The Golden Braid

The Golden Braid

by Melanie Dickerson


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The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson

From New York Times bestselling author comes The Golden Braid!

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

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry.

Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim.

The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel in turn rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to Rapunzel by teaching her to read. Could there be more to this knight than his arrogance and desire to marry for riches and position?

As Rapunzel acclimates to life in a new city, she uncovers a mystery that will forever change her life. In this Rapunzel story unlike any other, a world of secrets and treachery is about to be revealed after seventeen years of lies. How will Rapunzel finally take control of her own destiny? And who will prove faithful to a lowly peasant girl with no one to turn to?

The Golden Braid is a delightful, page-turning retelling of the story of Rapunzel. Dickerson brings this familiar fairy tale to life with a fresh and unique plot that is full of complex characters, a sweet romance, and danger at every turn. Rapunzel’s search to understand her place in the medieval world is a timeless identity struggle that modern readers will relate to. Her growing courage and faith are inspirational and will have readers cheering her on and sad to see the story come to an end.”

—Jody Hedlund, bestselling author of An Uncertain Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718026264
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 11/17/2015
Series: Fairy Tale Romance Series , #6
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 459,952
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 13 - 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.

Read an Excerpt

E. L. Botha lives, works, and plays in Austin, Texas with her husband, two children, three cats and a leopard gecko. It’s a full house and she loves every minute of it.

Botha published her first book in 2015 and since then has published two successful children’s book series. She has recently started making puzzle books and loves the challenge! When she’s not writing, Botha assists other independently published authors, hikes with her family, and rescues kittens.

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The Golden Braid 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 67 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was beautifully and eloquently written! It had the perfect amount of suspense and danger, yet encompassed the growing live between characters! A MUST READ!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay y'all, this book is amazing. I really enjoyed it! It wasn't a corny love story like a lot that's out there. It was truly interesting! I can't tell my favorite part, cause one: that'd ruin the story for y'all that hasn't read it yet. Two: I don't have just one favorite part, I have many! I hope everybody enjoyed this book as much as I did. Fixing to start the next book! ;-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one night and then read it the next day beacause i loved it so much
Anonymous 9 months ago
An amazing book! A great retelling of the story of Rapunzel with a very suspenseful story line. Kept me up all night!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was a beautiful retelling!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story was sweet, a nice romantic read. I liked the characters, but I do think they could have been executed better. I also thought the writing was too simplistic, but it does flow well and Dickerson uses beautiful imagery. Good overall!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this very much. A wonderful retelling of a story from my childhood without foul language and explicit sex. I would highly recommend this book and the author.
lostmybookmark More than 1 year ago
Not only did the book cause me missed hours of sleep for just another handful of delicious lines, but it also filled me with a sense of satisfaction as little details from previous chapters started to make sense further along the line. Romance and mystery combined, the book had me begging for more when it was over. Love it!
taralynee More than 1 year ago
Simply put, I loved this book. It made me smile, and it engaged both my imagination and my heart. The Golden Braid, as one might guess, tells the story of Rapunzel. It’s a story for every girl (no matter her age) who has ever dreamt of being a princess… for each one who has ever pretended she lived in a castle and wore twirly dresses to the ball. As a young woman, Rapunzel has grown up always being taught to be wary of anyone and everyone, particularly men. While her soft heart is lonely and discontent because deep inside she desperately wants more, she feels a fierce loyalty to her adoptive mother. One day Rapunzel discovers a way to feed her hunger for knowledge by fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams — learning to read. An unexpected series of events finds Rapunzel in situations she wouldn’t have ever imagined, and she begins to learn what it means to learn what it means to love like Jesus. Melanie Dickerson enchanted me as a reader with this reimagining of Rapunzel’s story. I’m enchanted like I am by chocolate cake. Rich in texture and flavor, chocolate cake and The Golden Braid make me want to eat dessert first.. and to read before anything else. *This is actually the sixth book in a series… which I realized about 2/3 of the way through it. If you, like me, accidentally read them out of order, it’s not the end of the world. If you want to get the most out of the story though, you should probably go in order. That being said, this story is complete and can stand alone, as can all the others.
KayMKM More than 1 year ago
The Golden Braid tells a wonderful story that is inspiring and lovely. The sweet romance that evolves is touchingly tender and made my heart skip a beat now and then. I love the medieval setting of knights, herbs and poisons, and dungeons in every castle. The teachings of the Holy Writ are infused into the lives of many characters, though certainly not all, and is responsible for their thoughts and actions. Forgiveness is a major theme. Although this book is listed as YA, I recommend it for everyone who enjoys fairy tales and their retellings.
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
This Rapunzel is more than a princess... I have been waiting for this book for a long a time. Family and friends will understand why I've been looking forward to a Melanie Dickerson retelling of Rapunzel. And believe me, I was totally thrilled when I found out that The Golden Braid was just the book I was hoping for. And I was in no way disappointed. I have to admit life got in the way so I got off to a slow start in reading this book but when I finally got into it I I couldn't tear myself away. I HAD to keep reading and find out what would happen next. The Golden Braid was a completely captivating read and perfectly delightful. The Golden Braid is a wonderful tale of intrigue, romance, and buried secrets. Excitement and danger lend spice to a pair of likable lead characters. I will make a confession here, it took a little while for me to like Sir Garek and I totally agreed with Rapunzel's opinion of his arrogance. But as time went by and he grew into the role of hero I began to like him more. Rapunzel herself was a delightful blend of sweetness and spunk and she comes up with some wonderfully wicked ideas to help save the day. With every word Melanie Dickerson weaves a spell. Spinning the familiar and much-loved fairytales into something fresh and new. It's this that keeps me coming back, reveling in each new story, tantalizing me in between tales. Don't let the YA tag put you off, this book and all of the others are just as enjoyable for teens and adults alike. If you take my advice, you won't miss The Golden Braid or any of Melanie Dickerson's delicious medieval fairytale romances. (I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.)
Debi_2014andBeyond More than 1 year ago
When I received this book, I wasn't quite sure what to make of the style of writing. I thought it was in the historical genre and since my mom is always a big fan of the "good ole days," I sent it to her. She called me after a bit and told me it wasn't anything about historical book and instead, it was a rewriting of the well-known fairy tale of Rapunzel. I told her she could send it back to me but she said she'd give it a shot. It seems to be a stand-alone story even though it is the second book in a series. If characters in this book were in the first one there is enough information about them that I never felt confused as to who each person was. In this 15th century story, Rapunzel's adoptive mother, Gothel, doesn't want her to catch the attention of any men and in fact, she has taught Rapunzel to stay away from men and to distrust them due to her own fears. Rapunzel dreams of learning to read and marrying one day but gothel continues to prevent these dreams from happening. Every time Gothel sees a young man interested in Rapunzel, Gothel packs up their belongings, and they move to another place. While Rapunzel and Gothel are traveling on the road to Hagenheim, they are bothered by some bad guys and Sir Gerek comes to their rescue. In the process of his rescue, Sir Gerek is injured so Rapunzel and her mom are forced to help him to Hagenheim. While her mother is barely civil, Rapunzel begins to trust this man and wonder if her mother has been telling her the truth. While Gerek is laid up with a broken arm and leg, he reluctantly teaches Rapunzel how to read. He finds that the more time he spends with her, the more he is enjoying himself. He tries to ignore his feelings for Rapunzel and knows he needs to find a more "practical" choice for a wife, but he can't hid his feelings and is forced to acknowledge what’s going on. I really liked how the author incorporates God into the story as Rapunzel learns to read. Rapunzel discovers what true love is with every new word she reads and begins to grow into a more independent woman. Breaking free from her mother's control, she changes from a plain, frightened child to a beautiful, brave, and sweet young woman. God's truth and love transform her from the inside out. As she studies the scriptures, Rapunzel begins to question why Gothel wants her to be suspicious of men. Rapunzel uncovers a family secret that will change the direction of her life. There was no magic or evil powers in this version of the story, but instead, just a woman twisted by the past who twists the future of a young woman. The story development was great and it was definitely a new story for an old (but popular) fairy tale. There were just enough elements that were kept the same so that there was no doubt as to which fairy tale it was from. I found the book to be encouraging and I enjoyed how much dependence the main characters had on God.
tudorgeek6 More than 1 year ago
In this imaginative retelling of Rapunzel, Melanie Dickerson puts a unique spin on the fairytale. In The Golden Braid, Rapunzel is not your typical damsel in distress. For instance, she can throw knives and paint very well. The novel chronicalizes Rapunzel and her plight to learn how to read. Furthermore, her stepmother ,Gothel, keeps her so sheltered from the world that the desire she has is difficult to accomplish, but when she meets a handsome knight everything changes. I won't give out major spoilers. This novel was a fun read. Melanie Dickerson's writing style causes one to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next in the story's plot. One who loves fairytales and romance is sure to enjoy this book.
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
The Golden Braid (Hagenheim series #6)***** by Melanie Dickerson The Golden Braid is a retelling of the fairytale Rapunzel in a way only Melanie Dickerson can. Rapunzel and her mother travel around a lot, never staying in one place for any length of time. Rapunzel makes the most of it and paints beautiful flowering vines on the outside of their dwelling places, making them more “homey”. As they are traveling to their newest location, a larger city, Hagenheim in the year 1413, they are attacked and the handsome knight Sir Gerek rides up rescuing Rapunzel and her mother. Further down the road, Rapunzel ends up rescuing Sir Gerek—he quickly learns that there is much more to Rapunzel than a beautiful face—why, she can throw a knife better than any man. Rapunzel has one wish—to learn to read and one fear—her mother. I was not sure what to expect in a retailing of Rapunzel but this story far exceeded my expectations. There appears a mystery surrounding Rapunzel's life that is revealed masterfully—and unexpectedly—in the story-line. I found myself cheering her on to learn the truth, learn to read and hoped she would find true love. I love how she found the Father—God—once she learned to read by reading the Holy Word. As the reader gets into the story, danger and evil lurk, seeking out to destroy that which gets in it's path. It is very clear where—and who—that evil is coming from, causing me to hold my breath at certain dangerous situations. I soon picked my favorite characters....Rapunzel and Sir Gerek just two of them and those not so favorite—well, hateful, dangerous characters....Gothel being one of them—from the well developed character line. The Golden Braid has it all—mystery, revenge, forgiveness, fear, danger, evil intentions, honor, adventure, redemption, reconciliation, the beautiful message of God's love and grace, romance and love. I had not realized this is part of a series until after I finished reading it. However, I was able to follow the story-line without difficulty. I will read the other books in the series soon. ~I was gifted a copy of this book by Carrie Fancett Pagels....I was not obligated to write a review....this is my honest review~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book, I read it in one sitting. Melanie Dickerson does a fantastic job of weaving in the fairy tale, real life struggles and a trust in God all in one book. I would definitely recommend this book and this author to everyone.
eLynda More than 1 year ago
A Unique Retelling In some ways, I wonder what makes anyone want to tell a story that has already been told. Again. But then I pick up a book by Melanie Dickerson and I find the answer: it hasn’t been told already, at least not like this. Sure, there are recognizable elements, but so much of what I expected is turned on its head and becomes something completely different, woven together with other threads to create a thoroughly enjoyable piece of fiction unlike any other retelling I have read. I really enjoy this main character. Rapunzel is a strong woman who does not know that she is strong, but that is part of her journey. She wants to learn and faces obstacles at every turn; from those who believe her curiosity is strange, to the oddities of the woman who raised her, to her frequent relocations, nothing comes easy for her. Yet for all of her obstacles, she perseveres in difficult circumstances and pursues learning to read. I want my daughters to emulate that desire to better themselves. And I also appreciate that she didn’t have to give up any of her femininity to gain knowledge or skills; she is a perfectly capable woman and she remains that way for the duration, even when she views her own value as less than it really is. The spiritual content is wonderful—and while it doesn’t really become an integral part of the novel until the last quarter of the book, I was able to follow the subtle thread throughout. The real payoff comes at the climax of the book and in several incredibly powerful scenes I marveled at how various things came together to beautifully portray how God’s timing is always best. Forgiveness, wisdom, healing, and hope are also addressed with some depth. This is a fantastic book and has all of the elements that make for a great read: excellent writing, an intriguing plot, mystery, suspense and a good romance. Because it is kept clean of language, and the violence is held to a mild level despite the various plot points that necessitated some action, this book is suitable for high school age readers from 9th grade and up. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys fairy tale retellings, including those who would prefer to keep away from magical elements. I thoroughly enjoyed it! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through Book Talk to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own.
Jeanine More than 1 year ago
The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson is a delightful novel! I wondered when I read the title if this was actually the story of Rapunzel. I was more than pleased when I dug into the book that it was indeed Rapunzel but told with a fresh perspective. Rapunzel was a maiden who lived with her mother. In the beginning of the book, Rapunzel and her mother are travelling to a town her mother had once lived in. Rapunzel ponders many of the things her mother has taught her, and why she isn’t to befriend anyone. Her hair is always to be covered and her clothing useful but ugly. Nothing to draw any attention to her is to be used or worn. Even speaking to someone of the opposite sex has sent them seeking a new place to live. Mother is intent on keeping Rapunzel with her forever. On the road, Mother and Rapunzel are waylaid by robbers when Sir Gerek happens by and rescues them. When Sir Gerek is injured, Rapunzel and her mother are forced to help the knight back to a monastery outside of Hagenheim to be healed. Hagenheim is their destination as well, so they deliver the knight to the monastery and they are on their way. Mother is quite suspicious of the knight and thinks that they will not cross paths again, but Rapunzel decides to ask the monastery to help her learn to read in exchange for doing housework. In a twist of fate, the father decides to have Sir Gerek teach Rapunzel, as he has nothing to do until he is healed enough to ride home. There were so many great plot twists and turns that this story was hard to put down. Although this story did have references to God, it was not preachy in the least. I want to read more from this author. I was sent this promotional book for free from a book guild for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Ms. Dickerson or anyone but myself.
angelmom1165 More than 1 year ago
This has got to be my favorite Rapunzel story to date. I love the way Melanie turns fairy tales into stories that could really happen. Rapunzel is a strong character, she has learned how to take care of herself despite her over protective mother who tried to keep her from learning anything that could make her independent. But there are secrets there that will explain her mother's possessiveness that will rock her world. Sir Gerek is the perfect mix of bravery and humility. Despite his past, he works hard to be the best knight he can be. But he doubts his worth. There is danger and adventure around every corner. If you have read her other books you will find familiar characters in this book. You will also find a story inside a story from one of them. Her books are on my favorites list. I love them all. I recommend them to teens and young adults as well as those of us that are older but young at heart. Romance in her books is sweet and pure. They are great for a YA book club or for moms to talk to their daughters about the difficult subject that arise. Another 5 star book for Melanie!
readerscozycorner More than 1 year ago
Be ready to be wrapped back up in your childhood. Reading this reminded me of being a kid and listening to fairytales. Such a page turner and an awesome retelling of one of my favorite fairytales. I was so excited when I received this in the mail! The cover most certainly drew me in first. It is beautiful and makes you want to read it. I must admit I don't normally read YA fiction because it is most always fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi which I don't enjoy at all. This however was very different from that. Melanie takes you on a journey in a story you think you already know and then all of the sudden it's a brand new story that you don't want to stop reading. I loved how she took a well loved story and added her own spin to it without taking away from the original feel of it. My favorite part of this book is the spiritual element that was added. It makes me want to share these fairytales with my daughters because I can show them how even their favorite princesses could have loved God and served him! I feel like this book is great for most ages starting around 11 or 12, I plan on sharing it with my 10 year old who is mature for her age. The romance element is sweet and not very strong. There are no inappropriate scenes or scenes that take the romance too far. It is mentioned that men are evil and only want certain things and will then leave you alone, but those things are not discussed in great detail. I very much enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more by Melanie. Thank you to the Fiction Guild for the opportunity to review this book. A positive review was not required.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
Melanie has written another wonderful book. I will be honest I had trouble separating my mind from Disney’s Tangled and that story line. Oh, but there are so many secrets and things unknown in this story. It will keep you reading and your mind searching for hints which are sprinkled sparingly but enough to keep you reading. Rapunzel is a determined young lady who wants more for her life even if it means defying her mother. Gerek is hard to get a handle on. Is he a nice guy or as arrogant as he can come across? Overall, this is a book like you have come to expect from Melanie. And if you haven’t read anything by her then I encourage you to give this one a try. A copy of this book was given to me through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.
BookwormMama14 More than 1 year ago
A classic fairy tale, re-imagined like you would never believe! Experience the story of Rapunzel through new eyes. Rapunzel is an accomplished artist and can throw a dagger better than anyone, however, she longs to learn how to read. When yet another young man proposes marriage to Rapunzel, Mother Gothel whisks them away to the city of Hagenheim. And her dream of learning to read might actually become a reality. When the handsome knight, Sir Gerek, saves them on the road, her opportunity to learn may be here at last! But Rapunzel has been brought up to fear everyone and everything in life. Especially men, claiming that none can be trusted. Despite this fact, Sir Gerek agrees to teach Rapunzel to read. As the story unfolds, truths are revealed, and everything Rapunzel has come to believe about herself changes. Will she find her "Happily Ever After?" Or will she allow fear to consume her as it does for so many. The Golden Braid is not your typical "Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair!" re-telling of this classic fairy tale. There are deep truths and weighty lessons that resonate deep within your soul. We have all faced fears. Have we allowed fear blind us to the truth that our Heavenly Father is protecting us and guiding us? Sometimes bad things happen, and we may never know why. But as children of God we must trust that He knows what He is doing and that He will guide our path. Love is another powerful aspect of this story. That human love, no matter how deep and true, will never be able to satisfy like God's love. While we need earthly love from our family and spouse, we must ultimately cling to the true love our Father love above all others. I had very high expectations for this book and Melanie Dickerson blew them all out of the water! I can not believe I have not read her books before now. I am thrilled to have found her books and am eagerly anticipating reading her next book: A Spy's Devotion. I received a free digital copy of The Golden Braid from Thomas Nelson Publishers through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
This was a great updated version of the fairy tale Rapunzel. I started it late and didn't want to put it down. However, I had a playoff game the next day and NEEDED to sleep. The story was much longer and much better. I really got into it and really had feelings for the characters a little more. Whether they were bad or good. And there were some very bad characters in here. Of course, there were some very good characters, as well. The book sat on my TBR pile for a while and I'm not sure why. I apparently thought it was a romance book (which I'm not into) and kept putting it off. Now, I'm kicking myself for letting it sit there for so long. I definitely enjoyed this happily ever after book and was thoroughly entertained. Thanks to Thomas Nelson and Fiction Guild for providing me with this free book that I might read and write an honest review in exchange. I most assuredly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am loving the series and how the characters are all connected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed every minute reading this book!