Review: Orphan's Wish (Hagenheim #8)
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn. With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them. Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune. But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.
My rating: 4 stars
I have read the first seven Hagenheim books and I really enjoyed them. I didn't necessarily read them in order because I did not realize it was a series until kind of late but that's okay. These books can be read in any order and still be enjoyed. Now on to The Orphan's Wish... I liked this book. I loved Aladdin and it's one of my favorite Disney movies so I was happy to see a retelling of it by one of my favorite authors. I actually liked the set up of this book starting with Aladdin being only five years old and in the holy land. His mother had just died and he was forced into stealing by an evil man but when he tried to steal from the wrong person, he was caught and it was the best thing to happen to him. He was taken to Hagenheim and goes to live in the orphanage. He meets Kirstyn and they quickly become friends. The first few chapters take the reader through Aladdin and Kirstyn's relationship from when they met until they are older and Aladdin has decided to leave; Aladdin was eighteen and Kirstyn was sixteen. I liked that I got to see them as children and it made me feel closer to the them.
I loved Aladdin. I loved his dedication to hard work, his loyalty, his faith, and his devotion to Kirstyn. He was determined to make something of himself and not be a servant for the rest of his life. I admired that and I understood why he left Hagenheim and it was the right decision. He was so smart and willing to do what he needed to do in order to make his fortune so that he could marry Kirstyn one day. But in having that dream he had to leave her and that was painful to read. As I was reading I thought Aladdin was perfect as Kirstyn liked to say and that he just did not mess up but there were some things he did throughout the novel that clearly show that he was a young who indeed made plenty of mistakes. I didn't really get a sense of Kirstyn except that she felt like the odd child out among her many siblings and Aladdin was the one person to show her kindness and give his undivided attention. She was reckless and carefree as is expected of the daughter of a duke. It wasn't until she ends up in a horrific situation that I got to see Kirstyn's true nature. She was a fighter and did not give up when someone else in that situation would have. She kept her spirit even if it was dimmed a bit and stayed so strong. I loved, loved that Kirstyn saved herself. She was waiting on her father and Aladdin to rescue her but even then she kept trying to escape and failing but eventually she was able to do so. I thought Michael as the villain was perfect. He was pure evil and the antithesis of an abusive man. I despised Anna but also felt sorry for her. It was sad that she longed for love so much that she accepted the abuse from Michael the way she did and never helped Kirstyn. I loved Abu; he was a cute and funny little boy. Herr Kaufmann was a good character as well. I loved seeing some of the characters I'd seen in other books in the series and hearing about others as well.
Aladdin and Kirstyn together were beyond frustrating. It took them too long to admit how they felt to each other. It took them too long to admit that fact to themselves. Because of this Aladdin ran from Hagenheim and Kirstyn did not admit how she felt for Aladdin when they were finally reunited. I understood them not being able to do so when Aladdin left but after I could not get it. So much confusion and hurt feelings could have been avoided with a little communication. I loved it when they finally figured it out because I was rooting for them. Overall, I truly enjoyed this book and it ended perfectly. I was nice to see Aladdin and Kirstyn in the future and what they were like a little. I loved the romance, intrigue, and everything else. It was well written and I cannot wait for another book by Melanie Dickerson.