Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her.When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny (summary from goodreads).
I had read lots of great reviews about this retelling of Sleeping Beauty and decided to check it out when it became available at the library. While The Healer's Apprentice is technically inspirational YA, that shouldn't deter adults from reading this updated fairy tale that comes complete with a handsome hero, evil villain and mysterious secret. Dickerson's writing transports you to medieval Saxony and I was soon completely involved in the story and the period details. Though I figured out the big secret by around Chapter 5, it was still very entertaining to read how the characters come to rely on God for assurance and direction on their way to a happy ending.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars for adults, 5 out of 5 for YA. Though I found Rose to be a little too passive and Lord Hamlin a little too perfect, that didn't spoil my enjoyment of an otherwise wonderful and engaging tale. I would have raved about this book when I was 15 and as a twenty-something I still really enjoyed it.
Source: library copy.