**Disclaimer: I was given a free ARC in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.**
Title The Peasant’s Dream (Hagenheim #11)
Author Melanie Dickerson
Release Date July 7, 2020
Publisher Thomas Nelson
Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon, and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. Edan, the boy she loves, is gone–perhaps forever–and no sooner does she set foot in the Autumn Palace than she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to ke
Adela is the youngest daughter of Duke Wilhelm of Hagenheim and is never allowed outside of the castle walls. She loves her family, but she sneaks away one day to the market in the town center. There she meets a handsome young man and wonders what it might be like to fall in love with a poor farmer with a kind heart instead of marrying the man her family is suggesting for her.
Frederick earns the income for his family and defends his mother from his father’s drunken rages. He also uses his talent and creativity to carve figures, animals, and scenes into wood, and he’s asked to carve these scenes into cathedral doors when his talent is noticed. Frederick is inspired by the sweet and beautiful Adela, but he has no knowledge of her true identity. When he gets swept up into a plan to kidnap the duke’s daughter, both are shaken by what they learn about the other.
With the heartbroken Adela resigned to an arranged marriage with her noble suitor, Frederick must decide what he’s willing to risk for love.
I was excited to read this gender bent Cinderella story. I hadn’t heard of or read any of the other books in the series, but I was told I could read them separately without issue.
Some Things I Liked
- Cinderella in an unexpected way. I had never read a gender bent Cinderella story before and was excited to see how that would work. There were many familiar elements but I liked what elements were left out because they simply were unfeasible with a male main character.
- A sweet romance. I liked that the romance in this story was very clean and the story would be appropriate for readers of a younger age.
- Religion worked into the story in an appropriate way. I’m not overly religious and I have read books in the past where the religious themes are forced down the reader’s throat. I thought the balance was well done here and the religious references and elements felt organic to the setting and time period.
One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About
- While I mentioned that the romance is appropriate for younger audiences, there is a theme of physical and emotional abuse in this story that might not be suitable for younger audiences. Please take note that abuse is both a theme and a featured portion of the story. While I understand the purpose of this, I found it to be cruel and unnecessarily detailed for the nature of the story.
I enjoyed this book. While this one contains spoilers for the others that came before it, the nature of this series essentially spoiled those stories before I even read this. (Effectively, I assumed these all have happy endings, therefore, knowing if they did, isn’t really a spoiler for me.) I would read the other books in the series.
I liked this book and I want to read the others in the series. I’m glad I stumbled upon this series.
Recommendations for Further Reading
- The other books in the Hagenheim series. If, like me, you read this one out of order, definitely check out the other books in the series.
- Rogue Princess by B.R. Myer – if you enjoyed the Cinderella retelling angle but wanted a sci-fi setting, try this February 2020 release.