the religious themes weren't overt until the end and it really came out suddenly and strongly. I complained with the first book that I hated that there was no action by our main characters and they sat around and just prayed for God to help them. In this book, Annabel does call on God to be with her, but she takes action upon herself and I found that refreshing and more realistic.This book ended up ok. I liked reading it but I was never overly impressed. I had the vague "been there, read that" feeling throughout the entire thing. Still the book is clean and sweet and I can see many people enjoying this one.
TheLostEntwife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿m going to begin this review of a warning and a list. Here¿s the warning: This review is a negative opinion of this book. If that troubles you, move along.Here¿s the list:1. I love fairy-tale retellings.2. I love a good, solid inspirational read.3. I love strong heroine¿s.Unfortunately, this book was only one of the three. It was a fairy-tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast. While it was a Christian retelling, it bordered more on the preachy, in your face side of Christianity, and the heroine¿ well¿ I¿ll talk about that in a bit.First of all ¿ here¿s something that really annoyed me ¿ as in, made me so angry I couldn¿t sleep last night in thinking about it. I felt as if Annabel was being used as a pawn, or rather ¿ her ¿calling¿ to be a nun was just a set-up to make it seem as if she wasn¿t going to actually end up with the ¿Beast¿, Ranulf. It felt forced ¿ all her speaking of the Holy Writ, the huge passages of Bible verses being read, the constant protesting, and yearning to be a nun. It felt forced, unrealistic, and made me uncomfortable to read.Now, as for Annabel herself ¿ seriously, I¿m amazed the girl can even stand up straight enough to walk in this story. No. backbone. at. all. Her one method of standing up for herself is to carry a knife around ¿ but when push comes to shove, she can¿t even use it ¿ and THEN.. she carries that martyrish guilt around when something bad does happen to the guy she intended to use it on, thinking it was her fault for wanting to defend herself in the first place.HELLO. THIS IS NOT THE MESSAGE WE WANT TO SEND TO YOUNG WOMEN OUT THERE.What happened to having a good, Christian woman with strength, character, and integrity? If she wants to be a nun, follow through! If she wants to protect herself, have her do it ¿ why does she need to hide behind the britches of a man who has to do her dirty work for her? And furthermore ¿ what is the big deal about telling someone what happened?(I¿m not even going to talk about the bait and switch pulled here because, God-forbid, a bad guy actually get his just desserts in a book)Oh my gosh, I¿m angry just writing this review, and I swear I was finally calmed down when I started to write it. Y¿all, I tossed and turned last night, railing against the messages being broadcast in this book.Basically ¿ if you want your daughter/sister/cousin/niece to believe that she must be protected by a man, that she should feel guilt for wanting to defend herself from being RAPED, that she should be wishy-washy in her goals for herself, because who knows ¿ the right guy might just come along! Then this is the book to give them.As for me ¿ I¿m going to find a Christian book that treats women with respect.
Sugarpeach on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Merchant's Daughter is an adaption of the fairytale Beauty and the Beast that contains resemblances to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. We have the ugly, deformed male character and the beautiful female protagonist. The circumstances to which Annabel goes to Lord Ranulf le Wyse is unmistakably similar to Belle's circumstances in Beauty and the Beast. Reading a novel that is similar to a fairytale, I couldn't help but compare both. By the end of The Merchant's Daughter (I completed it in less than 2.5 hours), I found myself liking the story even more than the Beauty and the Beast story.Firstly, there is the Christian element in the story. It's no secret that I enjoy reading good Christian YA fiction. There is plenty of Bible reading done in the story, and secular readers wouldn't be able to give it a miss since the Bible reading sessions play an important role in the plot development. A glimpse to the treatment of clergy during the Middle Ages is given an important place in the book. I read quite a few literature books involving the Middle Ages era, and the depiction given of clergy in The Merchant's Daughter is accurate.Then, there is plenty of "control" in the romance part of the story. When Annabel and Lord Ranulf finally cemented their relationship, it was in perfect timing. I liked the way the romance was not rushed. It was slowly revealed bit by bit and that made the story even more enjoyable. The surprises when it comes to romance in this story is endless.Lastly, Lord Ranulf doesn't magically change to Mr. Perfect Looks. I don't want to give away too much of the story here, but suffice to say that once a person looks revolting, he is very likely to look the same unless the fairy godmother waves her wand over him. Although The Merchant's Daughter is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, it is the real version of the fairytale.Annabel is the vulnerable heroine in the story. Bailiff Tom put out all the stops to make Annabel become his wife. At such, Annabel needs a protector. Logic would say that Lord Ranulf becomes Annabel's protector when the incident waiting to happened happens. True and not true. This causes the story to be even more interesting. Beneath Lord Ranulf's harshness, he is actually quite a nice person. Just because he's deformed, it doesn't mean that he has no feelings and a conscience. Bailiff Tom is a character every reader can easily dislike. There is nothing good about him. Right from the first mention of him, a reader can easily gauge that he is a shady character. No surprises there.If anything, The Merchant's Daughter is one of the best medieval romance books I've read so far. Combined with a thrilling action and romance that complements the sometimes subtle historic setting and lifestyle lessons, it is light enough for anyone looking for a clean, leisure romance story. Additionally, the Christian message is brought across strongly, but not aggressively.
LoveyDoveyBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Merchant¿s Daughter gives me something to look forward to in young adult historical fiction novels. I had never been a real fan of the genre until now. In Melanie Dickerson¿s writing, I was able to traverse time and space and land in 1352 Glynval, England. Words, actions, morals, and customs created a sense of authenticity within the novel that helped me to better understand the characters and their flaws.The characters of The Merchant¿s Daughter captured my heart from the time they were introduced until the very ending of the story, even afterwards. Annabel was young but strong willed. She ran from gossip and under the new Lord, Ranulf le Wyse, did her very best to repay the debt she and her family accrued. I sympathized with Annabel throughout the story because she, as Lord le Wyse so graciously describes her, was ¿the most beautiful, virtuous, courageous creature¿ in the small town and did not deserve to be treated as harshly as she was treated at times. As for Lord le Wyse, he was misunderstood but truly had a soft heart. He was vulnerable and understanding and just as ¿Annabel¿s chest ached for her lord¿s fate¿, I had a hard time getting over how hateful and judgmental the townspeople were towards him.Ranulf and Annabel¿s falling in love was inevitable. From the first moments of their meeting it seemed as though they were doomed to face each other on opposite sides of the battle line, but time and circumstances brought them close and held them together. Their final confessions of love to one another made the sweetest scene of all the novel; a scene that calls to be read a few times before you can move on to finish the story.The Merchant¿s Daughter is inspired by Beauty and the Beast, and while the novel¿s connection to the classic fairy tale is strong, there is more to the story than a retelling of unexpectedly finding love. The Merchant¿s Daughter is shadowed by suspicion and mystery as a young girl defines her faith in God and love.*paperback provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
duchess_mommy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
***E-Edition Provided by NETGALLEY*** A timeless, faith-based take on a classic fairy-tale. The story takes us to the end of the thirteenth century. To Annabel, who was once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is now struggling with her mother and two brothers to survive after her father's passing. When Annabel's family skips out on their duties as townsfolk, Annabel is the one who consequently has to pay the price to the new King, Lord Ranulf. It is ruled that Annabel must spend three years as a servant to Lord Ranulf, who is rumored to be mean and monstrous looking. Almost Beastly in appearance. As she has done all her life, Annabel does not take her Master at face value. Rather she sees the beauty in his heart that he tries so well to hide, and with a little coaxing and a lot of prayer, both Annabel and Ranulf are rewarded with something neither of them expected; Love. Having never before read any version of 'Beauty and the Beast', I went into this book with an open mind. I think that may have helped me love this re-telling so much. Author Melanie Dickerson writes in a way that you feel transported back in time with the proper customs used by the characters as they address each other. Now, because this version was faith-based, I think the way that Annabel and Ranulf used the Bible as a guidance related to the story perfectly and didn't seem too 'pushy'. A very well written story that makes for a great read.
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book, set in the mid-1300¿s in England, is a loose retelling of the fairy tale Beauty and The Beast, but which also reminds me in parts of Jane Eyre.Annabel, age 17, comes from a family that only values her for what she can get for them if she marries a rich person. Her mother keeps selecting the most egregious potential matches, and finally Annabel decides her best recourse is to try to get into a nunnery. Besides, she wants very much to read the Holy Writ for herself, but her local priest won¿t allow it because she is a female.Annabel¿s family won't give up on marrying her off, however. They need money, and they aren't much interested in working for it. So far they have avoided working their land, by paying bribes to the previous lord. But when a new lord who is not corrupt takes over, Lord Ranulf de Wyse, this no longer works, and a jury of peers determines that someone in Annabel¿s family must work for 3 years for the new lord without recompense. Annabel volunteers, even though the lord is reputed to be a ¿beast,¿ having been disfigured by the attack of a wolf some years before. Moreover, he was betrayed by his first wife, who was even more beastly on the inside than he is on the outside, and now he wants nothing to do with women, even one so good and kind and beautiful as Annabel.Because Lord de Wyse was blinded in one eye by the wolf, he asks Annabel to read to him, and when she finds out that it is the Bible he wants read, she is ecstatic. Soon, they both look forward to their nightly readings, and not just because of the Bible. But though Annabel has discovered that Ranulf is a kindly man, the townspeople think differently, taking his mandated cessation of bribes and rapes as an insult to them. They want his death, and they intend to make it happen.Evaluation: This is a charming tale, made more appealing to me by the two messages it imparts. One is that inward beauty is more important than outward appearances. The significance of this message as told by this author is that the "beast" doesn't change to a handsome man in the end; rather, he becomes handsome to Annabel just as he is, because of her love for him. The second message is also a modern one, and that concerns the empowerment of women. Annabel is perhaps the strongest character in the book, and that's a beautiful thing to find in a fairy tale. Sure the story is otherwise predictable, but it goes in a direction the reader wants it to, so that wasn¿t a problem for this reader. This would make a fine book for a tween or teen.
Readaba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The opening paragraph or two of this week are really on the rocky side. Don¿t worry, though, it picks up. As I read them, I was worried that the whole book would follow in that same vein but luckily the author soon found her feet.The original premise is that Annabel¿s family have been shirking their duty in the fields for three years now, since their merchant father¿s death, and with the new lord coming to the village they¿re going to have to pay up. Annabel is determined that she¿ll show the villagers that she¿s willing to pull her weight and that they shouldn¿t hold her in contempt. If this was so important to her, I couldn¿t help but wonder why she had never bothered to go against her family¿s wishes in those three years if the villagers¿ opinion of her mattered that much. I suppose that really that was just there to show that Annabel is not haughty like the other members of her family and to get her into Lord Ranulf¿s service. When Ranulf is introduced, he is described as being a muscular man with one brown eye (he lost the other one and wears a patch over it), brown hair and a big, bushy beard. Also, all he ever does is bellow. For a while, his speech tag is almost exclusively ¿he bellowed¿. All I could think of was Brian Blessed playing King Richard IV in the first series of Blackadder. Not at all flattering, but there¿s the brown hair and eyes, the big, bushy beard and the inability to talk at anything less than an ear-splitting bellow. There¿s a difference of about 20 years in age, but that¿s only a small matter! The man depicted on the book cover is very different to this, of course, but nothing could shift this image for me throughout the whole book.The story is set in the mediaeval period, in the 1300s. The author¿s attention to detail is admirable and it lent a realistic air to everything that you don¿t always find in stories set in the Middle Ages. This meant that I was able to slip into the story very easily and quickly got caught up in events. It also made this religious side of the story easier to accept. I hadn¿t realised that this was Christian fiction when I started the book but it soon became obvious. However, I have read books written in the 1100s and there is often a fixation on religion. Here it stems from Annabel¿s desire to read the Bible. She wants to read it so much that she also wants to enter a convent to study it. Thankfully, the religious message was not so strong as to segregate me as a secular reader, though I would have liked to have seen more of them bonding over other things (in the same vein as Ranulf¿s burns) rather than the bonding mostly happening over shared religious beliefs.Her family, of course, aren¿t quite keen on this idea and they¿d much rather sell her off to the Bailiff in exchange for their debt being paid off for them. I have two things that it¿s worth mentioning here and I¿m going to start with the family. Really, I didn¿t feel that they were used enough. They were there in the beginning to set the scene but then after that, other than one short confrontation and then later a minor appearance by one of the brothers, they don¿t reappear. I would have liked to have seen how their circumstances changed, or even how they tried to weigh in on Annabel¿s budding friendship with the new lord, but they¿re just ignored. As for the Bailiff, he¿s only ever depicted in a bad light ¿ as a pervert and a sleaze and unkempt bully ¿ and yet all of the other villagers are willing to follow him. None of his good points are ever shown and so when I¿m expected to just accept that the other villagers like the guy, I can¿t suspend my disbelief that far because I¿ve not been given anything to go on for it. At least in the Disney movie, Gaston was shown as being charismatic and very handsome to explain why he¿s able to wrap all the villagers around his little finger.Annabel goes into service for Lord Ranulf as a way of wriggling out of the marriage that her family is trying to force on her. Ranulf, o