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The Warrior Maiden (Hagenheim #9) by Melanie Dickerson - ARC Review

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Mulan isn’t afraid to pretend to be a son and assume her father’s soldier duties in war. But what happens when the handsome son of a duke discovers her secret? Mulan is trying to resign herself to marrying the village butcher for the good of her family, but her adventurous spirit just can’t stand the thought. At the last minute, she pretends to be the son her father never had, assumes his duties as a soldier, and rides off to join the fight to protect the castle of her liege lord’s ally from the besieging Teutonic Knights. Wolfgang and his brother Steffan leave Hagenheim with several other soldiers to help their father’s ally in Poland. When they arrive, Wolfgang is exasperated by the young soldier Mikolai who seems to either always be one step away from disaster . . . or showing Wolfgang up in embarrassing ways. When Wolfgang discovers his former rival and reluctant friend Mikolai is actually a girl, he is determined to protect her. But battle is a dangerous place where anything can happen—and usually does. When Mulan receives word that her mother has been accused of practicing witchcraft through her healing herbs and skills, Mulan’s only thought is of defending her. Will she be able to trust Wolfgang to help? Or will sacrificing her own life be the only way to save her mother?

I was so exited to read The Warrior Maiden by Melanie Dickerson when I was approved for it via NetGalley. I'm usually ready for anything involving my favorite Disney (and legendary) character Mulan, and the description of this novel sounded fantastic. Unfortunately, now that I've read it I can say that this novel just didn't work for me. Firstly, I had no idea that this novel was actually the ninth book in the Hagenheim series. Obviously, I felt a little lost from the get-go. Secondly, so much of what I love about Mulan as a character (and story) are gone - her identity has been stripped away. Thirdly, I knew that it was a Christian YA book going in which is fine, but sometimes I felt like I was reading a sermon rather than anything else. Overall, Dickerson's newest novel just wasn't what I was hoping it would be. I might have felt differently about it if I had read the first eight books in the series, but then again this version of Mulan wasn't exactly to my liking. Thanks, but no thanks, NetGalley.

I read this ARC from January 22 - 23, 2019 and my review is also on Goodreads.  The Warrior Maiden (Hagenheim #9) by Melanie Dickerson will be released on February 5, 2019.


  1. Oh, I hate sermons disguised as novels! I thought they went away in 19th Century. I'm sorry this book was such a let down.

  2. Once I made the mistake of picking up a Christian YA book. Never again. I'm Catholic but the in-the-face preaching the author did just put me off. And I also hate when they don't indicate on Netgalley that the book is part of a series... They totally should.

    Ronnie Paradise Found

    1. Sometimes they do, but then when they really ought to they don't. Oh, well.

  3. I need the preaching finessed because I don't want a sermon either. I hate when the series is not clarified so I don't jump in at the wrong place. Sorry this didn't quite do it for you.
    Better luck with the next book.

  4. I was raised in a Christian household. But I always get bad vibes from Christian Fiction.
    Also, as far as I know, Christianity wasn't really a thing in China at the time of Mulan, or rather when her story was written. I do believe it hasn't been confirmed whether or not she had actually existed.

    1. True - but also the story is primarily set in Lithuania as well with a bit of Poland in there. That's where a lot of the Hagheim books are set, I guess.

  5. Oh nooooo! I hope your next read was much better!


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