The reviews are in! I was really excited to get a Publisher's Weekly review for The Merchant's Daughter today. Oh wow, I feel so blessed!
"...Dickerson has once again done her historical homework in this tale set in England in 1352. ...This riff on Beauty and the Beast makes the story as comfortable as a pair of old shoes, but the shoes fit well. The Christian apparatus in the tale is natural and a nice twist links the Bible, literacy, and women's empowerment."
I was thrilled to get a positive review in Publisher's Weekly! Yay! They even complimented my research. And I've gotten a few others too.
Here is an excerpt of a review I particularly enjoyed from Kirkus. I'm not sure if they're trying to be positive or negative or both, but I liked it anyway. "Should Annabel flee or stay to defend lonely, disfigured Ranulf, whom she has come to love? Awash in meticulous medieval detail and heavily glossed with Christian overtones, this thinly veiled homily pulses with self-sacrifice, good intentions and suppressed sexuality."
Can't help but enjoy the "pulses with ... suppressed sexuality" comment! LOL!
And the Romantic Times reviewer said: "A fresh take on Beauty and the Beast. Even though this is a young adult novel, adults will enjoy this as much as teens. The message will resonate with readers of all ages: Beauty is within all of us. Regardless of physical appearance, a person’s true value lies within."
And this is from Booklist: "Intertwining the lore from The Beauty and Beast and strong biblical messages, Dickerson (The Healer’s Apprentice, 2010) manages a heartfelt romance that will stick with readers, not only for its morality but for
the exploration of a woman’s place within fourteenth-century English Christianity. True, readers will peg the happy ending at the start, but the progression of Annabel’s honorable love affair will have the rapt attention of Christian-fiction fans."
So, all in all, I can be quite happy with those reviews. But it would certainly--as I know from experience--be smarter to ignore all these reviews along with any negative ones I get and just keep writing my next story. But hey, it's only my second book. Maybe wisdom will come with the third book.