Ever since she was a child, Audrey wanted her life to be extraordinary. But as the daughter of a viscount born in late fourteenth-century England, the only thing expected of her was to marry—until an act of malice by her sister, Maris, four years ago damaged her face and her prospects. Though Maris was sent away, twenty-year-old Audrey is still suffering the scars of her sister’s cruelty. When her father announces his plans to marry off his damaged daughter and bring Maris home, Audrey decides to flee in search of her true destiny.
However, life outside her home is dangerous, and she soon finds herself attacked, sick, and in desperate need of help. 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 and bears scars of his own.
Meanwhile, Edwin—Lord Dericott—is curious about the new, well-educated servant’s identity. All he knows is that he’s quickly becoming smitten with her. When the man Audrey’s father wanted her to marry comes looking for her, she and Edwin must make life-changing decisions about what to believe and whether or not love is truly worth trusting.
Castle of Refuge is the second book in Melanie Dickerson’s Dericott Tales series, coming after Court of Swans. Although I haven’t actually read Court of Swans, I have read many of Melanie’s other books, so I was looking forward to diving into Castle of Refuge. However, I have to say, I was sadly disappointed by this novel. I found it to be lacking in much of a storyline, other than the malicious actions done by Maris of course. Although there were many counts of danger, it ended up coming across as very repetitive, and by the end, I felt like I could honestly guess what was going to happen from one minute to the next. I’m not trying to say that there wasn’t any suspense in this story, or that it was completely predictable, but I just wish there had been a few other plot points or other ways of introducing chaos into the story without having to revert back to Maris every single time.
As for the other points of the story, I will say that the growth Audrey and Edwin experienced over the course of the book was very well developed. This novel has a great redemptive arc, so if that is what you are looking for, this story is for you. Other than that, as hard as I try, I am just struggling to find many positive things to say about it. I did actually make it all the way through the book, which is a count in its favor as I am not afraid to just stop reading a novel if I am not enjoying it. I just can’t recommend this novel as one that is captivating or full of unexpected twists and turns. But just because it wasn’t the book for me doesn’t mean it isn’t the book for you!
Rating: 2 bookshelves
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.