Reviewed by: Shawna
Title: The Healer’s Apprentice
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Primary Audience/age group: Young Adult – 14+
Genre: Christian Fantasy/Romantic Fantasy
# of pages 272
Year of Release: 2010
Part of a series No
Rating: 3 (View Scale)
Description: Rose, raised a woodcutter’s daughter, has been given the opportunity to study under Frau Geruscha’s tutelage to be a healer. Unlike other girls with her same background, she learns to read and is taught the social graces of the upper class although she realizes she will never considered as such. Rose resigns herself to be a healer’s apprentice until she meets the Duke’s two sons, Lord Hamlin and Lord Rupert. Both are drawn to Rose for very different reasons.
Lord Hamlin becomes enamored by her when he cuts his leg in a hunting accident and goes to her for care, but his love for her can never be. He has been betrothed for many years to a young woman he has never met, a woman who he has vowed to protect from the evil conjurer Moncore. Lord Hamlin wrestles with his feelings, but eventually decides to allow his younger, yet less respectable, brother woo Rose.
Lord Rupert is known for his indiscretions and flattering tongue but seems to have changed since meeting Rose. He promises to Lord Hamlin that his feelings are true and that he has every intention of marrying Rose. But, Rose is torn between Lord Rupert’s overwhelming advances and her feelings for Lord Hamlin. Unsure of what her future holds Rose must seek out her own destiny.
Review: The Healer’s Apprentice is a coming of age tale of Rose, a young woman trying to discover who God has called her to be. Like many, she struggles with making the best decisions for her life even with the sound advice of her mentor, Frau Geruscha. But, God is a forgiving and patient God who waits for us to seek Him, which is what Rose eventually does. But, before she does so she allows herself to be led astray by her emotions, her heart. The book does a wonderful job of shedding light on what can happen when you get carried away with your emotions and rush ahead of God. He has a plan for each of our lives as he does for Rose in The Healer’s Apprentice. You will certainly be able to take away the importance of waiting on God’s timing within the book and realize He does give us “the desires of our hearts,” pure and noble desires, if we seek Him first.
Rating: 3 for moderate sexual detail (see rating scale)
Positive: Rose has a wonderful mentor in Frau Geruscha, who offers her godly advice on many occasions. Rose thinks before she acts and decides to remain virtuous. She is cautious at first to the duke’s youngest son’s advances, but then decides to allow him to court her against the advice of her master and mentor, Frau Geruscha. Rose then realizes her mistake in allowing herself to be controlled by her emotions and sees that seeking God should have been her first priority.
We see the difference between a man with honorable intentions who chooses self-control over one who is self-seeking and uses flattery, insincere praise, in order to manipulate others. The Bible cautions us against the use of flattery, “…and a flattering mouth works ruin.” Psalm 26:28b
Spiritual Elements: The healer’s ask their patients to be healed in the name of Jesus. Frau Geruscha and Rose read their bible. Both Rose and Lord Wilhelm seek God through prayer and grow deeper in their relationship with Him as the story progresses. Rose sees a play about Jesus casting out demons.
A dark conjuror had previously been cast out of the region and seeks to destroy Lord Hamlin’s betrothed by using dark magic. He is controlled by demons and his intent is to share his torment with the betrothed.
Violence: Frau Geruscha and Rose take care of several ill patients, some with nasty wounds. Rose is attacked a couple of times and so is her friend Hildy. Hildy’s love interest decides to take matters into his own hands and ends up being sentenced to death.
Language: wench, d***able, d**n
Sexual Content: Lord Rupert is known for his indiscretions and carousing with women. In the past he has used flattery to seduce them. Now, he has set his eyes on Rose, but she is unsure whether his advances are for the right reasons. At first she resists, but he continues to pursue her claiming to both Rose and his brother that he has good intentions. She succumbs to his overwhelming presence and sweet words. This somewhat passionate scene plays out, but Rose doesn’t allow Rupert to kiss her…yet. She does on a later occasion.
(Spoiler) After Lord Rupert feels he has Rose’s heart, he proposes to her but not in the way she expected. Since he will become the new bishop, a position that requires he does not marry, he wants Rose to act the part of his wife without them truly being bound by marriage. She is outraged by his proposition and refuses him.
Other: Drunkeness is mentioned. The young people do drink wine given the time period.
Recommendation: The Healer’s Apprentice has many positive Biblical truths and is especially keen on showing the consequences of not seeking God’s will, especially in relationships. It portrays how easy it is to be controlled by feelings and desires and to be led astray by those who use flattery. It encourages teens to be patient in waiting for the mate that God has planned for them. I would recommend the book for ages 14 and up.