Title: The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Series: Thornbeck / A Medieval Fairy Tale series, book 1
Genre: Christian, Fairytale, Historical, Romance, YA
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: May 12th, 2015
Note: Even though The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is the first in a series, it can also be read as a stand-alone story, as with the next two books in the series, The Beautiful Pretender and The Noble Servant. However, the characters that are introduced in this book are featured in rest of the series, which is why I recommend staying in order.
A retelling of Swan Lake.
Odette is a respectable young maiden by day, and a stealthy poacher by night. She knows it is wrong to hunt in the margrave’s forest, but she does it to feed the poor of the village, especially the children she teaches to read. Her life gets even more complicated when she begins to develop a relationship with Jorgen – the margrave’s forester. It is his duty to catch the poacher and turn “him” over to the margrave. Little does he know that the poacher is the very same woman that he is beginning to fall for.
Rutger, Odette’s protective guardian, thinks the margrave’s forester is far beneath Odette to even consider as a suitor. Instead, he pushes her towards Mathis, a rival to Jorgen who is better off. Odette doesn’t want to disappoint her uncle, but she also doesn’t want to attach herself to someone she doesn’t love. But what kind of future could she possibly have with the man who is hunting her for her crimes?
This first book of the Thornbeck / A Medieval Fairy Tale series became an instant favorite of Dickerson’s retellings. It was not hard to fall in love with Odette – a strong and fearless heroine – and her romance with Jorgen. The story felt fresh and unique, as Swan Lake retellings are not the most common.
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