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Category Archives: Forgiveness

The Illusionist’s Apprentice, by Kristy Cambron

This Jazz Age story sparkling with enchanting descriptions and believable characters makes my heart smile. 

The Illusionist’s Apprentice has many dark places… but at each turn and shadow, there lives the promise of light and the reminder that darkness and evil cannot win. In spite of brushes with death and hatred, main characters Wren and Elliott are determined to keep a hold on hope.

Rooted in history, well-researched truth mingles with fiction. Though the majority of the book takes place in the late 1920s, there are flashbacks of sorts throughout, giving us as readers bits of backstory. I at first thought I wanted more of that background early on… but as I really delved into the heart of the story, I changed my mind. Each look back gives a very timely peek into Wren’s locked-tight past, each glimpsing a little deeper than we’d seen before — until we really understand this complex young woman who is as adept an illusionist off the stage as she is on it. 

Kristy Cambron did an excellent job with this latest release, and I very much recommend it. 

I want to compare this one to vanilla bean scones. There is much assuredness of hand-in-hand in this book, of “I’ll be right here no matter what”, and of hope anchored in the midst of life’s storms… and there is such comfort in that. Vanilla bean scones just seem to speak of that kind of familiarity and constantness to me that I found in these pages, so they seem to fit well. 

 

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The Golden Braid, by Melanie Dickerson 

Simply put, I loved this book. It made me smile, and it engaged both my imagination and my heart.

The Golden Braid, as one might guess, tells the story of Rapunzel. It’s a story for every girl (no matter her age) who has ever dreamt of being a princess… for each one who has ever pretended she lived in a castle and wore twirly dresses to the ball.

As a young woman, Rapunzel has grown up always being taught to be wary of anyone and everyone, particularly men. While her soft heart is lonely and discontent because deep inside she desperately wants more, she feels a fierce loyalty to her adoptive mother. One day Rapunzel discovers a way to feed her hunger for knowledge by fulfilling one of her lifelong dreams — learning to read. An unexpected series of events finds Rapunzel in situations she wouldn’t have ever imagined, and she begins to learn what it means to learn what it means to love like Jesus.

Melanie Dickerson enchanted me as a reader with this reimagining of Rapunzel’s story. I’m enchanted like I am by chocolate cake. Rich in texture and flavor, chocolate cake and The Golden Braid make me want to eat dessert first.. and to read before anything else.

*This is actually the sixth book in a series… which I realized about 2/3 of the way through it. If you, like me, accidentally read them out of order, it’s not the end of the world. If you want to get the most out of the story though, you should probably go in order. That being said, this story is complete and can stand alone, as can all the others.