Book Review | Castle of Refuge

Title: Castle of Refuge (The Dericott Tales #2) by Melanie Dickerson

Pages: 336

Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Retellings, Christian Fiction

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 1st, 2021)


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.

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*I received a free e-copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thank you to the author and publisher!*

As always, Melanie Dickerson’s books are a delight! Castle of Refuge was so well done and I absolutely adored it. I didn’t realize it until after the fact, but this is the second book in the Dericott Tales series. That being said, I was able to fully enjoy this book as a standalone and did not feel like I missed out on anything.

One of my favorite aspects of this book was the characters. Audrey was such a great character! I loved her desire for freedom and love. I loved seeing her and Edwin’s relationship grow throughout the book. Yes, this is a love story, but she always knew there was more out there for her than to just be someone’s wife. This is something that is always important, but I love how this was especially emphasized in Christian fiction where it often feels like marriage is the end all be all.

As the story progresses, this one gets filled with so much action and adventure. By the second half of the story, I could not put this book down!

Castle of Refuge is a retelling of the children’s classic, The Ugly Duckling. That being said, this book never felt cheesy or cliché. This story is about finding your self worth and learning to embrace your individuality. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fairytale retellings, sweet romances, and lots of adventure!

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