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The Warrior Maiden ~ Review

The Warrior Maiden
Hagenheim #9
By Melanie Dickerson

Mulan has never fit into the Village of Mindius, her features have marked her as different and her childhood was filled with more mockery and scorn than friendship. Her father Mikolai is more disgusted with her than proud. But her mother Feodosia is a loving and caring person who is as true a mother to Mulan as if she were hers by blood. And when her mother's security and future are in doubt due to her father's unexpected illness and death Mulan does the only thing she can to save her mother's home - she takes her father's place as a soldier.

Mulan has considerable skill with a bow, a sword not so much but she with her friend Andrei are joining with the army headed towards the castle of Duke Konrad of Zachev in Poland. The Teutonic Knights under the authority given them by Rome to bring the heathen masses into the Church or destroy them. And if given a choice, destruction seems to be the preferred method under Rudorf's leadership.

Wolfgang and Steffan are being sent by their father from Hagenheim to aid in the defense of Duke Konrad's people. Where Wolfgang is eager to aid in the defense of the innocent Steffan just sees it as their father again trying to impose his will and beliefs on them. Both young men see this opportunity as a chance to put their skills to the test, but Steffan isn't about to take a stand against the sanctioned defenders of the Church. With the choice before them what path will each take and will it be one that honors their family? Or will it be a wound from which they will never recover?

The Warrior Maiden is the latest addition to the Hagenheim series and is just as delightful as the rest. It is interesting to see how Wolfgang and Steffan react to the situation they find themselves in and how a shared event in their past has affected them in their present. Their reactions, their beliefs, and even their strained relationship with each other. Wolfgang, Steffan, and Mulan are all similar in that they are very stubborn and can't see another's viewpoint due to this singleness of vision.

Fans of Melanie Dickerson will love her retelling of Mulan and if you've never read her before you can easily start with this book.  The characters are well developed and the setting adds a twist that is fresh and unique. Perfect for tweens and up who want clean reading that leaves you feeling good and not depressed when the final page is turned. And if nothing else pick it just because of the cover - it is gorgeous!

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations but that I offer my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.

About the Book:

She knew a woman was expected to marry, cook, and 
have children, not go to war. Can she manage to stay 
alive, save her mother, and keep the handsome son of a
duke from discovering her secret?

When Mulan decides to take her father’s place in battle against the besieging Teutonic Knights, she realizes she has been preparing for this moment her whole life—and that her life, and her mother’s, depends on her success. As the adopted daughter of poor parents, she has little power in the world. If she can’t prove herself on the battlefield, she could face death—or, perhaps worse, marriage to the village butcher.

In her disguise as a young man, Mulan meets Wolfgang, the German duke’s son who is determined to save his people even if it means fighting against his own brother. Wolfgang is exasperated by the young soldier who seems to be one step away from disaster at all times—or showing Wolfgang up in embarrassing ways.

From rivals to reluctant friends, Mulan and Wolfgang begin to share secrets with one another. But war is an uncertain time and dreams can die as quickly as they are born. When Mulan receives word of danger back home, she must make the ultimate choice. Could she be the son her bitter father never had? Or would she become the strong young woman she has been created to be?

This fresh reimagining of the classic tale takes us to fifteenth-century Lithuania where both love and war challenge the strongest of hearts.

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~ Blooming with Books