The more YA books I read, the more I find that I really enjoy them, as is the case with today’s book. Do you ever venture into the YA genre? I’d love to hear about more authors, because you know, my book shelf isn’t already overflowing as it is 😉 For the record, if you haven’t read anything by Melanie Dickerson, you are missing out!
About the Book
Orphaned and alone, Aladdin travels from the streets of his Arab homeland to a strange, faraway place. Growing up in an orphanage, he meets young Lady Kirstyn, whose father is the powerful Duke of Hagenheim. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion, and their childhood friendship grows into a bond that time and opposition cannot break.
Even as a child, Aladdin works hard, learning all he can from his teachers. Through his integrity, intelligence, and sheer tenacity, he earns a position serving as the duke’s steward. But that isn’t enough to erase the shame of being forced to steal as a small child—or the fact that he’s an orphan with no status. If he ever wants to feel equal to his beautiful and generous friend Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim and seek his fortune.
Yet once Aladdin departs, Lady Kirstyn becomes a pawn in a terrible plot. Now, Aladdin and Kirstyn must rely on their bond to save her from unexpected danger. But will saving Kirstyn cost Aladdin his newfound status and everything he’s worked so hard to obtain?
An enchanting new version of the well-known tale, The Orphan’s Wish tells a story of courage and loyalty, friendship and love, and reminds us what “family” really means.
I love retellings, when they are done right. By this I do not mean they need to mimic the classic tale we all know and love. No, I simply mean they haven’t changed the story so much that it isn’t recognizable anymore, but they have made it uniquely their own. That is exactly what Ms. Dickerson has done here. She has taken a story I love, Aladdin, and made it something so much better. Even the clever way she added Abu’s character – just a warning, Abu is NOT a monkey in this version!
What first grabbed my attention was that she chose to provide a little back story right up front. You don’t see Aladdin and Lady Kirstyn immediately grown up. Instead you see where the story truly begins – with them bonding with each other as children. I felt this was an important aspect of the story, as it gave me a realistic look into how their characters were so connected. Later on in the story when they are apart, you can understand their emotions better, and get a deeper sense of just how much love they did have for each other. Oh how I did not want Aladdin to go away, but I could certainly understand his need and desire to prove himself. Not necessarily to Lady Kirstyn and her family, but more so to himself. He wanted to prove that he was a somebody and not a nobody.
Every good story has a villain and this story is no exception. I was even surprised near the end to find out who one of the villain’s was – great job by the author on that. The villains were written so well that you really disliked them. I cringed every time I saw them on the page actually. But it kept me wanting more. I just kept reading and couldn’t stop until I saw what everyone wants to see – good defeat evil. Sometimes this comes at a high cost, and I was anxious to see how it would play out with Aladdin. Would he keep his promises, even though it was the wrong thing to do? At some points I wasn’t really sure.
If you are looking for a fast paced, adventurous read, I encourage you to read this.I promise you’ll keep the pages turning, sitting at the edge of your seat until you reach the very end! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author who combines her love for all things Medieval with her love of fairy tales, and combines her love for Jane Austen with romantic suspense. She is a Christy Award winner, a two-time Maggie Award winner, winner of The National Reader’s Choice Award and the Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing stories of love and adventure near Huntsville, Alabama. Visit her on the web at http://www.MelanieDickerson.com