The Captive Maiden, by Melanie Dickerson was an easy and enjoyable retelling of Cinderella. In this portrayal, our Cinderella is named Gisella and since she was young, she dreamt of marrying Valten. Unfortunately, after her fathers death, her stepmother took away any notion of family and set about trying to oppress her. The sheer level of wicked evil done by the stepmother and Gisela’s stepsisters was disheartening. Luckily though, Dickerson does not make us wait to long to have our hero and heroine run in to each other. When they first met in the marketplace, Valten was saving Gisella from Ruexner, a meeting that would unfortunately replay itself later in the story as well.
What I liked about this story was the fresh re-telling of Cinderella. While my favorite will probably always be Ever After with Drew Barrymore, The Captive Maiden does a good job at telling the story. What I did not like was the repeated gullibility of Gisella. Why would she allow herself to be duped in the manner she was? Then again, later in the book we see the same almost easy ‘surrender’ on the part of our main heroes. Some of the emotional scenes did not need to happen. I could have done with our main hero only being saved once as opposed to every other minute. Even so, I did enjoy this book a lot and appreciated the Christian retelling of Cinderella.
As such, I am giving The Captive Maiden 4/5 stars for a good story that would have been great if there had been less action and more focus on the two characters and who they are as people. Then again, in reading other books in Dickerson’s series, they are much the same. Bottom line, if you enjoy fairy tales and are interested in reading a Christian retelling, this is the book for you. Is is clean and more wholesome than most young adult reading material these days.