Review Detail

(Updated: March 29, 2016)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Robin Hood Meets Swan Lake

A sweet coming-of-age historical romance--featuring a dangerously bold heroine and a hero who is bound by duty is to bring her to justice.

Taking place in the author’s prime element, 14th century Germany, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is a sort of gender-flipped Robin Hood/Swan Lake mashup with an inspirational bent. The book is rife with middle-ages atmosphere, covert betrayals, familial obligations, conundrums of faith, and questionable acts of philanthropy.

Although she enjoys the many privileges of being the ward of her wealthy merchant uncle, Odette hasn’t forgotten the sting of poverty and neglect she experienced for years as a child—after her parents succumbed to a plague outbreak. As a result, she’s dedicated herself to teaching the poor and orphaned children of Thornbeck to read by day—and secretly poaching animals from the King’s land by night in an effort to keep them fed. Thanks to her uncle’s indulgence, she has turned down many offers of marriage and become the oldest eligible maiden in the city. But change is in the air. Her uncle’s business endeavors have faced recent failures, and it’s looking more and more advantageous for her to finally bind herself to man—preferably one with the power and resources to let her trade poaching for more direct intervention.

Odette is a spirited heroine with good intentions and the kind of analytical mind that sometimes rushes to judgment. Jorgen is a stalwart hero with little to offer and much to prove. Unlike with many of Dickerson’s books, the attraction between the hero and heroine is almost immediate. Their connection is more of a mutually acknowledged chemistry than insta-love, and one which both quickly see as an unfortunate mismatch.

While this stand alone does address slightly darker subject material, fans of Dickerson’s Hagenheim series won’t find it a difficult transition from Young Adult to New Adult. The author’s style remains pleasant and consistent. The pacing starts out fairly low-key, but picks up at about 100 pages in. And I must say, the tidy and symmetrical conclusion was one of the more satisfying of any of her books I’ve yet read.

The 3rd person alternating perspective worked well, but I sometimes wished the POV was a little deeper. I would have liked to sense a stronger emotional connection with Jorgen—particularly concerning his grief over the death of his little sister, and his hatred for the poacher who killed his adoptive father. The hate aspect often felt like more of an afterthought than an internal conflict to be surmounted.

One thing this reader must highly applaud is the author’s portrayal of what is essentially medieval human trafficking--the oldest exploitation of women (and children) disguised as the oldest "profession." I'm SO glad Dickerson decided to go as realistically dark with it as she did and explore the guilt and obligation complex so many sex abuse sufferers experience. In this there was a (sadly) timeless and universally valuable empathy element. Yet, she didn't go so heavy as to pin it on one of the main characters--which I also appreciated.

All told, this is yet another quality and entertaining piece of Germanic storytelling from Dickerson.

Was this review helpful to you? 

Comments

 
 
Ordering 
 
Already have an account? or Create an account
 
 
 
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

One Week of You
For Lizzy Winston, one week will change everything. Fifteen-year-old...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Legacy (The Biodome Chronicles #1)
She is from the past, locked inside a world...
 
4.0
 
4.6 (3)
Grenade
It's 1945, and the world is in the grip...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Lines We Cross
Michael likes to hang out with his friends and...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Uncharted
Seventeen-year-old Annabeth prefers the fantasy of her books and...
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dark Divide
Secrets have a way of coming out. Divided by...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Orphaned (Ape Quartet #4)
Before humans, and before human history, there were the...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Heirs of the Round Table: Reclaiming Camelot
Imagine discovering that your ancestors were part of King Arthur's...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Wicked Nix
A visually stunning, middle-grade classic in the making about Wicked...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Journey of the Pale Bear
A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Camp Valor (Camp Valor #1)
When Wyatt gets framed for a friend’s crime, he thinks...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Attack of the Plants: A Branches Book (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
Next stop...The Magic School Bus heads to the Galapagos to...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Robot Farm (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
Wanda proudly hosts this year's school harvest feast, but she...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Aphra's Child
Tula is a chimera in a world where chimera are...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
One week on an Alaskan cruise, three teens, and an...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Homework Strike
Gregory K. has too much homework. ...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Orphaned (Ape Quartet #4)
 
4.7
"Snub is a young gorilla living in prehistoric times. She has a family that included Silverback, Brother, Wrinkle and Teased,..."
Camp Valor (Camp Valor #1)
 
4.7
"Wyatt has a decent life, but when his dad takes off, it dissolves into chaos. His mother doesn't function well,..."
Grenade
 
4.7
"Hideki is a 13-year-old Okinawan and Ray is a United States Marine. Both are play important roles in the "Love..."
The Homework Strike
 
4.0
"'The Homework Strike' by Greg Pincus is a relevant and worthwhile story about the power of standing up and fighting..."
The Glass Arrow
 
4.7
"Original Review: http://www.literarychaos.com/ I was really cautious going into this book. I knew from the synopsis that it had..."
The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1)
 
N/A
"original review at: http://www.literarychaos.com/ In the spirit of honesty, I would never have picked this book up for myself...."
The Wood
 
3.7
"I bought this by impulse. Seeing as this book was primarily a cover-buy, I did not have many expectations..."
You Are The Everything
 
4.0
"Elyse Schmidt has the biggest crush on Josh Harris, but he has no idea. When tragedy strikes on their plane..."
Girl At The Grave
 
4.0
"Valentine was only six years old when her murder was hung for murder. After the death, she's basically taken care..."
Going Places
 
4.0
"GOING PLACES by Kathryn Berla is a coming-of-age novel that follows Hudson Wheeler through his senior year of high school...."
Hearts Unbroken
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: When Louise’s boyfriend Cam first disparages Native people in front of her–specifically his brother’s Kickapoo spouse–he isn’t..."
What If It's Us
 
4.0
"I’ve read both Becky and Adam books and What If It’s Us is a combination of the very best of..."
The Disasters
 
3.3
"What worked: This is a high energy soap opera romp through space. Think Breakfast Club meets Firefly. There's action, suspense,..."
Lucky in Love
 
4.0
"'Lucky in Love' by Kasie West captures a not-too-familiar storyline, but injects it with all-too-understandable themes. When main character Maddie..."
The Goldfish Boy
 
5.0
"Twelve-year-old Matthew is reluctant to leave his house due to his fear of illness and germs, so he watches and..."
Pokeweed: An Illustrated Novella
 
5.0
"This book was released on September 20th, 2018 and received over ten reviews in its first 2 weeks."
Defiance (Defiance #1)
 
4.0
""Defiance" follows Rachel and Logan, who live in a city-state where the Commander rules with a brutal totality. Women are..."
Deception (Defiance #2)
 
4.0
""Deception" continues Rachel and Logan's story as the survivors of Baalboden head into Wasteland to make a new life for..."
The Shadow Queen
 
4.0
""The Shadow Queen" is a fantastic retelling of Snow White. Lorelai is a young princess when her mother does and..."
The Collector (Dante Walker #1)
 
3.0
"I have some mixed feelings. "The Collector" follows Dante in the first person- he is telling us his story. Dante..."