The Orphan's Wish

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Aug 2018

Member Reviews

I really like the fact that Melanie Dickerson has taken Medieval Fairy Tales and developed full novels from them. These well known stories have been transformed over and over so it was truly brave to step out with this series. This story of Aladdin and Kirstyn is my first read of the series. I enjoyed it so much! The plot is full of emotion, action and well developed characters that were easy to come to care about. This book makes me want to read the entire series. It's a heartwarming take of love with a good deal of anxiety and danger told in a believable story line. It is excellently done.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for my advanced reader's copy.
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This is Mrs. Dickerson's version of the story of Aladdin and though the book is part of her Medieval Fairy Tale series - it's written to be read as a stand-alone. So I know that typically you should not judge a book by its cover, but I love the cover of this book! The colors, the script for the title and the overall Arabic design - give the book an adventurous feel and it absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately although the book was good and the plot was very well written - it's not one of my favorite books that Mrs. Dickerson has written.  I feel like there were too many flashbacks from when Aladdin and Lady Kirstyn were younger and it caused the story to lag a bit in the middle, However it did pick up towards the end of the book and I loved it when I could I see a piece of the fairy tale intertwined into the story. 
Overall, the characters were great and the plot engaging, I give the book 4 out of 5 stars ****
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t’s not a year of me reading if there isn’t a new Melanie Dickerson for me to get my teeth into. This was an Aladdin retelling with a Christian spin, part of her Hagenheim series. I enjoyed it as usual. I always enjoy the Hagenheim books. I’m really excited for the Mulan one in 2019!
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The Orphan's Wish, a retelling of Aladdin, was a cute read. I heard mixed reviews on it, so I didn't have high expectations for the read. I was pleasantly surprised to actually like it. 

Parts of the story were unbelievable and the romance was a little blah, but I did like how the story of Aladdin was portrayed. Abu was adorable.

All in all, The Orphan's Wish was a nice read. I'm glad I read it and look forward to the next book.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
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This is a loose retelling of Aladdin by Melanie Dickerson. I did enjoy the characters of Kirstyn, Aladdin, and Abu, but I just had a hard time connecting with this story in any way. I just had a problem with the dialogue and the writing style. This might be because I'm not a young adult (even though it's one of my favorite genres). The writing was very simplistic and some was repetitive. Example, everyone says Aladdin is "perfect.

That being said, Dickerson did a great job of taking you through the early years of Kirstyn and Aladdin's friendship without the "instalove" that so many Young Adult genres seem to favor. I also loved how Aladdin's Christian faith was highlighted. What I did enjoy was that this is a "clean" young adult book that I could recommend to anyone. So many books in this genre seem to have more adult content than I feel is appropriate for everyone in this genre. This was my first Dickerson book and I do plan on picking up a few earlier ones in this series to give them a try as well. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks to the Publisher, Thomas Nelson, as well as Netgalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Based off the classic tale of Aladdin.  I didn't feel as if it stayed very close to the original which while okay made it even less believable.  I appreciate good, honest characters but when they become almost too good, I start to feel disconnected.  This story had just a few too perfect characters.
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About this book:

“From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn. With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.
Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune.
But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.”


Series: Book #8 in the “Hagenheim” series. {Reviews of #1 Here, #2 Here, #3 Here, #4 Here, #5 Here!, #6 Here!, and #7 Here!} {You do not have to read this series in order to understand them, but I highly recommend that you do read them in order.}


Spiritual Content- Scriptures are mentioned, quoted, read, & remembered; Many Prayers & Thanking God; Going to churches/chapels to pray; Talks about God & Witnessing; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Many mentions of God & Jesus; Many mentions of prayers, praying, & thanking God; Mentions of witnessing & talks about God; Mentions of Jesus on the cross & crucifixes; Mentions of Bibles; Mentions of churches/chapels/cathedrals, church going, priests, stained glass, & angels; Mentions of Christians; Mentions of being baptized & a baptism; Mentions of being blessed; A few mentions of those in the Bible; A few mentions of Heaven; A few mentions of pilgrims; A couple mentions of Godfearing people; A mention of a miracle; A mention of a cross necklace; A mention of a godsend; A mention of a sin;
*Note: Mentions of evil people & their actions/words; A few mentions of a man having Satan on his side; A couple mentions of the devil; A mention of a fiend from hell; A mention of a demon spirit.


Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘stupid’ and two ‘shut up’s; A couple mentions of courses (said, not written); Fights, Fighting, & Killing someone (up to semi-detailed); Being hit, passing out, pain, blood/bleeding, & being kidnapped and tied up (up to semi-detailed); Kirstyn has flashbacks & triggers of her kidnapper and attack (up to semi-detailed); A bear attack, being bitten/hurt badly from it, pain, & blood/bleeding (also seeing it happen, up to semi-detailed); Being slapped (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of a kidnapping, believing someone might be dead, blood/bleeding, & wounds/injuries (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of a (physically) abusive relationship & seeing it (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of beatings & pain (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of a bear attack, pain, & blood/bleeding (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of punishments & threats of cutting off a body part & beatings (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of wanting to slit someone’s throat; Mentions of wanting to sell a fellow human; Mentions of threats; Mentions of fights, fighting, weapons, & blood/bleeding (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of a (planned) hanging/execution; Mentions of deaths & illnesses (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of stealing, robbing, cheating, & thieves/outlaws; Mentions of poison; Mentions of alcohol/wine, drinking, & breweries; Mentions of hatred; Mentions of lies, lying, & liars; Mentions of gossip & rumors; Mentions of nightmares; A few mentions of wars & battles; A few mentions of threats of killing; A few mentions of human & animal waste; A few mentions of throwing up; A couple mentions of gambling; A couple mentions of screams.


Sexual Content- a fingers kiss, four cheek kisses, a not-detailed kiss, three barely-above-not-detailed kisses, two semi-detailed kisses, and a boarder-line semi-detailed // detailed kiss; Staring at another’s lips (barely-above-not-detailed); Wanting to give/receive a kiss & touch (barely-above-not-detailed); Touches, Embraces, & Nearness (x2, barely-above-not-detailed); Remembering a (cheek) kiss & warmth (barely-above-not-detailed); Blushes; Noticing (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of kisses, kissing, & wanting to kiss (barely-above-not-detailed); A couple mentions of seeing a couple kissing; A mention of a man looking up and down at Kirstyn; A mention of lecherous eyes; Love, falling in love, & the emotions;
*Note: A few mentions of a young teen boy’s bare chest & a girl blushing; A few mentions of young women’s figures being full and conducive to having children; A couple mentions of a wife who died in childbirth; A couple mentions of not being molested; A mention of a brother trying to molest his cousin/adopted sister (he was caught before anything happened).

-(Lady) Kirstyn, age 16-17(?)
-Aladdin, age 18-19(?)
P.O.V. switches between them
Set in 1414-1415 (Also a chapter or so in 1401, 1403, 1406, 1409, 1410; Epilogue set two years later) {Medieval}
352 pages

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Pre Teens- One Star
New Teens- One Star
Early High School Teens- Three Stars
Older High School Teens- Four Stars
My personal Rating- Four Stars
{Best for 14/15+ due to romance and some content.}
While not my favorite fairy tale, personally, or my new favorite Melanie Dickerson book, this was a fun read!
It was different with many the flashbacks at the beginning, but I do like seeing their history together. Since typically in “romance” books, it’s more common to see the main couple meeting for the first time in the book, having a childhood friendship was really sweet and a nice touch.
I liked Kirstyn’s heart for orphans and, honestly, her goal is my goal. ;) Aladdin was a unique character and it was neat to see Miss Melanie’s take on his personality. Both of their faiths were shown an incredible amount of time and I definitely love it. Near the end, it did get a bit kissier than I was expecting, but overall still pretty clean.
That Epilogue was the cutest thing and made me grin. :)


*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Thomas Nelson) for this honest review.
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I have never read an Aladdin retelling quite like this. Aladdin was an orphan who was rescued by Kirstyn's family, and the two are raised together. They go on many adventures as they are children, but then Aladdin wants to make a life for himself rather than staying under Kirstyn's family. A little while after he leaves, Kirstyn is found in an extremely dangerous situation, and it may be up to Aladdin to save her life. 

This was an amazing romance story/fairy tale retelling. I honestly couldn't remember much about this novel when I did read it a few months after plucking it from NetGalley, so I was in for a sweet, sweet surprise. Everything flowed smoothly and there was just enough suspense to back up the more typical historical fantasy parts of the story. I fell in love with their romance and wanted for them to be able to get their happily ever after. 

There were no editing errors in this advanced copy of the book, and the plot moved quite smoothly. The story was not short but I did not feel like it took me ages to finish reading it. I couldn't put the book down once I started reading it!

My favorite thing about this novel was the character development. We go to see Aladdin and Kirstyn grow from small children to capable adults who happened to fall in love with one another. They connected in a way that people around them just couldn't understand, but their relationship did go through several stages as they got older. They weren't born falling in love with each other, it was a process. I was just happy that the author showed a healthy boy/girl friendship before they became an official couple. 

I really have nothing to complain about with this story! It was just such an enjoyable read, and I would definitely recommend it to people who like fantasy-romance stories and fairy tale retellings. 

I received an advance copy of this book, and this is my voluntary review.
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This was a beautifully crafted book!  I enjoyed the story line and the characters were likable. I especially liked the character of Alladin.  He stood up for what was right no matter the cost.  Thank you for a clean and lovely book.
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This book was an interesting retelling and take on the Aladdin myth! I enjoyed the plot and the characters, this was a good read and would be well suited to a teenage audience. At times I found a lull in the action but would soon get taken back into the story. Thanks so much to Netgalley for the ARC, this is a 4 stars out of 5.
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I’m such a fan of Melanie’s and this book was perfect! I loved it so much and would read it again for sure! Thank you so much for the ARC!!
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This book is a historical fiction based on the 1400s and I thought it would be great as it was a retelling of Aladdin. I found this book to be intriguing, suspenseful, including love and loss and love with the hope of rescue. I enjoyed the details she went into in this story and it really caught my attention. It made me happy, scared and sad sometimes, with an eagerness to find out what happens next and to keep on reading. The main female character's courage was inspiring in the way of how she faced her fears. 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I am not a fan of re-tellings. I think that may be my overall issue with this story and the Silent Songbird, book 7 in this series. I didn't realize it was part of a series until after the fact as it is not mentioned on the request. 

I think I'm a bit too set in a particular retelling style that this once just did wow me or grab my obsessiveness like some other books might. The fact that it started off slow and not in a good way, didn't help much either.

The fact that I finished it was a plus. It's not my cup of tea, but the interesting way the Aladdin lore is retold may grab its intended audience rather well. I find it really disappointing that kids don't have imagination any more and can't see in their mind anything beyond the 21st century or even the 20th. The 1600-1800s has a lot of unique cultural differences that romanticizes relationships and in a retelling like this, I think it adds a unique aspect to the story that would be different if this story were written the exact same way, but in 2018 with iphones and unbelievable technology.

3.5 stars.
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Rating 4/5

I really liked this retelling! I have only ever read one Aladdin retelling and that was focused on the Villain and his perspective so this was a welcome  retreat from my normal reads! I haven't read any other books in the series and don't feel that I really needed to. There were few parallels to the Disney version, but I like that in retellings because that is the point of them! It's not to *copy* someone else's version but to create your own so this hit the mark for sure!
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I enjoyed this book a lot. Aladdin was a determined young man. He wanted to prove he was not just another orphan. He had a special friendship with with Lady Kirstyn. Lady Kirstyn always had a heart for orphans. Aladdin decides he must make his own way in life. Lady Kirsten is kidnapped. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we expect. Another fairy retale by this author. There are excellent  lessons to be gleaned and it’s a great book for teens and adults.
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The Orphan’s Wish, by Melanie Dickerson, is a marvelous book.  It tells the story of an orphan boy, Aladdin, and Lady Kirstyn, whose father is the powerful Duke of Hagenheim. 

Aladdin, orphaned at a young age, is taken from his Arabic homeland to Hagenheim, where he grows up in an orphanage. When he and Lady Kirstyn meet as children, they become fast friends. But as they grow older, Aladdin knows that he has stronger feelings for Kirstyn and will never be allowed to marry her unless he becomes wealthy and important. Leaving to make this happen, he befriends a man who employs him and treats him like a son. When he is told that Kirstyn has been kidnapped and cannot be found, he begins searching. When the kidnapper turns out to be the son of Aladdin’s employer, the situation becomes complicated and Aladdin begins to think his dreams will never come true.

This was a wonderful story.  The characters were well-developed, and the details of the time period made it educational as well as entertaining. I found myself drawn to both of the main characters. While no secondary characters stood out particularly, many of them added considerably to the story.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
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This unique retelling of Aladdin is the eighth book in the Hagenheim series.
Aladdin is born in the Middle East, but when he becomes an orphan, he is forced to steal by a cruel master who takes him in. One day, Aladdin is rescued by a kind priest and is taken far away to Hagenheim, where he befriends fellow orphans and the Duke's daughter, Lady Kirstyn. As Aladdin and Lady Kirstyn get older, they grow to be best friends, and Aladdin becomes trusted and beloved by the Duke's family and the townspeople. When Aladdin leaves to seek his fortune, he never imagines that he will unwittingly put Kirstyn in harm's way and that he will face his greatest test yet as he tries to thwart an evil plot.
I enjoy retellings of fairy tales and old legends, and this book was not an exception. Placing Aladdin in Hagenheim instead of his home country in the Middle East was creative and unique. Aladdin and Kirstyn's relationship was sweet and enduring, and the descriptive writing was excellent. I thought there was a little too much obsessive thinking about kissing, but that's typical for young adult fiction. I personally didn't agree with the Catholic influence in the book, but I realize that it's historically accurate. I got bogged down with the story in the middle, but other than that I thought the plot was well done. The romance is clean, and there is some violence, but not too much. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys retellings and historical fiction.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. A positive review was not required, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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Melanie Dickerson's latest, The Orphan's Wish, is an entertaining spin on the beloved tale of Aladdin. The 8th book in her Hagenheim series, Melanie presents the story of Aladdin and Kirstyn, two young adults caught up in events ripe with danger and the struggle to be a person of character amid crooked schemes.
Fans of Dickerson and of medieval history will fall in love with this story and its bevy of well developed characters. The dialogue, the ever present intrigue, and the depth of friendship between the hero and heroine will hold you spellbound. A good, clean young adult read, this is a refreshing tale of honor, integrity, and lasting love that overcomes the most daunting of obstacles.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions in this review are my own.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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This book had everything I’m a sucker for: friends to lovers trope, retelling of a classic, changing point of views between the main characters and a bit of danger as well.
I thought it was a particularly enjoyable read in all accounts, but I noticed that there was an intention, throughout the book, to add a little more subplots than necessary, mainly the one regarding the contraband Alladin came upon while working for Her Goteken. It was just there and it got dealt with so quickly that it would be the same for me if it wasn’t there at all. 
Also, there was a lot of references to the christian religion throughout the story. The way they treated it was also was quite subtle and didn’t tire me off as much as I thought it would, mainly because the plot is based on the 15th century.
The characters were well developed. Specially Alladin. Kirstyn was the perfect maiden through and through. I thought that her kidnapping would toughen her a bit to the world but she remained the fair maiden till the end.
All in all I think it was a cozy read. It didn’t make my heart beat any faster but it warmed it anyway. 
A solid 3.5 ⭐️’s in my opinion.
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I got really excited when I saw that Melanie Dickerson was planning an Aladdin retelling. Fairytale retellings by themselves are just peachy keen, but there aren't many Aladdin ones that I've found out there. I love finding a less-popular fairytale being retold. 

Ala ad'din is a small boy living in the streets of the Holy Land. As an orphan, he doesn't have a lot of options for survival and is forced to steal under the hand of a harsh master. A chance encounter with a kindly priest gives him the freedom he craves, but even in his new life at Hagenheim he fears how people will react to his thieving past. 

Now called Aladdin (since the people in Hagenheim can't seem to pronounce Ala ad'din properly), he becomes the favorite friend of Kirstyn, the duke's daughter. A childhood friendship blossoms into a romance that neither are quite aware of, and Aladdin decides to leave Hagenheim to make his fortune. 

And then Kirstyn gets kidnapped and goes missing for months, and Aladdin's world is turned upside-down. 

Honestly, other than the name Aladdin, I didn't catch many Aladdin fairytale references in this book. Other than the obvious other nod to the Disney film by naming a little street boy Abu. It was a little disappointing. The story seemed more like a retelling of the Biblical account of Joseph; Aladdin is hired to take care of a merchant's business and does so well that he's considered a sort of King Midas (i.e. everything he touches turns to gold). And the man Aladdin works for isn't the evil sorcerer from the fairy tale; there are no lamps involved. In the beginning of the novel, Aladdin made a big deal about his thieving background -- keeping it secret from everybody in Hagenheim -- yet as the novel progressed I thought everybody forgot about it. His childhood thefts really didn't have any part to play in the plot. Unless there's something obvious I'm missing, calling this an Aladdin retelling is kinda stretching it. 

But if you're just looking for an adventure in the Dickerson style that you've come to love, this book tastes just the same as all of her other Hagenheim novels. 

Advisory: Some violence. One character is kidnapped; another is suggested to have been molested. 

Romance, typical in the style of Dickerson. Although I was happy to note that the love interests didn't focus on kissing until the last couple chapters -- after they finally realized they were in love with each other. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.*
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