The Captive Maiden is a retelling of Cinderella, and it adds onto the story. Her name is originally Gisela and you all know why they start to call her Cindersella. In this story she is involved with Valten, the brother who gave up his betrothal to Sophie so she could marry Gabe, and has kind of been in love with him since childhood. Her stepmother and sisters are, of course, awful and instead of there being a ball it is 3 days of a tourney, with the first two being the fighting days and the last day being a legitimate ball. The first part of the story follows the tradition mostly except that Gisela does not have to leave by midnight and Valten knows who she is the whole time. However, she does get kidnapped by Valten's arch-nemesis and it is quite an adventure trying to escape. In the end though, they both survive and get married.
This story is great and quite frankly is one of my favorites! Gisela loves horses, which is a point in her favor according to my book, and is a very independent character that I enjoy very much. I also enjoyed the interaction between Valten and Gisela because it is rather cute! In this book the reader is able to get into Valten's head, which we didn't in the last book, and I really love it when Dickerson does it because he's so cute! He doesn't know how to deal with women and the revelations he has are simply hilarious. This book is almost something some people will need their man to read because he can learn with Valten. The kidnapping was great, not because they got kidnapped but because Gisela is so independent and doesn't let Valten be all macho by himself. She tries to figure out ways to help him and to get them both out of Ruexner's clutches; she doesn't just sit back and let him do everything.
I was a little frustrated with the whole kidnapping part. The whole part was necessary, but they got captured twice and I kind of wished that it had been just one scene. They met a friar who helped them and they had to sort out their feelings, but it just seemed a bit long. There was also a part where Gisela was upset with Valten and it seemed to me that it was a bit choppy. She was upset with him, then she was fine, then she wasn't. I thought the issue had been resolved, but then it hadn't been. It may have been just me not understanding fully.
I give this book a 9/10 and recommend it to YA readers.