The Noble Servant

The Noble Servant

by Melanie Dickerson

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Overview

The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson

New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson beautifully re-imagines “The Goose Girl” by the Brothers Grimm into a medieval tale of adventure, loss, and love.

“When it comes to happily-ever-afters, Melanie Dickerson is the undisputed queen of fairy-tale romance, and all I can say is—long live the queen!” —JULIE LESSMAN, award-winning author of The Daughters of Boston, Winds of Change, and Heart of San Francisco series

She lost everything to the scheme of an evil servant.

But she might just gain what she’s always wanted . . . if she makes it in time.

The impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg. Magdalen had dreamed about receiving a proposal ever since she met the duke two years ago. Such a marriage was the only way she could save her people from starvation. But why would a handsome, wealthy duke want to marry her, a poor baron’s daughter? It seemed too good to be true.

On the journey to Wolfberg Castle, Magdalen’s servant forces her to trade places and become her servant, threatening not only Magdalen’s life, but the lives of those she holds dear. Stripped of her identity and title in Wolfberg, where no one knows her, Magdalen is sentenced to tend geese while she watches her former handmaiden gain all Magdalen had ever dreamed of.

When a handsome shepherd befriends her, Magdalen begins to suspect he carries secrets of his own. Together, Magdalen and the shepherd uncover a sinister plot against Wolfberg and the duke. But with no resources, will they be able to find the answers, the hiding places, and the forces they need in time to save both Mallin and Wolfberg?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718026608
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 05/09/2017
Series: Medieval Fairy Tale Series , #3
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 265,184
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 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 MelanieDickerson.com; Facebook: MelanieDickersonBooks; Twitter: @MelanieAuthor.

Read an Excerpt

The Noble Servant


By Melanie Dickerson

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2017 Melanie Dickerson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7180-2660-8


CHAPTER 1

The year 1365, Barony of Mallin, the Holy Roman Empire


Where do you think you are going looking like a beggar?" Mother asked.

Magdalen's hand was on the door. "Just walking."

"I'd think you would be ashamed to be seen in such clothing." Mother narrowed her eyes at Magdalen.

Magdalen wanted to say, "Even Hegatha allowed me to go for a walk in my oldest dress," but Mother did not like it when she spoke of the dead.

"Just don't let anyone see you, and if you are not home before dark, I will send Hans with his dogs."

Magdalen hurried out the door before her mother changed her mind.

The path led away from Mallin Park House across a gentle green hill. The village of Mallin was visible in the valley over her left shoulder. The farther she went, moving away from both her home and the village, the more grass grew on the once well-worn path.

Vegetable plots lay on either side. A middle-aged man stooped over a row of cabbages with his hoe. He looked up as Magdalen approached.

"Guten Morgen" Magdalen greeted.

"Guten Morgen, Lady Magdalen." He smiled and nodded. His frightfully skinny legs in baggy, thigh-length hose showed below his tattered woolen shirt that hung over his bony frame.

A pang of guilt twisted inside her, as it did every time she thought about her people being in need. If only the mines had not run out of copper. "God, please provide for them," she whispered.

She kept her gaze on the path that led down one grass-covered hill and up another, looking for interesting rocks to add to her collection, such as the rock that hung around her neck on a gold chain. It was the last gift her father had given her — a necklace made from a red jasper stone found in the copper mines.

As she neared the first of the three abandoned mines, the trees became thicker and the hills rockier. She stepped up to the narrow entrance, barely wide enough to admit a broad-shouldered man but plenty wide enough for Magdalen. Two large tree limbs lay across the opening. Magdalen lifted her skirts to step over them.

"Magdalen!" Jonatha called out.

Magdalen stopped, dropping her skirts back over her ankles. "I am here," she called out, catching sight of her sister's bright-blonde hair and Lenhart's tall, lanky frame through the trees.

"Mother wants you home right away. She sent Lenhart and me to fetch you back."

Lenhart's brown eyes widened as they did when he was excited or confused.

"Is something wrong?"

"A missive arrived just after you left." Jonatha's normally loud voice was slightly hushed. "Mother started screaming for you as soon as she read it."

What could this mean?

Magdalen started back down the narrow path toward home with Jonatha skipping in front of her and Lenhart striding behind.

While Jonatha sang a song, Magdalen's thoughts raced to that letter. She couldn't help but wonder if it was from the Duke of Wolfberg.

She had danced with the duke at Thornbeck Castle two years ago. Her mother had hoped he might seek to marry her, but that was unlikely. She was only a baron's daughter from a poor region.

She entered the house and could hear Mother's strident voice giving orders to one of the servants.

"Magdalen, you must make haste and pack your trunk." Her cheeks flushed, Mother motioned her forward. "The Duke of Wolfberg has sent for you. He wishes to marry you."

Her stomach fluttered and sank at the same time. It took a moment before she could speak. "He does? But why?"

Mother shook her head. "He probably heard about your brother and knows you will be the heir to Mallin now. What does it matter? He is rich, he can do as he pleases, and he has chosen you." Mother's eyes lit as she clasped her hands in front of her.

Jonatha danced around in a circle, squealing. "Let me come for a visit!" Jonatha threw her arms around her. Her other sisters ran into the room and joined the commotion.

"Be quiet!" Mother shrieked. "You'll make me go deaf."

Magdalen absently patted her sister's shoulder. "But I thought the duke studied in Prague at Karl University."

"He has come home, then." Mother held up a crisp parchment and shook it, making the ribbons dance from where they were sealed into the wax. "Because here is his seal and his colors on the letter. He wishes you to come to Wolfberg at once."

Her duty to her family and to her people required that she marry the wealthiest man she could to save them from extreme poverty. Indeed, she had hoped the duke would want to marry her. He was young and handsome, unlike most of the wealthy unmarried men in the Holy Roman Empire. Two years had passed, however, since she had seen him, and marrying him had sunk into the realm of the impossible.

But the impossible was happening. She, Magdalen of Mallin, was to marry the Duke of Wolfberg.

She took the parchment from her mother's hand and read it. It seemed to be in order, but the missive contained no reference to meeting her at Thornbeck, no expressions of eagerness to see her again, and no sentiment of any kind. Her heart sank. He barely knew her, but she'd hoped ...

"He doesn't say why he wants to marry me. He must know I have no fortune."

"You will marry him, and do it quickly." Mother shook her finger at Magdalen. "Don't you dare tell him you are poor either. Lady Thornbeck, whose father was nobody, managed to get herself a margrave, and now you'll have a duke."

Mother's lip curled in that way of hers that always made Magdalen's insides squirm.

"And you had better not think of going to Wolfberg and being mousey and submissive. After he has made you his wife, you will demand he live up to his responsibilities to your family. Make him think there is still copper in our mines, but insist that he send money and livestock. He can well afford it. Everyone is depending on you."

Mother jabbed her finger one last time in Magdalen's face. "Now make haste and pack your things. You shall leave at dawn tomorrow."

What if he'd heard false information about her fortune? She had been betrothed to an earl three years ago, but he had the betrothal annulled when he realized how poor she was. Her face still felt the sting of that humiliation.

Magdalen had hoped her mother would want her to be joyful in her marriage. A lump formed in her throat as she went to her room and began to collect her things.

Her desire was for true love, but perhaps that was selfish. And yet, the thought of having the same kind of marriage as her parents felt akin to a boulder sitting on her chest.

At least her marriage would save the people she loved from starving.


* * *

Steffan rode his horse between the two men his uncle had sent to escort him back to Wolfberg.

The road heading north from Prague was frequently shaded by large oak and birch trees in this verdant part of the Holy Roman Empire, but Steffan hardly noticed his surroundings. He had begun to doubt the honesty of these two guards. His suspicions had grown the farther down the road they traveled.

"Do you know Sir Burgen?" Steffan asked them just as a hawk took flight from the tree several feet in front of them.

"Oh yes, Your Grace," said the tall, dark-haired guard. "He was well when we left Wolfberg a few days ago."

"And Sir Ruger? He was in good health as well?"

"Yes, Your Grace." The stockier blond guard answered this time. "He sends his greetings to you."

Steffan felt a twist in his gut as all his senses heightened. Breath rushed into his lungs and energy flowed through his limbs as he noted the sword on each man's hip. What other weapons did they carry?

His own dagger was in his saddlebag. He had a smaller knife in the sheath on his belt, and his sword hung at his hip.

The dark-haired guard said, "Let us leave the road and enter the woods to find a place to sleep for the night."

Darkness had not yet descended, and they had only been riding for a few hours. Steffan eyed the two men. "There is an inn a few miles ahead."

The guards glanced at each other. "Very well, Your Grace."

They approached a stone bridge over a swift-flowing river.

"I believe my horse needs a drink," the dark one said. "And truth be known, I am thirsty myself."

Steffan slowed his horse to let the two men move ahead. When they reached the river, the guards dismounted from their horses. Steffan approached the water's edge. The men didn't even look his way, so he let his horse drink. He dismounted, keeping his hand on his sword hilt.

The men stared and slowly started moving toward him and away from each other. They flanked him, preparing to attack from both sides.

Steffan took a step to the left and one back, to shift nearer to the short guard. "Who sent you?"

"We told you," the tall one said. "Your uncle, Lord Hazen." A devious smile stretched his thin face.

"You said Sir Burgen and Sir Ruger were well." He continued to move to the left and back. "Sir Burgen died ten years ago, and Sir Ruger fifteen years ago."

"Everyone must die sooner or later." The tall one drew his sword with a metal-on-leather sound.

The short one followed suit, but Steffan beat him to the draw. He leapt at him and hit the man's wrist with his sword blade. The short, blond guard dropped his sword with a screech.

Steffan crooked his arm around the man's neck and jerked him around, holding the short one in front of him like a shield.

The tall one struck at his sword, but Steffan parried his strike. The tall one brought his blade down for another strike. Steffan shoved the short guard at him. The tall one struck his companion instead, slicing through his neck. The short guard made a gurgling sound as he fell face-first on the ground between them.

Steffan kept striking at the tall guard, beating him back several steps. He refused to look at the river just behind his opponent so as not to reveal its proximity.

Steffan gripped the sword hilt with both hands, wielding one overhand blow after another. He forced his enemy back one step at a time until he stood at the very edge of the bank. Only then did the man's gaze dip to the river below.

His eyes went wide and he hesitated, giving Steffan one extra moment. Steffan struck the man's raised sword and pushed him. The man threw his arms out wide as he fell.

He cried out just before he hit the water and went under.

Steffan watched and waited. The man bobbed to the surface several yards downriver, flailing his arms, then went under again.

Steffan walked back to where the first man lay in a puddle of blood. "Oh God in heaven," he breathed, lifting his head and gazing downriver. The attack had hardly lasted five minutes, it happened so fast.

"I just killed two men. Forgive me." He made the sign of the cross with his right hand. The two men had intended to kill him. He'd had no choice, but the thought made him so sick he sank to the ground.

Home. He would think of Wolfberg Castle. The chalky-white shore next to the sea behind the castle. The grassy-green pastures and the roar of the crashing waves.

Who had wanted him dead? Could his uncle have sent assassins? Even if Steffan were dead, Lord Hazen would not inherit his title. Since Steffan had no heir, the title would become extinct, and yet it was likely that King Karl would bequeath Wolfberg Castle and all of Steffan's properties to his uncle, unless the king had another loyal subject on whom he'd rather bestow this favor.

Before she died, his grandmother had warned him about Lord Hazen's greed and lack of feeling. Still, it was difficult to accept.

Steffan walked to his horse and sheathed his sword. His two would-be murderers' horses had shied away, but Steffan was able to catch them. He tied them to his horse and started toward Wolfberg and home.

But what would he find when he arrived?

CHAPTER 2

What would life be like in her new home, married to the Duke of Wolfberg?

Magdalen's cart jolted as they hit another hole in the road, knocking her nearly into the wooden side rail. She had begged her mother to let her ride her horse, but Mother said riding a horse all the way on a three-day journey was not appropriate for a lady. Did she think it was ladylike to ride in a cart for twelve hours a day, rattling her teeth every time a wheel found a dip in the road?

But no one argued with the Baroness of Mallin.

Erlich, who had served Magdalen's family for years, rode his horse while his daughter, Agnes, walked. And Lenhart made up the fourth member of their group as he walked beside the mules who pulled Magdalen's cart.

Wolfberg Castle stood on a hill overlooking the sea. She'd never beheld the sea. What would it be like to hear the waves crashing against the shore? What kind of rocks might she find there?

"Rosings Abbey is just ahead." Erlich pointed to the lane off to the right.

Darkness closed in on them. Erlich reined in his horse as he waited for Lenhart to turn the mules, drawing Magdalen's cart into the lane that would carry them to the abbey. The tall convent buildings, with their steep roofs, were visible above the rows of trees.

At the abbey a young nun greeted them with a bow. She led Magdalen and Agnes to a long, low building, then to an austere room with two small cots. Magdalen's legs were like jelly after using them all day to brace herself as she rode in the jarring cart.

Agnes set her bundle on the floor. She turned one way then the other, her tight blonde braid swaying as she stretched her back. "I shall go and speak with my father and return soon." Agnes did not ask permission but simply walked out before Magdalen could py.

Gretha, who had been her constant companion since Hegatha had died of a sudden apoplexy, had been all set to come to Wolfberg with her. The day before they were to leave, Gretha told Magdalen she would not be going with her, but Agnes would be taking her place.

Not wanting to hurt Agnes's feelings, Magdalen had agreed.

Now as Magdalen prepared to lie down and sleep before the third and final day of their journey, she wished she had inquired more particularly about how this change had come to pass. Every day Agnes had done something-given Magdalen a shrewd look or spoken more sharply to her than any servant should-to make Magdalen regret allowing her to accompany her.

And now, instead of asking her mistress if she needed anything, Agnes had left Magdalen to struggle alone to take off her heavy overdress.

Magdalen didn't want to embarrass Agnes in front of her father, but as soon as they arrived in Wolfberg, she would have a stern talk with Agnes about her duties as a lady's maidservant.

And if her attitude did not improve, she would replace her with someone from Wolfberg.

Magdalen lay on the narrow cot, covered with a thin blanket since it was still late summer and warm, and thought of her future husband.

Good sense told her it was strange that the Duke of Wolfberg would ask to marry her when Magdalen was only the daughter of a poor widowed baroness. He had seemed sensible when she met him and a man of integrity as well. Every time she closed her eyes and recalled his face, his smile, the kindness in his eyes, her heart fluttered.

But truly, she knew very little about him. She had talked to him, all total, for only two or three hours.

Agnes opened the door, then shut it behind herself, interrupting Magdalen's musings.

"When you are ready for bed, you may blow out the candle," Magdalen told her.

"I will." A snide tone infused her cheerful voice.

Magdalen said a prayer to quell her uneasiness and closed her eyes.


* * *

The next morning when Magdalen awoke, Agnes was gone. Magdalen gathered her things, dressed herself, and was ready to go when Agnes came back in.

"Here is your breakfast, Lady Magdalen." With bold eyes she handed Magdalen a warm bundle. Inside was a bun stuffed with meat and cheese. "I also snagged us some apple pasties. Are you ready to go?"

Soon they met Erlich and Lenhart with the cart, mules, and horse and set out on the road to Wolfberg.

When they halted for their midday meal, Magdalen climbed down from the cart and took a drink from the small spring nearby. She splashed some of the cold water on her face, then wiped her cheeks and forehead with a cloth.

When they had finished eating, Agnes and her father kept glancing at each other. A nervous flutter in the pit of Magdalen's stomach caused her to watch them closely. Agnes clutched a small bag to her midsection as she turned to face Magdalen.

"This is how things are." Agnes's eyes were hard and dark as she stood five paces away. "I want to be married to a duke, to be rich, and you are going to change places with me." Agnes pulled her hand out of the bag withdrawing a knife. Her father stepped behind her.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Noble Servant by Melanie Dickerson. Copyright © 2017 Melanie Dickerson. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Noble Servant 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Melanie Dickerson is a wonderful author. Her books are full of excitement that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Also they are very sweet love stories without the filth of bad language etc. Absolutely wonderful! I would recommend The Noble Servant as well as any of Melanie Dickerson’s books.
taralynee 8 months ago
The Goose Girl is a lesser-known fairy tale for me, but I have loved The Prince and the Pauper since I was little. The Noble Servant combines the two in a sweet story of friendship, growing love, and courage to do what is right no matter what the cost. Melanie Dickerson paints picturesque scenes with her words and creates characters who make you want to cheer them on. This book is no exception. Reading the first two books in this series will give you the big picture, but they are each able to stand alone without causing you to not enjoy the story. I listened to the audio version, which was read by Jude Mason… she continues to be one of my all time favorite audio book readers. I really loved The Noble Servant, and I think I’ll liken it to a chocolate-filled pastry. Something European-esque. Just a delightful treat.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
katelynsbolds More than 1 year ago
Quite a good fairy-tale re-writing. I enjoy Melanie Dickerson's characters and her action and dialog based plots.
ReigningBlessings8 More than 1 year ago
I would like to say this book is of the same caliber as her other books...but I cannot. This book is by far her best work to date. She has brought out the very real self doubts and fears we all have and infused them into her characters. Melanie kept the action and adventure but also dove deep into these characters, making them as real as the person sitting next to me What seems as unfair struggles become more clear to these characters as they come out the other side of adversity. They learn to not lean on their own understanding and strength but to lean on God. Melanie isn’t afraid to bring faith into her books and I find this refreshing in the world we live in today. A masterpiece that must be read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Melanie Dickerson's books I think they are amazing and I love the plots, the twists, the endings, and how she refers to verses in the bible. I have read every book that is currently out hundreds of times and I just love her books!
Freddikb More than 1 year ago
Once upon a time, there lived a nobleman’s daughter and a duke…. Magdalen of Mallin has received a proposal from a duke. It almost seems too good to be true. Her future looks bright and hopeful now. On her journey to his home, however, she discovers that things are just that, too good to be true. Magdalen is overpowered by her maid and in order to protect herself and her friend, she must trade places with the maid, allowing the servant to marry the duke. Magdalen is trapped, stripped of her identity and forced to tend to the geese. She soon befriends the shepherd boy and begins to suspect that he is carrying his own secrets. Can she trust him to help her gain back her rightful place? Or is he working with her maid, making sure Magdalen stays quiet? I was very excited to jump back into another Melanie Dickerson fairytale. Her writing style is so easy to follow, her characters are entertaining, and the stories themselves are like little portals of time travel, taking me back to happy days of my childhood. And that for me, is the best part. I also have to mention the cover image. I love how colorful it is, it suits the fairytale theme so perfectly. Melanie Dickerson has become a new favorite author of mine. In fact I bought all of the other fairytale books she has written that I had not read yet. If you are looking for a fun, light read with a bit of childhood reminiscing, I highly recommend this book, as well as The Silent Servant, the other story from Ms. Dickerson I have read. *I received this book free from The Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review. What I have expressed are my own thoughts, and I was not compensated by any financial way for this review.*
MrsTina42MR More than 1 year ago
The Noble Servant #3 A Medieval Fairy Tale by Melanie Dickerson We step back in time of 1365, Barony of Mallin, the Holy Roman Empire replete with fair maidens, dashing lords—often wielding swords, ancient castles, danger, intrigue and...geese. Hopes and dreams don’t go as planned for Duke of Wolfberg or for Magdalen of Mallin as those who plot against them put their evil plans in motion. The author certainly captures good versus evil within the characters very well. Both Steffan and Magdalen find themselves in rather difficult circumstances and must find a way to find resolutions soon. Even though Magdalen and Steffan are of nobility they both sacrifice for their communities and those they love. As a result of their challenges they certainly learned what is truly important in life along with their strong faith and prayers, which carried them through those challenges. I understand this is a variation of the fairy tale Little Goose Girl, which I am not familiar with, but found the story interesting and especially enjoy the faith aspect woven within the story-line. ~I received a copy of this book from the author (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
LucyMR1 More than 1 year ago
I adore the cover of this book and add that it is a retelling of The Goose Girl fairy tale, therefore it was a must read. It is a fast paced book and has lots of drama unfolding to pique your interest. Magdalen and the Duke of Wolfberg are both forced into servitude, and learn some valuable lessons along the way. Their faith keeps them going through their darkest days and captures good versus evil splendidly. It is a simplistic writing style, which makes it great to share with teen girls. I enjoyed this book very much. I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
LucyMR1 More than 1 year ago
I adore the cover of this book and add that it is a retelling of The Goose Girl fairy tale, therefore it was a must read. It is a fast paced book and has lots of drama unfolding to pique your interest. Magdalen and the Duke of Wolfberg are both forced into servitude, and learn some valuable lessons along the way. Their faith keeps them going through their darkest days and captures good versus evil splendidly. It is a simplistic writing style, which makes it great to share with teen girls. I enjoyed this book very much. I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
Blessed_and_Bewildered More than 1 year ago
The Noble Servant is a lovely medieval fairy tale romance. It has been said by other reviewers that The Noble Servant is reminiscent of The Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm. I’ve not read the story so I can’t speak to that. I can say that The Noble Servant is a modern fairytale. I find in our two primary characters qualities that are reminiscent of Cinderella and the prince in the classic fairy tale Cinderella by Charles Perrault. The Noble Servant isn’t a copycat book by any measure though; it retains a distinctly unique style that is wholly Melanie Dickerson. Our heroine, Magdalen, has a demanding and critical mother; there is no pleasing her. Fortunately, like Cinderella, Magdalen’s heart is filled with kindness and a desire to serve those for whom she cares. In return, she is loved universally by those she smiles upon. Additionally, like Cinderella, Magdalen does as she is asked by those who are cruel to her. Adding to the Cinderella archetype is that this noble servant is a Christian. Her faith adds depth to her servant's heart. While Cinderella’s hero and love interest is a prince, Magdalen’s is a Duke. Steffan is just as handsome and charming but far more confused about matters of the heart. He is adamantly avoiding true love as there have been devastating consequences brought about by deep and true love in his life. (I don’t want to spoil the story so you will need to read The Noble Servant to find out why). A Noble Servant is only a tiny bit of a Cinderella story. It is definitely a sweet romance with a medieval soul. A story filled with deceit, cruelty, mistaken identity, mystery, a treasure hunt, chivalry, kindness, standing up for those in need, and a growing understanding of the need to depend upon Christ. The Noble Servant is a quick and enjoyable read. I recommend it to everyone who loves a clean romance with a bit of mystery. I recommend without equivocation that The Noble Servant would be an excellent read for preteens on up to those of us with gray in our hair. As a reviewer for NetGalley, I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My thanks to NetGalley, the author, and publisher. Review by Zoe at the blessed and bewildered blog (you can find all of my reviews by searching for blessedandbewildered).
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
I have really enjoyed this series of fairy tales come to life. Magdalen gets a bum deal when her servant takes her place. But she does handle it with grace and her true colors shine through, which is compassion for others. The Duke of Wolfburg also has the same thing (sort of) happen to him. He is determined to prove who he is but they must be careful because the man now in charge is ruthless. Melanie did a great job of even allowing us to feel some pity for those that stole their position. I expected to love this book more since I really liked the others but for me this one was okay. I liked it but I didn't love it. I found it easy to put down and not in much of a hurry to pick it back up. It was good, just not what I expected. A copy of this book was given to me through the BookLook Blogger program. All opinions are my own. 
AngelaBycroftNZ More than 1 year ago
Who doesn’t love a fairy tale retelling - and this one is done to perfection. I wasn’t aware of the storyline of The Goose Girl before starting the Noble Servant so was able to read the story without any preconceived ideas and even without the back knowledge of the original tale (I always found the Brother’s Grimm rather blood thirsty for fairy tales anyhow) this story sings beautifully off the page. Mixing a teenage cast with a medieval theme sounds dangerous but not in Melanie Dickerson’s skilled hands and pen. Lady Magdalen is destined to marry a Duke - the duke of Wolfberg whom she meet at a dance. Her family and village are relaying on her to marry well to help their current plight and she is willing to sacrifice love for her duty. But on the way to her betrothed - her maidservant and maidservant’s father conspire to force her to assume the servant’s identity and lose the chance of an advantageous marriage. Arriving at the castle, she is given the most menial task that can be found - looking after the geese while her maidservant happily steps into her previous life and marries the duke. Magdalen soon meets another young man - looking after the sheep in the fields who appears to also carry secrets. Could they become allies and find away to right the wrongs done to them both? The Nobel Servant was a wonderful quick read - basically read in one sitting and brought back the wonderful whimsy of childhood fairy tales. I can’t wait to read more. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via The Fiction Guild, and was not required to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
VintageMommy More than 1 year ago
She's done it again! Melanie Dickerson's ability to weave a spell-binding tale amazes me. I'm captivated with every one of her novels from page one to the end. I especially love her fairy tales. These classic fairy tales are put into the context of real history minus the magical elements. In this story Melanie Dickerson retells the classic Grimm tale, the Goose Girl. This fairy tale is not one I was very familiar with, so it was kind of fun to read without any preconceived ideas of what I should expect. As usual, the characters are likeable and full of good qualities. I love that they experience growth throughout the novel. They feel real to me and I love reading a novel where I would like to be friends with the characters. The heroine desires to save her people, but she is poor and must seek to wed a wealthy duke. When her plans are thwarted by a servant she has no idea what to do, but befriends a shepherd. The find out there is a plot against the area and must try and find a way to stop it before it is too late. Mystery and intrigue are seamlessly woven alongside this beautiful love-story. Whether this is your first time reading a Melanie Dickerson fairy tale or you are a seasoned fan, you will fall in love with her writing, cheer for the hero and heroine, and not be able to put this down! I can't wait for her next fairy tale title!
Jennybug52 More than 1 year ago
4 stars- This book tells the tale of Magdalen and Steffan and their efforts to right many wrongs and save both of their homes, Mallin and Wolfberg. I have wanted to read many of Melanie Dickerson’s books but had never found the time, so this is the first book I’ve read by her. I love fairy tale romance and my teenage self would have swooned over this story. It is a great read for teenage girls that love a little romance, a little danger and a gorgeous hero to constantly “save” the lady. Of course, Magdalen was no wallflower. She was a great character that had a lot of backbone and made the most of her situation. It was a sweet, clean read that ladies young and old will enjoy. The main characters faced many challenges but handled them with integrity. They would make great role models for teenagers to read about. The idea of maintaining your integrity and faith even in the face of sinister and unimaginable events is evident throughout the book. Steffan and Magdalen continually trusted that God had a plan for them and did their best to be patient until that plan came to be. I enjoyed this book and will look forward to reading more by Melanie Dickerson. 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.
Jennybug52 More than 1 year ago
4 stars- This book tells the tale of Magdalen and Steffan and their efforts to right many wrongs and save both of their homes, Mallin and Wolfberg. I have wanted to read many of Melanie Dickerson’s books but had never found the time, so this is the first book I’ve read by her. I love fairy tale romance and my teenage self would have swooned over this story. It is a great read for teenage girls that love a little romance, a little danger and a gorgeous hero to constantly “save” the lady. Of course, Magdalen was no wallflower. She was a great character that had a lot of backbone and made the most of her situation. It was a sweet, clean read that ladies young and old will enjoy. The main characters faced many challenges but handled them with integrity. They would make great role models for teenagers to read about. The idea of maintaining your integrity and faith even in the face of sinister and unimaginable events is evident throughout the book. Steffan and Magdalen continually trusted that God had a plan for them and did their best to be patient until that plan came to be. I enjoyed this book and will look forward to reading more by Melanie Dickerson. 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.
KathrynVoss More than 1 year ago
Melanie Dickerson has created a sweet, clean story in her latest book The Noble Servant. This is one tale YA girls will greatly enjoy delving into. Filled with adventure from beginning to end, Dickerson's book keep you enraptured with the hero and heroine, along with a cast of wonderful - and villainous- supporting characters. In this tale, I was swept back into medieval Europe, to a time of chivalry and intrigue. I loved the plot, the pacing, the characters, and the message of sacrifice. It is rare to find a book that will teach godly lessons in a way that appeals to the YA genre. Dickerson outdoes herself with this one. Presenting courageous women living noble lives provides a solid role model girls can flock to. I highly recommend this book to all who desire a clean read that will uplift, entertain, and encourage.
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from Te Fiction Guild. I was not required to give a favorable review. All thoughts are my own. This is a wonderful 3rd in the series of fairies tales that have been written so that you have a better understanding of the who story line. Melanie is a wonderful author and I have loved each one of the books in this series,
christian_chick6 More than 1 year ago
The Noble Servant is based on "The Goose Girl," which is a fairy tale I was completely unfamiliar with. It also has shades of "The Prince and the Pauper." Since I had no idea of the plot of "The Goose Girl," I googled it. And then I pretty much knew how the story would go down :-) Even though I knew basically what would happen, I very much enjoyed the novel's progression. Also, certain events and people surprised me, as some people who I assumed to be bad turned out to be at least sort of good, and some I assumed to be good turned out to be sort of bad. So whether or not you're familiar with "The Goose Girl," you can enjoy this novel. I've read several of Dickerson's novels now, and, while I didn't find the romance to be as engaging as it was in some of her other books, I still enjoyed the story. It's one that I can heartily recommend to teens and adults alike. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.
SemmieWise More than 1 year ago
** “I might ask more specifically, God, for help, but I don’t even know what to ask for. But I assume You know what to do. You are God, after all. So please help me.” ** Set in 1365, Melanie Dickerson’s “The Noble Servant” is a medieval retelling of “The Goose Girl” fairy tale. Lady Magdalen of Mallin is a deceased baron’s daughter from a poor region, who must marry well to save her people. When she receives an invitation to marry the handsome Duke of Wolfberg, whom she met two years ago, she quickly agrees to the arrangement. During the journey, her maidservant Agnes, along with her father Ehrlich, threaten and force Magdalen to switch places. Agnes will now be the Lady of Mallin, set to marry the handsome Steffan, and Magdalen will be the servant. As Magdalen is forced to serve as the castle’s goose girl, she must figure out a way to safely reveal her true identity. And when she realizes the duke isn’t who he says he is, and a mysterious yet handsome shepherd reminds her of someone from her past, she must learn to trust others for help. Can Magdalen and the shepherd overthrow Agnes’ misdeed, and fight Steffan’s uncle Lord Hazen’s evil plot? “The Noble Servant” is a lovely story, and a loose retelling of a fairy tale I wasn’t as familiar with, so I enjoyed getting to know “The Goose Girl” a little better through Magdalen’s story. Dickerson fills her story with delightful characters, and lots of gems from which to learn. It is more than just a love story, although that is an extremely prevalent theme, including the desire for true love and the fear of truly falling in love. But it also deals with guilt and forgiveness (both of one’s self, and others); turning to God in times of need; the reliance upon and importance of prayer; we all go through trials, and the restoration we can see after those trials; giving up control and relying on the help of others; and the ability and willingness to wait on the Lord. Faith is an overwhelming theme throughout “The Noble Servant” — faith in others, but more importantly, faith in God. As Steffan says to Magdalen: “That is why we call it faith — His loving-kindness is not seen or fully known at times, but we have faith that it exists.” Another goodie for Dickerson fans found in “The Noble Servant” is the return of Avelina of Thornbeck, found in an earlier series. Dickenson does another great job retelling a classic fairy tale, but setting it in medieval times so it still has that fairy tale feel to it. Five stars out of five. Thomas Nelson provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
jewelrydiva More than 1 year ago
The Noble Servant is a medieval romance and a re telling of a fairy tale by the brothers Grimm. I wasn't familiar with The Goose Girl Story, so I didn't know what to expect. I however, found to be a very sweet romance with deception, and mystery. The heroine, was strong in spirit and very compassionate and forgiving. The hero, handsome and brave was quick to defend and sacrifice himself for others. I enjoyed this book and will read more from this author. *I was given this book by the publisher and was under no obligation to leave a review.
June0 More than 1 year ago
Fairy tales aren't just for girls. Melanie Dickerson does such a great job of creating her characters and re-telling a story that even my boys enjoy these books. And I love watching her stories come to life. We met Lady Magdalen and Steffan, the Duke of Wolfberg in book two of the Medieval Fairy Tale series. We've been waiting for something to happen since book two ended with them riding away together. And now, finally, the Duke has invited Magdalen to come to his castle, with the intentions of marrying her. It doesn't take long for things to start falling apart. As Magdalen and Steffan are reacquainted and start working together to right the wrongs, things start to make sense. Once again, Melanie Dickerson has written a great story that can be enjoyed by all ages and we are looking forward to her next story.
itsraymarie More than 1 year ago
If you've been here long enough, you know that I love my Melanie Dickerson books. They're fun, easy to fly through, and I love anything fairy-tale related. This one was based off of The Goose Girl, which I don't think I've seen done all that much, so I was interested to see how she would take this one. We first met Magdalen in The Beautiful Pretender. She had Steffan had hit it off, but she hasn't heard from him in the few years since. Until, one day, she randomly gets a marriage proposal from him. While Magdalen thinks it is a bit suspicious, she will do anything to help save her people from poverty (not like her mother would give her a choice anyway). Until she is thwarted by her maid, and forced to tend to the geese. Only to discover that the man posing as the shepherd is none other than the Duke himself. They work together to be restored to their rightful positions. Honestly, this was probably one of my favorites of her books. I had been feeling...less than excited about some of her newer ones, so it was great to find what I loved about her books again in this one. The characters themselves, however, were nothing really special. They were the typical for this genre: sweet, perfect "good girl" heroine; supposedly masculine love interest with a hero complex. Honestly, I'm tired of reading the same characters over and over again. But I did enjoy the story. Like I said, The Goose Girl was a fun one to base it off of and the story was fun and easy to read. It kept me engaged the whole time, and seemed a little more exciting plot-wise than some of her others. All in all, it was just a fun story that I enjoyed reading.
bookstoregal More than 1 year ago
Another good retold fairy tale by Melanie Dickerson. I'm glad that I read The Beautiful Pretender first, as this is a bit of a sequel -several of the same characters in both books. I had actually never heard of the fairy tale about the goose girl, but I enjoyed this book. :) Great characters. A little mystery/suspense, romance; a little bit different than the normal story. In some ways it's a little predictable, which is why I gave it just 4 stars. Pretty good overall. So thankful that there are some clean books by Christian authors for young adults! Thanks, Fiction Guild!!
bsnksmom More than 1 year ago
Lady Magdalen of Mallin is overjoyed. The Duke of Wolfberg has summoned her, asking for her hand in marriage. She has fond memories of the young, handsome man she danced with at Thornbeck Castle but never in a million years expected him to ask her to marry him. Even though she’s a baron’s daughter, her lack of wealth has caused many a suitor to turn away from her. Could the Duke really be interested in an impoverished lady? As she travels to Wolfberg, Magdalen anticipates her first sight of Steffan. What she doesn’t anticipate is a change in her station. Just as the castle comes into view, her “loyal” maidservant and the maid’s father, stop the caravan and force Magdalen to change places with the maid. Magdalen enters the castle as “Agatha” and her maid enters as Magdalen. Banished to the lowly job of goose girl, Magdalen waits for the duke to take one look at Agatha and cry, “Foul!” When that doesn’t happen, she takes a good look at the “duke” and discovers that not everything is as it seems at Wolfberg. How can she reclaim her true identity when “Lady Magdalen” is putting on such a good show? Steffan, Duke of Wolfberg, is called home by his uncle who was standing in his stead while Steffan gained some schooling. On the way back, Steffan’s two guards, sent by his uncle, turn on him and try to kill him. Instead, Steffan’s superior sword-fighting skills win the day. Suspicious of his uncle’s motives, Steffan dresses as a shepherd and enters Wolfberg to discover his cousin, Alex, ensconced as the “Duke of Wolfberg.” And, just as suspicious, the lady that everyone is calling “Lady Magdalen of Mallin” looks nothing like the delightful young woman he danced with at Thornbeck. What in the world is going on? Assigned to the sheep of the castle, Steffan encounters a beautiful goose girl when they are both grazing their flocks in the same meadow. The more he looks at her, the more he sees Lady Magdalen but why is she out with the geese instead of inside with his cousin? What brought her to Wolfberg in the first place? So many questions. Can he ferret out the answers? The Noble Servant is a follow-up book to The Beautiful Pretender by Melanie Dickerson. The romance is sweet, the intrigue is suspenseful and the two main characters are, above all, honorable. Both strive to follow the teachings in their Psalters and neither expects to love the other. Fans of Melanie Dickerson will love this addition to her booklist as will fans of sweet, gentle romance. I enjoyed this one!