To be honest, I didn't really love the romance in this book. I would have totally been here for a book where it ends with Rapunzel lives on happily with her true family and pursues reading and learning everything she can along with traveling. But on the other hand, Gerek (aka the love interest) does help her out a lot and is kind, rescues her a few times, and encourages her reading so it's not really so bad. I just never necessarily liked him that much I guess? Anyway, the rest of the story is pretty cool because you get to a see a fairy tale told in a historical setting and there's full on knights running around doing tournaments and castles being attacked and what not. It was a nice retelling of the fairy tale and I was pretty happy with how closely it stuck the original fairy tale and what they changed here and there. Gothel was pretty messed up as she usually is, but I think she was written well and I was quite scared of what she would do to keep Rapunzel with her at several points! Rapunzel herself was a nice character, though at times she seems naive, I had to remind myself that it's all she knows from living with Gothel and Gothel being strict with her. She seems pretty perfect actually, but not in an annoying way. She's really sweet, but also brave and curious. I actually ended up both relating to her and liking her a lot. I guess that one of the downsides of reading fairy tale retellings is that you know two things a) more or less how the story will end and b) they live happily ever after 99.99% of the time. The thing that's a bit different with Melanie Dickerson's retellings, I think, is that since these stories are told as "historical fairy tales" (well that's how I'd say it) there's more of a chance that the story might differ a little from the original fairy tale. Of course this can be hit or miss, but it's usually a hit with Dickerson's books. There are just enough changes to make the plot exciting and surprising, but still keep the roots of the story close by. The writing flows easily and while I wasn't picking this book up every time I got a chance, whenever I did pick it up I read several chapters pretty quickly and without really realizing that I had.
I was pretty happy with this retelling!! I really liked Rapunzel, she was so sweet and I thought her story was retold well in this historical kind of retelling that Melanie Dickerson does. Gothel was a wonderful mixture of creepy and understandable, you get scared of what she might do but you're able to see the reasons why she is so cruel when she tells Rapunzel of her past. Although I didn't really like the romance or Gerek that much it was still ok. This is a pretty quick read and if you enjoy retellings I'd definitely recommend The Golden Braid!! :)
I was provided with a copy of the book to review and the opinions stated in my review were my own.~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Goodreads • Published November 2015 • Sixth book in the Hagenheim series.