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

Quinton Wyatt's summer break before high school should be nothing...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
On Delicate Wings
Mia Walters is optimistic that her final high school...
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
Only A Breath Apart
Bestselling author Katie McGarry’s trademark wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance is given...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The world is quite the different place after the loss...
 
0.0
 
5.0 (1)
Pretty in Punxsutawney
A Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup from...
 
5.0
 
4.7 (1)
Through Fathoms Dark and Deep
What’s a pirate without her crew? Abandoned on an...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
99 Lies (100 Hours, #2)
Getting kidnapped over spring break was definitely memorable. But...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Ray Vs the Meaning of Life
Grandma’s Last Will and Testament names Ray to inherit...
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
51uDXTa8hxL._SX351_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
Celebrate the weird, wonderful, and the downright bizarre in this...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Next to Last Mistake
Tess Goodwin's life in rural Iowa is sheltered and uncomplicated....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Emerge: The Captive: (Book 3)
A moment of distraction has cost him his freedom...
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
Awakening of Fire (Dragon Born, #1)
Dragons are just legends from the past... Felicia’s life...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Penderwicks at Last
The finale you've all been waiting for: The Penderwicks...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Over Raging Tides
The pirate crew of the Lady Luck lives by...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Positively Izzy
Award-winning comics creator and author of the bestselling Invisible...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Onyx and Ivory
They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Navneet The Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul! By: Jack Canfield Disses,..."
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Sidra I absolutely LOVE this book! It talks about teens and their challenges with BFFS, GF/BF and..."
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by lulabell0513 A great book. Perfect for after an emotional upset, or just a rainy day. This book..."
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by looneytunez8 The Chicken Soup series are always something to look forward to. These books are so inspirational..."
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Maureen This book was very interesting it coukd be read by both boys and girls and teaches..."
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by Jossy Chicken soup For The Teenage soul is a master piece . This book has many inspirational..."
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Hope This book is amazing. Filled with many short stories you just can't put it down. It..."
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Debjani Mitra Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul is DEFINITELY one of the best books I have..."
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by Carmen This book is amazing...It really made me cry, laugh. and inspired me to write more poetry...."
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Amanda I especially like reading poetry and stories about and by teens because they deal..."
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
 
4.0
"Reader reviewed by stellargurl this book is about teenagers just like and unlike you. it gaves you the tales and..."
Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning
 
5.0
"Reader reviewed by Dino_girl This is a wonderful book, by Jack Canfield,..."