Book Review: Castle of Refuge by Melanie Dickerson

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Castle of Refuge
by Melanie Dickerson
Book 2 in the Dericott Tales series
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction, Fairytale Retelling
Rating: 4/5

Loosely based on the Ugly Duckling, this beautiful story about acceptance was just what I needed to read today. I am such a huge fan of Melanie Dickerson and she did not disappoint. I really liked how she set up the story. I could feel the main character, Audrey, and her feelings of unworthiness that she grew up with coming from her father and her older sister, Maris. I could feel the malice that Maris held toward her younger sister. As someone interested in psych, Maris would be a fascinating character study, but I also felt Audrey’s love for her sister and desire to see her healed. Audrey just desires to belong and be accepted while also pursuing a worthy goal. She finds that by teaching the young girls (no matter their status) to read and write. I also loved seeing how Edwin, the young Earl of Dericott, dealt with the loss of his arm. I didn’t think he would have so much trouble with his balance but his darker thoughts were very authentic and relatable. His fear of rejection and fear of being useless was similar to Audrey’s fears. They were a perfect couple. Audrey’s scars were minimal but still dearly affected her, especially in the eyes of her father. How many times do we allow our scars to define who we are? How many times do we think no one will accept us because we are different? Such a powerful and timely message about unconditional love and the power of belonging!

Highly recommend if you enjoy clean fairytale retellings with a Christian message.

My thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

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