Castle of Refuge – Melanie Dickerson

Castle of Refuge by Melanie Dickerson
Also by this author: Court of Swans, The Peasant's Dream
Series: A Dericott Tale #2
Published by Thomas Nelson on June 1, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Christian
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Audrey is a viscount’s daughter who has suffered her sister Maris’s cruel, jealous behavior all her life. An act of malice led their father to send Maris to a convent, but Audrey was still left with scars. Three years later, Audrey’s father is determined to marry off his damaged daughter, and Maris is returning. Desperate, Audrey sneaks away.
However, life outside her home is dangerous, and she soon finds herself attacked, injured, and in dire straits. She is taken in at Dericott Castle to be nursed back to health. While there, she decides to keep her identity a secret and work as a servant in the castle. But she doesn’t count on falling in love with the young and handsome Lord Dericott, who lost his arm several months earlier.
Meanwhile, Edwin—Lord Dericott—is curious about the new, well-educated servant’s identity. When the man Audrey’s father wanted her to marry comes looking for her, each must make a life-changing decision about what to believe and whether or not love is truly worth trusting.
In this Ugly Duckling retelling, New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson brilliantly crafts a high-stakes, encouraging tale about the power of love.

The name Melanie Dickerson is synonymous with Christian fairytale retellings. Over the past few years, Dickerson has been able to recreate numerous fairytales and her newest retelling, a twist on the Ugly Duckling, is a beautiful story of forgiveness and redemption.

Castle of Refuge, the second book in the Dericott Tales, takes place in 14th century England. Aubrey, a viscount’s daughter, has suffered at the cruel hands of her sister Maris for years. Although their father never rectifies the situation, after Maris intentionally burns Aubrey leaving her scarred on her face, their father finally sends Maris away to a convent. During this time Aubrey is at peace but after a few years, she learns that Maris is now coming home. Feeling that no one will listen to her pleas, Aubrey runs away in order to stay out of the reach of her sister. And during that time, she meets Edwin, the younger brother from Court of Swans who lost his arm a few months back.

The picture painted with this story was a touching one to say the least. The Christian elements that are always woven into Dickerson’s books are a much needed respite for this world. Especially when the story’s main characters are two broken souls that find comfort in each other. The plot was also very intriguing and had a bit of suspense to it. Maris will really keep you glued to the edge of your seat to see just what she is capable of. And just when you think you have it figured out, you will be rethinking it again.

Aubrey was the perfect role model for women of today. So many of us believe that we are the ugly duckling, especially with movies and photoshop around. But the story reminds us that God made us all beautiful in our own ways and we should see ourselves for how He sees us. Not as the way the world may see us. Overall, Castle of Refuge is a wonderful story for young adults and teens. It comes highly recommended and is a beautiful reminder of God’s love.