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The merchant's daughter
Dickerson, Melanie.

Personal Author:
Physical Description:
284 pages ; 22 cm
In 1352 England, seventeen-year-old Annabel, granddaughter of a knight and a would-be nun, eludes a lecherous bailiff but falls in love with Lord Le Wyse, the ferocious and disfigured man to whom her family owes three years of indentured servitude, in this tale loosely based on Beauty and the Beast.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 5.5 13.0 151287.
Pub Date:
Zondervan, 2011.


Home Location
Material Type
Shelf Number
Central - Houston Public Library Teen/Young Adult Fiction Teen Book DICKE
Collier - Houston Public Library Teen/Young Adult Fiction Teen Book DICKE
Walter - Houston Public Library Teen/Young Adult Fiction Teen Book DICKE
Young - Houston Public Library Teen/Young Adult Fiction Teen Book DICKE

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An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf's bailiff--a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past. Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff's vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger. Ranulf's future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

To pay off debts owed by her spoiled merchant-class family members, and escape a marriage to the repulsive town bailiff, 17-year-old Annabel forgoes her desire to enter a nunnery and chooses three years of indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf Le Wyse. Rumors around the village paint him as a cursed, hideous man, beastly in nature. However, when she is attacked by the bailiff, it's Lord le Wyse who determines to protect her, even if it means his own life. Slowly, an unbreakable bond is forged between them. Intertwining the lore from The Beauty and Beast and strong biblical messages, Dickerson (The Healer's Apprentice, 2010) manages a heartfelt romance that will stick with readers, not only for its morality but for the exploration of a woman's place within fourteenth-century English Christianity. True, readers will peg the happy ending at the start, but the progression of Annabel's honorable love affair will have the rapt attention of Christian-fiction fans.--Jones, Courtney Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Dickerson's second novel (after The Healer's Apprentice) is a twist on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale (with a little Cinderella thrown in). Annabel, the daughter of a once-wealthy merchant, must become an indentured servant to get her family out of debt after her father's death leaves them in dire straits. Her new master is Lord -Ranulf le Wyse, who is so disfigured physically and emotionally that Annabel would rather die than have to serve him. Over time, she comes to see that there is more to him than meets the eye. VERDICT Dickerson's writing doesn't meet the high expectations set by her acclaimed debut. The pacing sometimes lags, and the conflict is not believable enough. Still, adult and YA readers who enjoyed the previous novel will pick this one up. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-After her father's death, the daughter of a once-wealthy merchant is sent to pay off her family's debt through three years of indentured servitude to her town's new lord. Annabel fears his mangled appearance and rumored ill temper will be more than she can bear. Her only desire is to learn to read the Bible and find escape in a nunnery. When the unseemly bailiff offers a way out of her debt through marriage, she refuses and suffers the consequences. Annabel finds unexpected protection from him in the Lord Ranulf le Wyse. Set in medieval England, this romantic tale explores friendship, religion, and, above all else, love. Though the ending may seem predictable, the journey is unexpected, and readers will find themselves rooting for Annabel's happiness as the story takes an unexpected turn that threatens to bring down all involved. References to the Bible blend seamlessly into the story, more as a historical reference to its influence at the time, but some readers may not identify with Annabel's faith. Written with purposeful similarities to "Beauty and the Beast," this story will resonate most with young women trying to find themselves. The book takes some time to draw readers in, but once it does, they will be compelled to find out if Annabel will release the one thing she thought was most important to her for something she never knew she wanted.-Danielle Farinacci, Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, San Francisco, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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