Young Adult - Fantasy - General
300 Pages
Reviewed on 05/28/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Lady Charmayne lives in the land of Lakewood, Colorado where she and Lord John Hafen, live with two castle guards, their Chihuahuas, Pepe and Frida. She spends her days overseeing the tasks of managing their kingdom which includes two small, private businesses. When she isn’t doing something for business, she can be found writing, skiing, painting, collaging, or frolicking about with her seven-year-old niece.

With a master’s degree in community counseling, Lady Charmayne also runs therapeutic photography groups for teens which teach problem-solving skills while learning new techniques with the camera. She finds inspiration for writing from the many lands she ventures to with her husband as well as from the wonderful relationships God has put in her life. She has been writing from the time she was a small girl. She still can’t imagine life without writing. Charmayne invites you to follow her on her writing journey on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers' Favorite

Describing a time of dragons, witches, and sword fighting, Indebted takes you to a place where a young princess blames herself for her mother’s disappearance. The style and theme of Charmayne Hafen's writing is comparable to works from authors such as Suzanne Collins, J.R.R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis. Indebted is centered on a strong female character, Princess Wren, whose loneliness sends her on an adventure that changes her life forever. Without a mother to guide her and with a father that abandoned her, Wren unknowingly seeks companionship and acceptance from others. When faced with imprisonment or death by dragon, Princess Wren finds she has another Father on whom she can always rely. She is tied to a vow from which only death can release her and wonders how she could ever have a normal life.

I found Indebted a piece of art, lovingly penned by an author that took great care in developing her characters. Charmayne Hafen enchanted me with a little princess who seemingly has everything, but possesses so little. The similarities between Princess Wren and Princess Lorenda’s upbringing made me think their ending would be the same, but twisted when Wren faced the dragon for the last time. The lesson Wren learned about trusting others is a task not easily learned. Charmayne Hafen shows that unconditional love taught Wren that she could accept others, but more importantly herself. Through this newfound knowledge she was also able to forgive and embrace family values which had always been denied her. This is an excellent novel, not only for enjoyment, but also for the moral ethics outlined through this character.

Maureen Dangarembizi

Indebted by Charmayne Hafen is a medieval epic Christian fantasy. Princess Wren of the Kingdom of Greenham never had an easy relationship with her mother and when the queen disappears mysteriously, her father, the king, blames Wren. The lonely princess befriends the castle cook and her son. Under Aleric’s tutorship, Princess Wren becomes an accomplished swordswoman. But when her friend goes on conquest with her father, she finds herself lonely again until one day things change. In the neighboring kingdom, King Olerion is hosting a sword fighting tournament and Princess Wren is determined to win. But unknown to her, King Olerion meant to find a husband for his daughter. When it is discovered that the winner is a woman, all hell breaks loose and Princess Wren is forced into an adventure that could cost her everything she loves.

I know a lot of people will find it hard to put Christianity and an epic fantasy together, but Indebted has all these elements and works very well. In fact, it was this uniqueness that made it stand out from other fantasy novels I’ve read before. Young people will relate to Princess Wren and the Word to which she has given herself. Charmayne Hafen is not preachy, but writes a truly fantastic fantasy with magic, dragons, and all with a Christian protagonist. The book comes with some lovely pencil drawn illustrations that bring the content to vibrant life. Parents looking for adventurous but Christian themed work should definitely pick this book up for their kids.

Lit Amri

Indebted by Charmayne Hafen is a story about Wren, an 18-year-old lonely princess in Greenham. Her mother disappeared when Wren was 12 years old and her father, King Belodawn, blamed her for the Queen’s disappearance. Wren befriended Aleric, the castle cook’s son who taught her horse riding and sword fighting until he joined the army and went away. When the kingdom of Shaw holds a sword fighting contest, Wren disguises herself as a male and enters. She fights well, but her deception is eventually discovered and she’s given two choices; be held in the dungeon for the next ten years, or help protect the kingdom by getting rid of the dragon that torments its people. The resolute Wren chooses the latter, but the task comes at an unexpected price.

The passing of time in the story is handled slightly differently compared to most fantasy novels I’ve read, where a character’s younger years are usually summarized or told in flashbacks. Hafen, on the other hand, ages Wren up from 12, 17, and finally to 18 years old, while telling her story at the same time in a clear-cut prose. This suits the character-driven tale, as Wren struggles with the memories of her cynical mother and her estranged father. The plot has a good twist, and the sketches serve wonderfully as illustrations for Indebted. At its heart, Indebted is about parental issues, love, confidence, inner strength, friendship, greed, forgiveness, and-to a great extent-faith. On the whole, it’s a well-written and thought-provoking tale from Hafen for the intended audience.

Sierra Edelen

Princess Wren should have the life that every girl dreams of. Instead she has had one of loneliness and misery, ever since her mother disappeared when she was only 12. From that moment on, her father rarely acknowledged her presence, choosing to spend his time trying to conquer lands elsewhere. Abandoned, she seeks out friendship with the cook’s son, Aleric. When he is also forced to leave her, she is once again left to rot away in the prison that is her home, forbidden from leaving its walls. When she decides to disobey her father's wishes and leave the castle walls, her life is forever changed. With the help of her new friends, Lorenda and Travin, she must conquer the challenges presented to her. Will she be able to succeed, or will she be destined to fail?

Indebted is a wonderful fantasy story by Charmayne Hafen that describes the struggles of a girl who wants to know love and live a good life. It deals with tough situations that many readers can relate to and has strong religious themes that are suitable for the time period it was written in, showing how Wren struggles to accept and navigate her circumstances. The story is presented very nicely, having an added bonus of actual drawings within the story to aid the visualization of events. It is a story that will catch the attention of a wide variety of readers, from young adult to fantasy to adventure and even Christian fiction fans. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sarah Westmoreland

For most princesses, life is a fairytale. They live in a beautiful castle, doted upon by the king and queen, without a care in the world. For Princess Wren, however, life is far different. Her mother disappeared without a trace, and her father seemed to place all the blame for the disappearance on young Wren. The young princess didn’t hold that against him, though; she blamed herself, too. Still, it hurt when her father pulled away from her, and she would try anything to win back his favor, including learning to ride a horse, or to fight with a sword as well as any man in his army! However, Wren’s brave plan doesn’t work, and she finds herself pining away from loneliness, especially after her only friend in the world is forced to leave her far behind. But Wren’s entire life is about to change, all thanks to a poster, some pants, and a carefully guarded secret... Will Wren be able to survive the journey ahead of her? Is she strong enough?

Indebted is a delightful fantasy read that takes you on a wild ride from start to finish. From spunky, rebellious princesses to brave knights to terrifying dragons, with just a dash of dark magic and mayhem, the world that Charmayne Hafen has created is fascinating to explore. The strong Christian themes and stories of redemption are sure to make it a hit with young Christian readers, and the quality of the writing is very good as well! The characters are well-rounded, with strong backstories, and we’re able to get to know them very well throughout the story.