Sunday, November 16

The Accidental Highwayman

The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides
(Adventures of Kit Bristol #1)
Ben Tripp

My rating: ★★★½

ISBN: 978-0765335494
Publisher: Tor Teen
Date of publication: October 14, 2014
Age: Grades 7 and up
Genre: Fantasy

Themes: fugitives, fairies, 18th century England, performances, true love

Christopher "Kit" Bristol is shocked to discover he is working for the famed Whistling Jack (a highwayman of highest ill repute) when is master comes home in the middle of the night, mortally wounded. Kit dons Jack's cloak in attempt to save him, only to become locked in the magical contract his master was in: to rescue the rebellious fairy princess, Morgana. Chased by the English king's red coats and the fairy king's goblins, Kit and Morgana flee across the country for their very lives, picking up some unlikely comrades along the way.

As you can probably infer from the title, this novel is written in an old fashioned sort of way that is very reminiscent of the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson and Jane Austen. Also, Ben Tripp claims, in the preface, to have found this lost manuscript of Kit Bristol, and that the story is all true. Thus, the antique script with "found manuscript" plot, along with all the fantasy elements, does indeed make the novel of the likes of The Princess Bride. Rather promising, yes?

And so the story is pretty good, but I did like The Princess Bride better. Which is to say this book had some slow spots that were pretty tough to get through (and the old-timey vocabulary can get rough, but that might just be me). It took me a good long while to finish it. Kit is a great character, and I enjoyed reading the story through his words, but the other characters were a bit more difficult to get attached to (Morgana was pretty difficult for me to understand—so much goes unexplored). In all, I want to like it, so I gave it an extra half-star. I'd recommend it if you're up for it.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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