Aladdin was an orphan, stealing on the streets of the Holy Land, before he was taken to Hagenheim by a crusading knight and a priest. He befriends the duke's daughter, Kristyn, and they form a close friendship that lasts through time and distance.
Aladdin cares for Kristyn and he goes off to make his way in the world. He gains the trust of a businessman, Herr Kauffman, who treats him as a son. But just as things begin to fall in place, they begin to unravel.
Will Kristyn and Aladdin be able to cling to their faith and their friendship despite the situations that threaten to tear them apart?
This was a difficult one for me to review, because I had such high expectations, but it just wasn't for me. I've read other books in the series, and other books by this author and loved them all, but this one just didn't do it for me. Kristyn is a brave heroine, she weathers the trials that come her way, and she doesn't give up hope, even when things look darkest.
Aladdin is a man of integrity, who finds himself tested multiple times over the course of the book. He is loyal, and compassionate. I love how he reaches out to Abu, a young boy who lives by his wits on the streets. Aladdin in my mind was a lot like Joseph of the Bible, he is given great responsibility and prospers, yet he is faced with horrible misfortunes not of his doing.
I think the reason that I struggled to like this book was because so much of the relationship between the characters depended on past experiences, memories, and sometimes it felt like they both expected the other person to be a mind reader. Kristyn and Aladdin are separated for much of the book, and so it was hard to see their relationship really grow over the course of the story.
I did like the way that Ms. Dickerson drew from the story of Aladdin, and bringing him to Hagenheim through the Crusades. And I thought that the main elements of the story were wonderfully transposed. While this wasn't my favorite of the collection, I still eagerly await reading the future installments in the series.
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