Happily Ever After …Or Happily Nevermore?
Gisela’s childhood was filled with laughter and visits from nobles such as the duke and his young son. But since her father’s death, each day has been filled with nothing but servitude to her stepmother. So when Gisela learns the duke’s son, Valten—the boy she has daydreamed about for years—is throwing a ball in hopes of finding a wife, she vows to find a way to attend, even if it’s only for a taste of a life she’ll never have. To her surprise, she catches Valten’s eye. Though he is rough around the edges, Gisela finds Valten has completely captured her heart. But other forces are bent on keeping the two from falling further in love, putting Gisela in more danger than she ever imagined.
The Captive Maiden picks up about two years later after The Fairest Beauty. Only this time we’re in Valten’s head. I was so glad to see him get his own book. Somehow he managed to capture my attention even though his role was small in the previous novel. He doesn’t disappoint. I really liked Valten and I enjoyed seeing him develop over the course of the novel. His character made complete sense to me and he managed to read as the classic storybook hero without managing to seem silly.
The Captive Maiden does a beautiful job of capturing the basics of the Cinderella’s story and still showing how Valten and Gisella could manage to fall for each other in a short period of time. The step-mother and step-sisters were cruel, but Gisela never failed to lack spirit. There is also another villain who is introduced and I will say that he wasn’t a very good villain. He just kept messing things up.
If there was anything I didn’t like about the novel, it would have to be some of the grandiose language. I thought the story had that fairytale feel and probably didn’t need language along the lines of ‘I must do away with the villain’ and she is the “most beautiful, purest, loveliest maiden,” (these are not direct quotes). Sometimes it seemed a bit much.
Spiritually, I loved the way Valten desired to have a purpose in life an d that he learned to put his faith in God first and himself second. I also liked that Gisela had to learn to care after years of training herself not to care.
Overall, very good novel. Delicious fairytale. I hope there is another!
Romantic Scale: 9