Court of Swans is Melanie Dickerson’s opening book in her new series, A Dericott Tale. This clean teen/YA adaptation of The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen, is set in fourteenth century England, a time when power and wealth gave a person significant control and was sought after by unscrupulous means. When the heirs to two families, who were stripped of their land and titles by dubious means, are brought together under tragic circumstances, their faith in God and humanity is put to the test. As Delia and Sir Geoffery work to save Delia’s seven brothers, some still young children, from being executed for treason and murder they find that they are drawn to the goodness they see in the other even as fear and doubt seeks to envelope them.
For the most part, Court of Swans is a highly intriguing and compelling story that keeps you in suspense to the very end. My biggest issue is with Delia, who for a good part of the story is too trusting and naïve, which results in decisions and actions that in that day and age would have ended with far more devastating results. Because I truly did like her and the other secondary characters, I ended up stopping mid-chapter on more than one occasion out of frustration and angst; the thought of a disastrous event due to her actions was very off-putting. Fortunately, I didn’t give up and was rewarded with a happily-ever-after that was believable and satisfying both intellectually and spiritually.
Melanie Dickerson has created a wonderfully entertaining work that is the perfect balance between captivating historical fiction and Christian applications for life. Her biblical ponderings and ruminations fit seamlessly with the plot and are a realistic worldview for people of that time. The life lessons that Delia and Sir Geoffery garner from their trials and the scriptural support and encouragement they receive during those difficult times is uplifting and encouraging for modern day people of all faiths.