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The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson

The Warrior Maiden (edition 2019)

by Melanie Dickerson (Author)

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337502,374 (3.36)None
Title:The Warrior Maiden
Authors:Melanie Dickerson (Author)
Info:Thomas Nelson (2019), 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson



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I had so many high expectations for this book – an adaptation of Mulan with a beautiful cover? Sign me up! – but I ended up being so, so disappointed with this book. If I had realized that, not only was it part of a larger series but it was a YA Christian historical romance that effectively white-washed Mulan into a good Christian, Lithuanian woman, I would have chosen another book instead.

If you’re familiar with the Disney movie Mulan, the plot is basically the same: Mulan disguises herself as boy and goes to war to take the place of her father, Mulan has some hero moments and impresses her compatriots, Mulan falls in love with some guy she meets on the battlefield, Mulan lives happily ever after.

Except, in this book, although she is still Asian (technically, half-Asian), she is raised in Lithuania in a Christian household that effectively serves to strip away everything that made Mulan, Mulan. I understand that the author had to move her to Europe to fit into the rest of her series, but I feel like it didn’t work. The book focused on the tension of Mulan being female yet at the same time ignoring the tension that would have existed due to the fact that she was Asian in Medieval Europe. I feel like it wasn’t a concept that the author cared about nor felt the need to pursue, and it really took away from the story.

Honestly, the whole tone of the book was so juvenile (even for YA). Not only was there insta-love between exactly who you’d expect there to be insta-love between, but the one-dimensionality of the characters and the overt moral theme (the characters were either “good” or they were “bad” – there were no in-between, morally-complex characters). Also, I really hated how, once Wolfgang found out Mikolai was Mulan, he decided that it was his moral duty to protect her as if she was a fragile damsel-in-distress, even though SHE HAD PROVED HERSELF ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE; and let’s not even mention the fact that, for the climax of the book – the ultimate showdown – Mulan was sidelined.

The author managed to take a story about a strong, independent Chinese woman, set it in Medieval Europe, and turn it into a story about a half-white Lithuanian, Christian woman who was strong – but only until she had a man to rescue her.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. ( )
  Allison_Krajewski | Mar 31, 2019 |
4.5 stars

I admit I haven’t watched or read anything about Mulan, so Melanie Dickerson’s retelling was completely new to me. But Dickerson’s story was great.

Mulan is a likable character with her quiet manner, courage, commitment to her mother, and faith in God. Strong, competent Wolfgang makes an excellent complement to her.

Dickerson expertly balances strained family relationships, political contentions, battlefield action, and a sweet and steady romance, giving readers an engaging, exciting, and thoroughly fulfilling story.

As hard as it is to choose just one, The Warrior Maiden may be my favorite of Dickerson’s retellings yet.

Disclosure statement:
I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. ( )
  Suzie27 | Feb 17, 2019 |
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." ( )
  BeautyintheBinding | Feb 16, 2019 |
“The Warrior Maiden” by Melanie Dickerson has it all! Action, adventure, romance, faith and girl power! This is a Mulan retelling that takes place primarily in medieval Lithuania and Poland. I love this time period and Ms. Dickerson does a wonderful job incorporating the culture of the time into her story.

I really love the main character in this story, Mulan. She is a kick-butt heroine, but she’s also not obnoxious and in your face. I love how she grows personally throughout the story and in her relationship with God. She learns that God can indeed be trusted. Mulan gives credit to God for her abilities and victories and knows that God made her brave and fierce for a purpose. I also love the romance with Wolfgang.

During this time period, it is seen as witchcraft when a woman fights or dresses as a man. This story stresses seeing women as an equal. I love all the ways Mulan is able to prove herself and show that she is often just as capable as a man.

Mulan’s story really touched me, because as Christians, God calls us to be warriors for Him. Sometimes we have to do brave and hard things. It really inspired me to step out and trust that God will help me.

This is a wonderful book that is appropriate and entertaining for the whole family!

Content: This is a clean read with some minor content. I give it a PG rating. Some examples of the content are: mention of alcohol and a person being drunk; allusion to a woman’s chest; a child is born out of wedlock and a man has a mistress; mention of the devil; innuendos.
Rating: I give this book 5 stars!

Genre: Christian fiction; Fairy tale retelling; Romance

I want to thank Melanie Dickerson and Thomas Nelson Publishing for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255. ( )
  Meganleigh844 | Feb 14, 2019 |
Hagenheim series. Traditional tales reimagined.

Usually I love Melanie Dickerson's work. This ninth book in the Hagenheim series, a reimagination of fifteenth century Lithuania and Poland just didn't stir me. I found the lead characters Mulan and Wolfgang to be wooden in their interactions and their reflections.
Mulan is the illegitimate daughter of a soldier brought back to his small Lithuanian village to live as a family with his barren wife who longed for a child. A prophecy for Mulan by a visiting friar when she was six, that she "would conquer an oppressor in a foreign land and a nation would call [her] blessed,” together with her faith in God, gives Mulan strength.
Mikolai has been called to battle by his Lord Butautas. "He is to report to Vilkaviškis to join the army in fighting the Teutonic Knights who have besieged his ally's castle [Duke Konrad of Zachev] in Poland.”
However Mikolai has died. Mulan disguises herself as Mikolai's supposed son so that her mother will not loose her meager home.
I liked Mulan's bravery in the face of impossible odds. I enjoyed her struggles with how to be a man in an encampment of soldiers. I loved the support she has from twelve year old Andrei, her father Mikolai's attendant in the last two wars he fought in.
I thought the break between Wolfgang and his brother Steffan (Duke Konrad's two sons), the causes, the interaction with each other gave depth to them as characters, but again in speech and interaction they were just flat.
The relationship between Mulan and Wolfgang grows from awkward and initially jealousy on Wolfgang's part, into one of respect and support, even when he discovers Mulan is a woman.
Dickerson's research into the backgrounds for her story is solid and her author's notes as always are a pleasure to read.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. ( )
  eyes.2c | Feb 5, 2019 |
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"From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a fresh reimagining of the classic Mulan tale. Mulan isn't afraid to pretend to be a son and assume her father's soldier duties in war. But what happens when the handsome son of a duke discovers her secret? Mulan is trying to resign herself to marrying the village butcher for the good of her family, but her adventurous spirit just can't stand the thought. At the last minute, she pretends to be the son her father never had, assumes his duties as a soldier, and rides off to join the fight to protect the castle of her liege lord's ally from the besieging Teutonic Knights. Wolfgang and his brother Steffan leave Hagenheim with several other soldiers to help their father's ally in Poland. When they arrive, Wolfgang is exasperated by the young soldier Mikolai who seems to either always be one step away from disaster . . . or showing Wolfgang up in embarrassing ways. When Wolfgang discovers his former rival and reluctant friend Mikolai is actually a girl, he is determined to protect her. But battle is a dangerous place where anything can happen--and usually does. When Mulan receives word that her mother has been accused of practicing witchcraft through her healing herbs and skills, Mulan's only thought is of defending her. Will she be able to trust Wolfgang to help? Or will sacrificing her own life be the only way to save her mother?"--… (more)

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