The Orphan's Wish

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Melanie Dickerson fairy tale retellings have a modest approach and a sweet romance to follow.  I thought this was a cute story of two friends and had some Aladdin similarities but took its own spin. Many people don't like the retelling to veer too much from the original story, but I think that's what makes the retelling engaging and exciting. Overall I thought this was a great fantasy for people who don't like too much in the romance or action sector.  It was nice, clean fun!
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Melanie Dickerson's sweet re-telling of Aladdin takes the story to the kingdom of Hagenheim, and places Aladdin on the streets as a child orphaned by the death of his mother. Aladdin is rescued from a life of thievery by the local priest, and grows up learning about Jesus, and being honorable from Priest.  When Priest dies, Aladdin is taken in by the Hagenheim orphanage, where he is befriended by the Duke's daughter, Lady Kirstyn.

Aladdin's life, from orphan in the Holy Lands, to wealth and fame in Lunaberg, is told in twists and turns. When he excels in school, the Duke of Hagenheim places him in the position of assistant steward. This is a big step up from the orphaned thief Aladdin still sees himself as. As Aladdin's friendship with Lady Kirstyn deepens, he sees that, in order to have anything to offer her, he must go elsewhere to seek his fortune. He lands in Lunaberg after rescuing a salt merchant from bandits. He is taken in, and treated as a son by the man, whose own son turned out to be a bad seed, thieving from his father, and squandering everything he got his hands on.

Lady Kirstyn never understood why her best friend had to leave her. The nearly forgotten middle child of the Duke and Duchess, Aladdin was the only person that she felt really saw her. She has no desire to marry any of the men her parents have paraded in front of her, and realizes her heart already belongs to her friend. When she is kidnapped and held for ransom, she begins to despair of ever being found. Will her parents and Aladdin keep looking for her, even when the trail goes cold?

While many things about this story were taken from the Aladdin story, the story also, in many respects, resembles the biblical story of Joseph. At least, I saw some similarities between the two stories. Notably absent from the story was Genie and the lamp, but I really didn't miss them. Aladdin's strength of character shines, even as a child, when he is forced to steal by the man who took him in. His honesty has him climbing to heights he could not have otherwise reached. 

Fans of fairy tale re-writes will love this one. It's a good YA book as well, with strong Christian themes.
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I normally love Dickerson's books, but this one felt juvenile to me. The writing seemed incomplete and skewed young, it felt different than all the other books by her I've read. That instantly distracted me. Thus, the relationship between Kristen and Aladdin was flat. The romance felt too contrived and, again, young. 

So overall, if you head in expecting a middle grade read with a childhood romance and non graphic kidnapping, you will probably enjoy it more than me.
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A new telling of the story of Aladdin. In the streets of Palestine he is orphaned, saved by a priest from living the life of a thief, and is taken to Germany. He is a stand out - different with his dark skin, hair and eyes - and is forever ashamed by his background. He's constantly trying to prove himself worthy to others.

Aladdin is befriended by one of the Dukes daughters and they become close friends. He is very bright and courageous even when so young. He soon realizes that he must make something of himself if he ever wants a chance to wed Lady Kirstyn, and decides to leave town and try. On his journey out of town he rescues a wealthy merchant who takes him in.

I became quickly wrapped up and enamored with the characters, and looked forward to reading about this new opportunity for Aladdin. It doesn't disappoint. There's danger, success and depth of love as well as much introspection, as both Aladdin and Kirstyn try to find their way through everything. They both come to realize that God has a plan for them and that they are perfect in His sight and wonderfully made.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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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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

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.


I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.
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