Melanie Dickerson’s novels are usually adaptions of fairy tales such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid,” and Veil of Winter is no exception. It is part of a new series, Dericott Tales, which Dickerson began after completing her intriguing Hagenheim series.
In this “Sleeping Beauty” tale, Princess Elyce of Montciel takes a sleeping potion that will make her appear to be dead to avoid marrying Lord Rodrigo. Elyce and Rodrigo’s marriage would seal her people’s fate into slavery under Rodrigo’s uncle, King Claude. In England, Sir Gerard, whose sister is friends with Elyce, sees a vision from God instructing him to go to the princess’s aid. Upon arriving at the Kingdom of Montciel, Gerard finds the princess unconscious from the potion and, in attempting to revive her, seemingly awakes her with a kiss. Together, they must save Princess Elyce’s kingdom.
Veil of Winter is the third novel in the Dericott Tale series but can easily be read as a stand-alone novel. It has a few references to the previous two novels in the series, but these connections are not crucial to the plot. The beginning is gripping, and the novel switches back and forth between Elyce’s and Gerard’s point of view.
My favorite part of Veil of Winter is watching the characters develop and seeing their thoughts and feelings. The characters are realistic and relatable. The two protagonists, Elyce and Gerard, are both Christians who struggle with their faith and make mistakes, and I could easily identify with them. They experience doubts and frustrations like I do, and by the end of the story, they have grown in their faith yet still have room for continued growth. In addition, the romance between Elyce and Gerard is well written, and I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop.
While I found the characters very realistic and engaging, the story’s plot was a little hard for me to get into. The author wrote this from both characters’ point of view, and the back-and-forth style is a little frustrating because sometimes the two perspectives overlap and bog down the story. For example, an event is related from one protagonist’s perspective, and later, parts of that same event are related, possibly as a flashback or reflection, from the other protagonist’s perspective. Also, I found the story a little too unbelievable and struggled to see the story’s events as realistic. However, Veil of Winter has a steady plot pace, and the more I read, the more I couldn’t put it down.
The ending shocked me as the story takes a violent turn that was unexpected. While I liked the way that the ending wraps up the story, I was uncomfortable with how this violent episode is portrayed. It almost seems like the characters are condoning it rather than approaching the violence from a biblical perspective. Because of this shocking ending, I recommend Veil of Winter to girls ages fourteen through twenty, even though the recommended audience for Veil of Winter is ages thirteen through seventeen. Veil of Winter is an excellent choice if you are looking for an easy winter read and would also make a great Christmas gift!
Young Adult Blogger
Kathryn Dover lives in South Carolina with her family including six cats, a dog, three fish, and many house plants. She attends Presbyterian College, majoring in math with minors in history and creative writing. Kathryn loves writing, especially plays, and she completed and performed her first play, The Sexton, at 14. She is currently serving as a Russell Program Intern in PC’s Marketing and Communications office and writing for the school newspaper, The BlueStocking. She’s not sure what she wants to do as a career, only that she wants to write, but is trusting that God has a plan for her life to use her in a powerful way. College takes up most of her time, but in her free time, she likes to read, play with her pets, and grow plants.