The Warrior Maiden

The Warrior Maiden

by Melanie Dickerson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718074777
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 36,666
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(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

CHAPTER 1

Early Summer 1423

Village of Mindius, Lithuania

Galloping her horse past the big oak tree, Mulan pulled the bowstring taut. She aimed at the knothole with one eye closed and sent the arrow flying toward the target. It struck the tree but missed the knothole.

"Don't shoot behind you!" Andrei flailed his skinny arms. "Keep the target in front of you."

Shooting from a moving horse was much more difficult than when standing still, but she was improving. At least she'd escaped, for the moment, the cooking and cleaning chores. And practicing war skills kept her from facing the uncertain future — and her mother's grief.

Her stomach churned.

"You put yourself at a disadvantage if you have to shoot behind you." Andrei was only twelve years old, which was six years younger than Mulan, but he'd accompanied her father on his last two military campaigns as his attendant. "Shoot in front of you, before you reach the target."

As an orphan, Andrei would only accept food from Mulan and her mother if he worked for it. Mulan enjoyed his company, as he liked the same things she did — horses and archery. She learned war skills from him. He'd even taught her a bit about sword fighting, although she wasn't very good at that.

Mulan wheeled her horse around. Aksoma was sluggish and awkward at turning, unaccustomed as she was to war games. Perhaps Mulan should be training on her father's horse.

She dismounted and walked toward the tree. As she retrieved her arrow, placing it in the quiver strapped to her waist, she spotted a man in soldier's garb riding up the lane toward her home.

She glanced at Andrei. He bit his lip, unease lining his face.

Mulan dropped the longbow where she stood and raced up the hill.

At the back of the house, she could see straight through the back doorway to the front. Her mother stood in the threshold and greeted the soldier.

Mulan and Andrei stepped inside and hid behind Mother's painted wooden chest. Mulan slid her gaze to the curtain covering her parents' bedchamber door, concealing what was inside even as she concealed herself from the man at the front door.

"Greetings," the soldier answered. "Is Mikolai at home?"

Mulan held her breath at the mention of her father.

"He's not here now. Do you have a message for him?"

The soldier's expression never altered. "Is he likely to return soon?"

"No." Mother hid one arm behind her back, as if she didn't know what to do with it.

"Then tell him Butautas requires his service. He is to report to Vilkaviškis to join the army in fighting the Teutonic Knights who have besieged his ally's castle in Poland."

"His ally?"

"Duke Konrad of Zachev."

Mother inclined her head in a nod. "Very well."

"His service is required."

"You said that already."

Mulan ducked her head out of sight, but she imagined the soldier giving Mother a sullen look.

"I shall return three days hence so Mikolai and I can travel together."

"In truth, Mikolai has been unwell. He may not be well enough when you return."

"Three days is all I can give him. See that he is ready, or else this property is forfeit to Butautas."

"Of course."

Mulan's stomach twisted. A wave of cold came over her now that she was still. The hose and long shirt, cinched at the waist — men's clothing that she wore when she rode her horse and practiced shooting — didn't keep her as warm as her layers of skirts. And her long black hair was tied at the back of her neck, allowing a breath of cool air to send a chill across her shoulders.

A few moments later, a horse snuffled and hooves sounded on the path, plodding away from their long, one-level stone-and-timber house.

Mulan and Andrei emerged from their hiding place. Mother met Mulan's gaze, then walked past them. She pushed open the chamber door and sighed as she stared in at the body they still had to prepare for burial. "Mikolai could not have chosen a worse time to die."

xEvening had fallen and Mulan was helping Mother clean the kitchen when someone called out, "Ponia Feodosia!"

Mulan ran to the front door. Her friend Agafia was trotting up the lane, breathing hard.

"Jankun is badly wounded."

"Motina!" Mulan called over her shoulder.

Mother came as fast as her bad hip would allow. "What is it?"

"Jankun ... needs your ... healing salve," Agafia huffed out, bending forward slightly, gulping air.

Mother grabbed a flask, closed the door behind her, and joined them on the lane. "Jankun has returned home?"

Agafia spoke quickly about her oldest brother as they walked, her face stoic and pinched. "His friends brought him home a few minutes ago. It took them a week to make the trip from Poland."

"How bad is he?"

Agafia stared at her feet. "The priest gave him the last rites."

"What happened?" Mulan spoke in a hushed voice as they made their way to the main road splitting the village in half, with homes and fields on either side of the rutted dirt path.

"He was captured by the Teutonic Knights. They tortured him, and when they felt he had told them everything he knew about the troops' position and plans, they left him to die. Some of the other Lithuanian and Polish soldiers found him."

They soon arrived at the small home Agafia shared with her family. Mulan steeled herself to see the worst.

Jankun was stretched out on a bed, unmoving. Swollen and bloody and bruised, his face was unrecognizable, though she had known him all her life. One of his eyes seemed to be missing, only a black hole remaining. Agafia had been her closest friend, and Jankun had been almost like a brother, once even defending her against the other boys in the village who taunted her because she looked different.

Jankun's mother was unwrapping bloody bandages on his legs. Her eyes were big and round, her mouth agape. She stepped back to let Mulan's mother approach his bedside.

While Mother attended the young man, Agafia and Mulan went to sit in the corner of the room. Three young men from the village who had also gone to fight stood nearby. They must have brought him home.

Everyone silently watched as Mother held out the flask. She and Jankun's mother used their fingers to smear on the foul-smelling salve.

Tears streamed down Agafia's face. Mulan placed a hand on her shoulder. The only sound was the quiet crackle of the cook fire.

Mulan caught the eye of one of the young men. "What's the news of the battle?" she whispered. "Are we winning?"

He glanced at the door and moved in that direction. Mulan followed. When they were outside in the dim light of sunset, he said, "Our army retreated and is hoping for German reinforcements." He shook his head. "The captain fears the Teutonic Knights may continue conquering Polish territory and expand here next. They're brutal, stealing people's food, killing farmers and peasants if they tried to resist. And when they take prisoners, instead of trying to exchange them or putting them in prisons, they torture them."

His eyes took on a vacant look. "It's a miracle Jankun isn't dead. And they say when their grand master Rusdorf comes with more knights, there will be no stopping him."

The name Rusdorf was familiar. Her father and Andrei had told her stories about his fierceness on the battlefield, as well as his grudges toward certain people and his hatred for women.

"We will defeat him." Why had she said that? But she didn't want to take it back.

The young man's lip curled as he peered down at her. "Rusdorf wants land, castles, power. Thousands of trained fighters do his bidding, and his men are either hired mercenaries with no conscience or think they're taking other people's land in the name of God. How can our smaller army defeat them?" He turned and went back into the house.

Mulan's heart sank. How indeed?

But a strange yearning stirred inside her. She wanted to fight against cruelty and injustice. The threat might be coming to her small Lithuanian village. She had to protect herself, her mother, and her people.

For now, though, the fight was far away. She could almost see that foreign land of Poland, the fields and forests that had become battlegrounds, where innocent people were starving and being killed by the invading force. She longed to help them, to defeat the enemy so they never came to endanger her own people.

But how was that possible? A woman, eighteen years old, was expected to marry, to have children, to cook and clean and sew, not fight.

* * *

Marriage was the only way Mulan could take care of her mother.

She hastened to clean the crumbs of her breakfast roll off the table, avoiding her mother's gaze.

"Algirdas is healthy and strong, does not drink too much wine, and you'll never starve with him as your husband."

Mulan understood why her mother wanted her to marry Algirdas. But he smelled of his profession — bloody meat. He was not as old as her other prospects, and he was wealthy enough to take care of her and her mother when Butautas cast them out of their home. Except ... she had always dreamed of leaving her village and seeing other places, doing something important.

But dreams could not keep her or her mother dry, safe, and fed.

"Algirdas is a hard worker," Mother said. "Try not to judge him until you've spent some time with him." She limped to the cupboard where a small barrel of spiced beer was stored.

Mulan placed the bread on the table, along with a knife and some butter. She took the cup of spiced beer from her mother's hand and carried it to the table, then ran back as Mother filled the other cup from the barrel's spout.

"There's no need to hurry." Mother got that look on her face — pursed lips, brows drawn together.

"Yes, Mother. I shall walk as slowly and gracefully as a swimming swan when Algirdas comes calling."

"Hmm." Mother still wore that worried look.

Mulan said a quick prayer and then saw the pigs wandering into the front entryway of the house.

"Shoo!" She bounded toward them and swatted the air with her hands. But the pigs were not as eager to leave as she was to get them out. As she pushed the sow's shoulder, one of the piglets darted between Mulan legs. She tried to step over it, but her foot caught on its portly body. She pitched forward and landed on her hands and knees on the stone floor.

Mulan jumped up and looked down at her pale blue kirtle. Her heart thudded at the mud stains marring the beautiful fine linen fabric of her best dress. Her wide headband had fallen askew, and she pushed it up.

A heavy sigh sounded behind her. Mulan turned to see her mother standing there, hands braced on her hips.

"It's not so bad. I don't think he'll even notice." Mulan snatched up a cleaning cloth. "Perhaps I can wipe most of it off." Why was she so clumsy?

Her stomach churned at the memory that sprang to mind of her father yelling at her. She must have been only about six or seven years old, and her mother had been teaching her to make cepelinai. She was carrying the bowl of curd with which to fill the potato dumplings and spilled the creamy cheese all over the floor.

"Clumsy! Wasteful!" her father yelled. "Can you do nothing without spilling?"

His words still stung, even though twelve years had passed. Was it true? Was she so clumsy she could she do nothing without spilling?

Mother seized the broom and used it to guide the pigs out the door while Mulan rubbed furiously at her dress with the wet cloth. But her rubbing did little to get rid of the stains. She didn't have another gown nearly so fine. Her next best one had a stain from spilling soup on it, and another had a hole burned in it from when she'd stoked the fire a little too vigorously and a hot ember flew out. She did have the green gown that was so tight she could barely breathe in it. "Should I go change?"

"No time. I see him coming up the path." Mother gestured toward the door. "You go greet him."

Mulan threw the cleaning cloth behind the cupboard, adjusted the embroidered belt that encircled her waist, and hurried to the door. Move slowly. Take a deep breath.

She jerked open the door.

Algirdas wore a plain gray shirt that laced up in the front and was open at the throat. His hair was slicked back with some sort of grease, and he carried a bulging hemp-cloth bag.

"Greetings." Mulan forced a smile.

He nodded and held up the bag. "Two fresh hares for your larder."

"My mother and I thank you." Mulan took the bag from his hand. "Please come in."

His gaze flickered over her dress, pausing a moment on the stains. Then he stepped inside.

So he saw the stains on my dress. Men didn't care about such things, did they? Perhaps she could impress him with something else.

Algirdas sat at the small table, where Mother, who was all smiles, directed him.

"Feodosia, it is good to see you looking well," Algirdas said, but his words were stilted, as if he'd practiced them. "And how is Mikolai?"

"Mikolai has not been feeling well." Mother stared down at the table while she spoke, something she did when she was not being forthcoming. "But we want to hear about you, Algirdas. All is well with your mother, I trust?"

"Thank you, yes. Mother complains of a pain in her shoulder, but she is otherwise well, and business is good."

Mulan sat beside Mother, across from Algirdas, and he stared at her face. No one spoke. What did one say to a butcher? Ask him about his favorite cuts of meat?

"Your sister just had a baby, is that not true?" Mother asked.

"Yes, her fourth. Mother only had two survive beyond infancy, but she is very pleased that all of my sister's babies have lived."

"Children are a gift from the Lord." Mother said the words cheerfully enough, but then an almost imperceptible grimace flickered over her face. Her mother had never been able to have a baby.

"Mulan is from the Orient, is she not?" Algirdas was still studying her face. "I think I've heard a story about Mikolai finding her as a small child after a battle and bringing her to you. Is that right?"

"Yes." Mother looked down at the table again.

"Why did you never give her a Lithuanian name? Mulan doesn't sound Lithuanian."

"The first time I saw her, I asked her what her name was. She said 'Mulan.' And Mikolai said, 'If the child knows her name, then we'll not be changing it.' So Mulan has always been her name." Mother smiled.

Queasiness flipped Mulan's stomach. Was her Oriental appearance — black hair, slightly darker skin, and almond-shaped eyes — unpleasant to Algirdas? Certain boys in the village had taunted her, calling her "Mongol," and even some women looked askance at her, as if they disapproved of her. But Mother always told her she was beautiful, and even her father when asked had grunted and said, "You are not an ugly girl."

But when Mulan was around twelve years old, she discovered that the story her mother had told her about being found as a child by her father after a battle had been false. She heard her parents arguing, and the next morning she asked her mother about it.

"Truth is, your mother was a woman Mikolai met when he was fighting east of here, a woman from the Orient. And when she died, she left a child — you — about three years old. Your father brought you to me, knowing how much I longed for a child."

Mulan and her mother had agreed not to tell anyone else the truth. Let them believe she'd been a foundling, the result of war.

Algirdas eyed the tankard of spiced beer nearest him. Mother looked at Mulan, raised her brows, then looked at the cup.

Mulan extended her hand and plastered on a smile. "Please, have some of Mother's delicious spiced beer."

"Mulan helped me make it." Mother was quick to point out.

They all picked up the cup that was in front of them and took a drink. Mother glanced at her, then the bread on the table.

"Have some bread." Mulan stood and reached for the knife. "I shall slice it for us." Holding the loaf of bread in one hand and the knife in the other, she sawed through the bread. As she encountered the tough bottom crust of the loaf, she sawed extra hard. She broke through, and her elbow bumped into her cup and it tipped over. Beer splashed on the floor and her feet — and Algirdas's too.

"Oh, I'm so sorry." Mulan ran to get a cleaning cloth. She came hastening back, and when she had almost reached where Algirdas was sitting, her foot touched the puddle of beer and shot out from under her.

She flailed her arms, trying to grab anything that might keep her from falling. Algirdas reached out, and she grabbed for his arm but missed. She hit the floor on her back.

"Are you all right?" Algirdas stood over her.

She blinked up at him. He reached toward her. She took his hand and pulled herself up.

"That was not as graceful as a swimming swan." She tried to laugh but her face was warming. How could she make a fool of herself with Algirdas there to speak about marriage? And her dress was certainly ruined now, covered in spiced beer.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Warrior Maiden"
by .
Copyright © 2019 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 Warrior Maiden 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
DianaFlow 15 days ago
I'm delightfully surprised! Not because Melanie Dickerson has once again penned a masterful fairytale re-telling—I expect that from the Queen of happily-ever-afters. And I'm not surprised at how beautifully written and clever this novel is! And I'm not surprised at the angsty, kissy journey to romance—I expect that from Dickerson's magical tales. And I'm not surprised (as some readers were) at the spiritual thread intricately woven throughout...as this author stays true to the genre Christian fiction. I love that about her writing. Then why am I surprised you might ask? Because I don't care for stories about women fighting in battles and donning men's clothing as a disguise AT all, but I LOVED this!! So yeah, utterly, totally, blissfully surprised! If you enjoy medieval tales about brave knights, lovely maidens, powerful dukes, and opulent castles, you're sure to enjoy The Warrior Maiden! I was given a complimentary copy of this novel by Thomas Nelson publishing and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
PrincessGlor 3 days ago
Melanie has crafted another winner in this fairy tale retelling of the story of Mulan. The Warrior Maiden is full of romance, humor, and exciting moments that kept me on the edge of my seat while reading this fun story. Mulan exhibits more bravery than I could ever have and it makes for quite a compelling tale. It also sets up Steffan’s story, which releases this December, quite nicely. Can’t wait for my next visit to Hagenheim! I received this book from the author and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
Sprinkle23 4 days ago
First off, I loved the fitting title and gorgeous cover of the book. I also loved the well-paced story line that held my attention from beginning to end. I liked that The Warrior Maiden was loosely based on the Mulan movie, but didn't strictly adhere to the movie's plot. The author gave fresh resolutions to scenarios from the movie. There was a different setting and reason for war. These variations allowed the story to give a nod to the original while retaining its own uniqueness. I also liked that the author subtly addressed gender equality through the character of Mulan and her experiences. Though sometimes moody, Mulan's determination and resilience made her a strong female leader. Her ability to deal with difficult situations inspired others to have confidence in her. She demonstrated solid confidence and faith in God numerous times. Unfortunately, I felt like this book was not as well-written as some of Melanie Dickerson's other books. Especially in the beginning, some conversations felt choppy and stilted. My husband and I agreed that certain things the characters did were unrealistic. (Not naming them because I don't want to include spoilers.) Plus, I strongly disliked Mulan's pet name for Wolfgang. Bottom line: I loved the story enough to overlook the sometimes mediocre prose and give it a permanent home on my bookshelf. Lastly, The Warrior Maiden is part of Melanie Dickerson's YA Fairy Tale Romance series. I have read some, but not all of them and this functioned fine as a stand-alone. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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."
LizD1 5 days ago
The Warrior Maiden ( Hagenheim #9 ) By; Rachel Good The Warrior Maiden is book nine in The Hagenheim series. The author has another winner in her fairy tale of the classic Mulan Tale. I love the story and the characters, both were well written and realistic. Mulan is not afraid to go to war as her father’s son. Can she keep her secret? What will happen to her if she is found out? Mulan is a brave and courageous woman. She meets Wolfgang and they become friends. Will he find out her secret? I really enjoyed this fairy tale of Mulan. I was given a complimentary copy of this book. but was not told that I had to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.
CRGehringer 6 days ago
In The Warrior Maiden, eighteen year old Mulan faces two choices to provide support for her widowed mother: marry the wealthy butcher or takes her adopted father’s place in the army, disguising herself as a young man. With her Asian features, she stands out in their Lithuanian village, limiting her choice of suitors. Although small in stature, she is skilled as an archer and foolishly courageous. However, she is not an experienced soldier, yet she would rather take her chances in the army. She hopes to keep her identity from Wolfgang, the son of a German duke, who leads the small army in its fight against the Teutonic Knights. What happens when Mulan’s identify is revealed? Will Mulan and Wolfgang be in time to rescue her imprisoned mother? Will her mother – a herbalist and healer – be tried as a witch by the Knights? Will Mulan’s bravery make her a national hero or a pariah? What does her future hold? Dickerson’s novels feature wholesome relationships, making this series a good choice for teen readers. Her characters learn the meaning of values like sacrifice, courage, and nobility as they adjust to life’s difficult situations. Her novels are filled with well-researched historical detail, endearing characters, light romance, and a faith element that is evident but not preachy. Readers will enjoy this medieval retelling of a familiar tale and look forward to the next one, The Piper’s Pursuit, coming in 2020.
Anonymous 6 days ago
The Warrior Maiden By Melanie Dickerson Courageous and brave Mulan takes the place of her deceased father to fight in order to save her and her mother’s home. Although you might think you know the story of Mulan this spin on the tale is a quite different adventure than the original. I really enjoyed this story as it was well written and kept my attention until the end.
KayleesKindofWrites 7 days ago
My review: Genre: Historical Christian fiction, young adult, medieval fiction. My Rating: 5 stars. Recommendation: 15 up because of romance, and some slight violence. My favorite character is: Wolfgang is my favorite of the brothers so far, and I loved seeing more about him especially his POV. He seemed the kindest of the brothers and the best at seeing his “love” interest as a love interest and was smart enough to know what he needed to do to protect her without letting her pull anything that could be bad for her which was a big plus, and made me like him even more. My Verse for Wolfgang is Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (King James Version.) My thoughts: Is it just that it has been a while since I read this series or is this the best book in the series? And I liked how there was more action with the main characters together. I only have two problems, and those are the facts that one: the beginning of the book was a little repetitive and two: that it wasn't longer! I loved this so much, and I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK!!! ACK!!! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. AND Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers 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.”
Anonymous 9 days ago
This isn't life-changing fiction, but if you were looking for that, you probably wouldn't bee looking at historical romances. It's a good book for the genre. I have enjoyed reading Dickerson's fairy tale romances and looked forward to The Warrior Maiden. After reading The Orphan's wish, I wasn't sure I wanted to read TWM. I'm glad I did. This was closer to Dickerson's usual work. A sweet story of faithful people with flaws finding each other. Mulan doesn't break the mold entirely, even masqueraded as a man. She's feisty but sweet. She's focused on keeping a roof over her mother's head rather than shopping for a husband. Wolfgang also follows type. He's not a tragically flawed love interest, unlike the story we will find when his brother Steffan gets his own book. Their romance follows a smoother past than many of the other stories in the fairy tale collection by this author. As such, it was a diverting read. The young ladies that I know to enjoy these types of books will enjoy TWM. I did find Mulan's desire to be close enough to Wolfgang to call him Wolfie a bit nauseating. There were also a couple of details that made me think the author took the easy way out. For instance, this could have been set in "the Orient" and still maintained the link to the rest of the characters in the series. It would have required more research, but a novel set in medieval China would have been a breath of fresh air. There was also a scene at the end where I felt suspense could have been built if Mulan was kept in the dark...thus keeping the reader in the dark. Finally, I must say that I find it ridiculous to read reviews that complain about books through Thomas Nelson and other Christian publishers containing Christian references. If you choose not to be an informed reader, then that's my issue. Not that of the publisher. It's like me getting mad and my Labrador Retriever puppy because when he gets excited, he picks up the nearest thing in his mouth and retrieves in. It is part of who he is and only ignorance on my part would have me expecting anything different from him. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Amy Smith Carman 10 days ago
Mulan is a young woman who was brought to Europe by her soldier father to his wife who has always wanted children. The mother loves Mulan like she is her own. The story itself opens with a knight delivering a missive to the house saying if Mulan's father does not report in 3 days, all of his land and property are forfeit. As soon as he leaves, we find out that he has just died (though no one mourns his death). With them days from being homeless, her mother tries to arrange a marriage with anyone in the village who would take them in. The suitor we meet is little better than an ogre and treats the clumsy but loveable Mulan like a soon-to-be servant. Mulan cannot endure this, so she decides to take her father's place so her mother will continue to have a place to live. We then switch to the second main character's point of view - Wolfgang. He and his brother are called into their father's study where we learn two things: 1) the older brother is extremely unlikable and harbors sympathies for their enemy, and 2) they will leave tomorrow to go to Poland and help their ally in the same war Mulan's father has been drafted into. It is pretty clear that a meeting between the two will soon occur! I don't want to give any spoilers, so I will conclude with a few additional notes. The book was well written and I found the love story to be sweet. And I loved how kick-ass Mulan was even after her secret is discovered. However, it wasn't clear to me why the setting was moved to eastern Europe instead of left in Asia. There wasn't such a specific historical event that left me thinking that this was a warranted move. Even so, I wouldn't have minded too much but then part way through the book a cloying religious presence basically got rid of all non-religious dialogue. Some would have been fine, but it was so clearly a modern Evangelical take on Christianity rather than anything medieval Christianity would have been like. So, I would recommend this book for those who like historical fiction and romance, but also Christian fiction readers because of such a heavy modern Christian presence in the book. I also don't have any trigger warnings for the book. There is a fair amount of battle scenes, so some blood and injuries. However, nothing with sex or language. For these reasons, I would recommend it to teenagers and up.
RachsRamblings 14 days ago
“God is great. He has blessed me for His purposes, to do His good will. I had very little to do with it.” 3.5. This was an enjoyable read, and I really like reading YA type books in between the heavier subjects of other genres. I’ve never seen the Disney movie Mulan so I have no idea about how close it is or isn’t. To be honest, I really enjoy these books as simply stories of their own. This is a well done story about a girl who becomes a warrior for her mother. The characters are enjoyable, the story is well done, and I enjoyed watching the characters grow in their faith as the book progressed. It’s what I like to see most in a YA novel. I thought the book well done. It’s not a deep read as i usually pick, but I have found that lighter more enjoyable reads are so necessary to break up the others. This was a fun read for me...and I liked that! I always enjoy Melanie Dickerson’s books. “He is a kind and gentle Father who loves us. After all, everything before Jesus was leading up to this provision, the sacrifice of the Son, as the way to be forgiven and welcomed into heaven.” God forgives us for being careless and not knowing what to do. We’ll never be able to be good enough to makeup for what happened...God’s grace is sufficient.” “God will make a way.” I received this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Phyllis_H 14 days ago
A retelling of Mulan in Medieval Europe There is an ancient Chinese ballad about a maiden who takes her father's place in the Chinese army and saves the day. You are probably familiar with the story from the Disney movie. (I've attempted watching the movie twice but fell asleep both times!) Author Melanie Dickerson places Mulan in Europe and instead of battling the Huns, she joins the army of a Duke to fight against the Teutonic Knights, a group of militaristic monks. I really appreciated how the author showed who these monks were in such an interesting way that integrated into the story so well. I don't always relate to strong women characters. Do I believe women should be shy and retiring? Absolutely not! But I don't get women trying to be like men in every way. Mulan was very relateable, though. While she disliked the ""womanly"" arts of cooking and cleaning, preferring to be outdoors and learning archery, she was still very much a woman. She only joined the army out of necessity, to save her mother from eviction. Her strength in the face of fear was very admirable as was her compassion and kindness. I loved Wolfgang! He is a younger son in the family of the Duke of Hagenheim, the family involved in all the stories of this series. He struggled with feelings of guilt related to an incident in his childhood and subconsciously tried to earn forgiveness. His love for his brother caused him to make some choices that almost got Mulan hurt, and that broke his heart. There were some beautiful spiritual truths that came out through this narrative as both Mulan and Wolfgang sought to figure out their place in the world. Most of the story was wonderful, with fun situations and a great picture of what it would have been like for a woman to attempt impersonating a man at that time in history. There was a section, however, pertaining to one of the battles, that seemed to lack some details and appeared a bit abrupt. If you enjoy young adult fairy tale retellings or even just medieval fiction, I recommend this for your library. Read with a Preview at AmongTheReads.net I was given a copy of this book. I was not required to give a favorable review nor was any money received for this review. All comments and opinions are my own.
swimreadbreathe4JC 14 days ago
The Warrior Maiden was written by Melanie Dickerson. It was published in 2019 with HarperCollins Publishing. This enrapturing new installment in Melanie Dickerson’s fairy tale romance collection explores the story of Mulan! Adopted and raised by a peasant couple, the young woman is expected to marry well enough to provide for her family. When her father dies, Mulan makes the risky decision to take his place in battle against the Teutonic Knights – disguised as a man. As she fights alongside Wolfgang, son of the German Duke Wilhelm, Mulan must make sure that no one recognizes her for who she truly is. As they learn to trust one another, they find that they both have secrets to hide – secrets that could prove fatal. And when Mulan receives word of danger back at her home, she must decide who she will be – the young woman her mother expects, or the son her father wanted? SPOILER ALERT! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! As an avid reader of Melanie Dickerson novels, I was only too eager to review this book. I absolutely loved how the author created a strong character in Mulan, who was not afraid to stand up for her beliefs. I loved her companion and friend, Andrei, who risked his life at times to ensure her safety. The male characters in this book were over all very well-rounded, which I really appreciate in romances told from a girl’s perspective. Wolfgang saw Mulan’s character before he saw her attractiveness. He got along with her as a friend first, since he didn’t realize she was a girl. He also had to accept that girls can be strong when he found her out, as he was pretty sexist at the beginning of the story. But in the end, both he and Andrei stick by her side, no matter the danger. Nonetheless, the characters were still flawed, which made them even more relatable. Wolfgang struggled with guilt over his older brother’s disloyalty; Mulan questions her abilities and motives for deception. I believe this book would best suit teens or older, as there are some *ahem* delicate scenes in the book. There’s an instance where Wolfgang and Mulan (disguised as a boy at this point) have to bathe in the same room, although the content is handled very well and nothing inappropriate is seen or stated directly. All things considered, this is a great read, and I would definitely recommend to that age group. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purposes of providing a review. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
Abold24 15 days ago
In Ms. Dickerson’s latest release, The Warrior Maiden is a new twist to the fairytale Mulan. In this novel, Mulan must go to battle to take her father's place so that she can protect her mother. Mulan’s faith is key throughout this novel. I loved how sure she was that God would protect her. She befriends Wolfgang, who is fighting for what he believes is right. They are both fighting against the Teutonic Knights who say everything they do is right and justified, because God is behind them. Together they discover more about each other- their strengths and weaknesses. They also befriend people of title and importance that could prove allies to them both. This is a great retelling of a classic fairytale! If you enjoy historical romance novels, I believe you will enjoy reading this one. I highly recommend this book! ***I was given a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher. This is my honest opinion. Even though I received this copy free, this is my own opinion.
bmrawlins 15 days ago
Melanie has done it again. A long time favorite of mine, I always preorder her books and have never been disappointed. Mulan was all that I hoped it be. I love the creative way Melanie takes old fairy tales and weaves them together. While reading previous books is not necessary, it is nice to see old characters and get more information to the backdrop. Mulan is a tough, but humble and lovable heroine. Wolfgang is her match in every way and I loved reading through the tension of these two discovering themselves and each other. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
AndreaBy 15 days ago
Mulan lives with her mother, and takes upon herself to become a warrior so her mother won’t lose her house, as well as getting away from a man she doesn’t wish to marry. She has her father’s armor bearer and dear friend with her. We have the brothers Steffan and Wolfgang in this one, though the story focuses on Wolfgang and Mulan’s ventures. Engaging and hard to put down. This one is another winner in the Hagenheim series. A complimentary copy was provided by Thomas Nelson. A review was not required and all thoughts are my own.
marongm8 15 days ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Alot of us know the story of Mulan and how she joined battle to defend her honor and kept a huge secret disguising herself as a man then she ends up falling for Captian Shang and she confesses the truth an lives happily ever after. In The Warrior Maiden it took a whole new twist on the story of Mulan as we know it. Melanie Dickerson's take on this classic tale as part of the Hagenheim series was a lot of fun to read and I could not help but invest my time reading this story cover to cover just to find out what happens to Mulan and if she saves her mother in time. We will definitely consider this title for our YFiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
Blogger35 15 days ago
This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year, Christian YA retelling of MULAN!!! Loved it from the moment I started and there were twists in the story that were brilliantly written. EVERY part of battle and culture written felt authentic and tangible in the story. It's obvious the author does her research for certain detailed scenes and it made the story even better than I expected. Mulan's father is a cruel and distant man in this version, giving her the impression that she alone must fight to save her and her mom because no one else will the way women are treated. Andrei was such a great character and a true friend to Mulan, he isn't Mushu but still a treasure to the story! Wolfgang was a wonderfully flawed hero in this one who only wants to do the honorable thing all the while trying to help his misled older brother. Really enjoyed reading about his family and previous characters from other books in this series I have loved. I couldn't stop cheering Mulan every time she is victorious, I need to watch the movie after reading this book. AND OH MY TO THAT COVER!!! I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All comments and opinions are my own.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm 16 days ago
'God knew you were brave and fierce. And that you would give Him the glory.' I have long been a fan of Melanie Dickerson and her faith based retelling of fairy tales. Because I think you're never too old for fairy tales! I love how she fleshes them out and adds the spiritual element. I had never heard the story of Mulan, so this was new to me. Mulan was such a brave and fearless warrior. I truly enjoyed this installment from Dickerson's pen. *My thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion stated here is entirely my own..
SusanSnodgrassBookworm 16 days ago
'God knew you were brave and fierce. And that you would give Him the glory.' I have long been a fan of Melanie Dickerson and her faith based retelling of fairy tales. Because I think you're never too old for fairy tales! I love how she fleshes them out and adds the spiritual element. I had never heard the story of Mulan, so this was new to me. Mulan was such a brave and fearless warrior. I truly enjoyed this installment from Dickerson's pen. *My thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers a copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinion stated here is entirely my own..
Geek_Devotions 21 days ago
We here at Geek Devotions were given access to this book through BookLookBloggers.com. We are very thankful to them, and Mrs.Dickerson for allowing us the chance to read this in advance and share our thoughts. The story is one that has been told several times in many different ways. Girl needs to become the hero of her story to protect the people that she loves. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this tale while following the story we all know and love, was a take on it that I had not seen before. This story is set in Lithuania and Poland, with a brief scene in Germany. Mulan is Asian, and the explanation of that makes sense, as to why she is Asian, and she is in Lithuania. In the story, Mulan is the illegitimate child of her father, who brought her home to his wife when her mother passed away. He was a soldier, a knight and not the most shining example of fatherhood as we later learn. This relationship brings quite a bit of depth to the storyline. The concept of how our earthly father's act can be interpreted as how Father God acts, how other men will act is not a light subject. The story handles these things with such grace that while you are left thinking about them at the time, it does not bog your mind down. Other topics such as forgiveness of oneself and others are there as well. We see two characters deal with a tragedy that had not been appropriately handled as children and the different ways these two characters react. The topics of war, the biblical views on war, and the fact that war is not a fun time for most people, as well as the fact that soldiers have to deal with what is required of them during war emotionally. The Warrior Maiden is the 8th installment into a series that Melanie Dickerson has written, but I will say this. I was unaware of this fact till about 20% of the way through and while there were references to the other stories I was able to enjoy the book, the story, and the characters even without any previous knowledge of the overarching storyline of the series. The storyline drew me in, the characters that were supposed to be likable were very much so, and the characters that were supposed to be disliked did a fantastic job of making you dislike them. I will recommend this book to anyone who asks what I think and probably a few others as well. I look forward to tracking down the rest of the books in this series as Mrs.Dickerson has a writing style that is easy and enjoyable to read as well as a knack for storytelling.  We here at Geek Devotions encourage you to go grab a copy here in a few weeks when the book is released or better yet go pre-order it where ever you purchase your books.
AFCTL 22 days ago
I received a complimentary copy of 'The Warrior Maiden' from 'Thomas Nelson' in exchange for an honest review, and all opinions expressed in this review are mine and mine alone. Mulan's father never loved her mother, so it wasn't much of a surprise that Mulan didn't feel much towards him, either. Upon his death, Mulan takes his name and his horse, posing as his son in order to fight in the war in her father's place. Prophecised to be a warrior, Mulan sets off to battle, determined to keep her secret and her mother safe. Wolfgang doesn't want to fight his brother at war, but with Steffan determined to be reckless, he can do nothing but watch in dispair. When Mikolai, a strange young man, joins his camp at battle, Wolfgang finds himself thrown into a whirlwind of secrets and unresolved feelings. Okay, wow! I am absolutely in love with 'The Warrior Maiden'! It has kick-ass characters, epic fight scenes, conflict and an awesome set of lead characters! What more could I honestly ask for in a Historical novel? There was obviously a lot of research done for 'The Maiden Warrior' but it certainly paid off as it was all seamlessly written in to creat a diverse and steady pace plot. Along with the fact that it follows one of my child hood favourite stories, it also demonstrates how desperate families can get to protect one another, and the things that they will do to protect them. I was also given a lot more insight to hw these battles went down. I also loved how this novel didn't only focus on Mulan / Mikolai's character, there was a plot behind Steffan and Wolfgang too, which all helped make the ending of the book that much more impactful. My verdict, you ask? Read it! This is a wonderful book full of amazing writing and suspensful plot, and a little bit of romance thrown in the mix. If you enjoy all those things, I certainly recommend this book!
Nicnac63 22 days ago
I have never seen the movie Mulan, or really know much about the story, so I didn’t know what to expect from this story. I have read other stories by Melanie Dickerson though and enjoy her writing style. The Warrior Maiden (book 9 of the Hagenheim series) is action-packed. Although it’s part of a series, it works as a standalone. (I’ve only read one other book in this series.) I really enjoyed Mulan’s fearlessness and her willingness and ability to step into a world foreign male world. I can’t even imagine trying to pull this off. This story deals with many harsh and unfair realities and tackles them nicely. Although parts were a bit unrealistic in my eyes (such as Mulan’s transformation) I still enjoyed this tale. Opening Line: Galloping her horse past the bit oak tree, Mulan pulled the bow string taut. I received a review copy and was under no obligation to post a review. Opinions expressed are completely my own.
DJMynatt 23 days ago
After the death of her father, Mulan chooses to take his place so she can assume his duties… and pretends to be a man! As Mikolai, the son of her father, she was expected to fight against the Teutonic Knights. Her mother would be all right and their home wouldn’t be taken from them. At least she didn’t have to marry the smelly butcher who seems to only want her to care for himself and his mother. Wolfgang bravely joins the other soldiers to help Poland, but he doesn’t think much of the young soldier Mikolai. Of course, once Wolfgang finds out that Mikolai is really a young woman, he feels compelled to protect her at all cost! I enjoyed reading about Mulan and Wolfgang… and you will, too. Melanie Dickerson creates wonderful, realistic fairy tale re-tellings… Once you begin reading one of her stories, you’ll forget it’s a fairytale re-telling until the end, when you’re delightfully surprised!
Anonymous 10 days ago
We all know the tale: a tomboyish Asian girl takes up the sword in her father's place pretending to be a man and saving the world through her hidden wommanness at the same time. This book puts quite the spin on that tale. There have been many updated fairy tales in the past dozen years or so (this is the ninth in a series of retold fairies, and my second attempt at the series) and they often change the original story. Otherwise, everyone would only read the originals and these new books would have nothing to offer. I'm not always a fan of the changes authors choose to make, like taking this story out of Asia and dropping it into fifteenth century Lithuania, but it's not as bad as it could have been. Mulan herself hasn't been whitewashed, at least. The tale of Mulan will always be a story about a girl doing things that would have been out of place for a normal woman of her time, but I still think the author makes the anachronisms worse with excerpts like this: “It wasn't that she couldn't marry him, but that she'd rather take her chances as a soldier. After all, she'd always been terrible at cooking and humbling herself to men—even her own father.” Soldier or not, rebel or not, no fifteenth century Eastern European woman is going to think like that. It's just not realistic. At the same time, this Mulan is much more of a weenie than the Disney Mulan, who was all for killing the Huns and being a proper warrior. This Mulan squeals at the sight of blood and gets dizzy at the thought that her arrow might kill someone. Um, what were you practicing archery for all this time if not to kill things? She's quite gag-worthy at times. Not long after this, Mulan is perfectly content to just hang out and chit chat about God with her new beau, not worrying about how she doesn't want to “humble herself” to a man. As long as that man is nice, humbling yourself to him is fine, apparently. All this for a guy who, though he has known she's a woman for a while now, only thinks she's beautiful once she's put on gender-appropriate clothes and makeup. Sounds like a keeper to me. Marrying him would definitely be better than being humbled by that nice boy from your hometown who left everything to help you go to war. Sadly though, no grandmother shouting at the hotness of Mulan's boytoy “Whoo-ee, sign me up for the next war!” Very much a missed opportunity. By far my biggest complaint about the book is the rampant Christian proselytizing. I don't mind when characters in a book are religious, especially when it makes sense for the time, but this goes way overboard. It's “Go with God” and “I pray to God” and “God in Heaven” constantly. Maybe the author truly believes that's how people talked at this time, but it constantly makes me uncomfortable as I'm reading. I just really hope this is marketed clearly as Christian Fiction. TL;DR: If you're a Christian and you like to remain in your comfy feedback loop, this book will be great. It is NOT historical fiction. It is Christian fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. And when I requested this book from Netgalley, the book was categorized as Historical Fiction and Teens & YA, only. In the description of the book, there is not a single mention of God, Christianity, or religion of any kind. I only found out after I had won the book that it was the ninth in a series of Christian Fiction books.