The Merchant's Daughter by Melanie Dickerson is a compelling retelling of the beloved Beauty and the Beast tale. I have read three of the author's books in just as many days, and I can't wait to read another! I didn't read them in order because I didn't realize they use the same characters throughout three of the stories. It didn't ruin anything for me since I accidentally read a couple of them in order. haha But The Merchant's Daughter is a stand alone novel and is a great one to check out first. :-)
I was pleasantly surprised with how the story was written in a realistic way. The Beast is a lord of a manor and because of that he rules over the town. The Beauty is the daughter of a merchant who died three years ago leaving them destitute. Required to work at the lord's house, Annabel begins to like and respect the scarred, hurting man. Ranulf meanwhile wonders if Annabel's pretty face hides a deceitful side. He soon finds out how different she really is from his deceased wife.
One of the best parts of the story was how excited Annabel was about holding and reading a Bible. Her joy and amazement was convicting and uplifting. For some reason it seems easy to lose the wonder of the Word, but we should still react like Annabel did in the story. Plus, I loved how the truths from the Bible were woven throughout the story in such a seamless way.
This fairy tale was such a great mix of the traditional story and of the Disney cartoon, too. If you have always enjoyed fairy tales, you should definitely read this book and this series! You won't regret it. :-)