The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson ~ 352 pages ~ published 6/26/18 by Thomas Nelson
From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn. With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.
Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune.
But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.
What I Thought:
* All of my reviews are spoiler free!*
I have been a huge fan of the Hagenheim series for a while now. So, when I saw that the latest installment was available in advance on NetGalley I jumped at the chance! And I was approved! If you aren’t familiar with the Hagenheim series, each book is a Medieval fairytale retelling. Each is loosely based on various fairytales we all know and love, including such as Cinderella, Snow White, Rapunzel, etc. The Orphan’s Wish is loosely based on the story of Aladdin, and is #8 in the series.
The great thing about this series is that you really can read them as stand-alones. The characters from the previous books will show up, but it is not imperative to the story line that you know anything about their stories. I have actually missed the past few books in the series, which I was a little bit worried about when I started this one, but I needn’t have worried.
First, I must say I really appreciated Dickerson’s portrayal of Aladdin. It had enough of a nod to the traditional story that I didn’t feel like it he was completely different, but he was certainly a character that felt brand new. I really love when a retelling has its own legs to stand on. Aladdin certainly came from a childhood of stealing and being a ‘street-rat’, but he came to know the Lord and moved to Hagenheim as a small boy. He works the rest of his life trying to prove himself to be worthy, both of respect and of Lady Kirstyn’s love.
I liked Kristyn, but I had a few problems with her. Now, I realize that she was supposed to be around 17 or so when she is kidnapped, but her actions later on in the book screamed immaturity to me. I was a little bit miffed at her in the latter parts of the book. Another character that I had a few problems with was Herr Kauffmann. His actions in the latter half of the book were also frustrating. I also found his motives to be a little bit confusing. It is for these two storylines that I had to dock this book a star.
I really did love the love story that emerged for Aladdin and Kirstyn. A classic friends-to-lovers trope, but one that was done very well. It had me rooting for them the whole time, and isn’t that what you really want?
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Overall, I gave The Orphan’s Wish 4 STARS. It was a great story with thrilling adventure, and a lovely romance. I highly recommend it if you like Christian fiction with some fairytale magic mixed in!
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Love and happy reading,