BOOK REVIEW – THE HUNTRESS OF THORNBECK FOREST by MELANIE DICKERSON
When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries. [taken from the blurb on the back of the book]
She was an orphan taken in by neighbors and treated as a servant until her uncle returned and took her in. Now a noble woman, Odette Rutgers teaches orphan children to read. And she feeds them.
But the deer she feeds them are deer she has poached from the Margrave’s forest.
He was an orphan living on the street until the forester and his wife took him in. Now, Jorgen Hartman has filled the role of forester, is caring for his widowed mother. And searching for the poacher he is sure is killing the Margrave’s deer. And who murdered the man who raised him.
Then comes Midsummer festival, and the dance that changes everything. Would their connection be strong enough to overcome all that stands between them?
In an era of nobility and commoners, Odette and Jorgen are already mismatched. And yet so perfectly paired. And in the depth of Thornbeck Forest, they are rivals. Her secret puts her at odds with the one man who has captured her heart. His task puts at risk the very life of the woman he loves.
Ms. Dickerson pulled me into this story from the first words. I was in the depths of the forest, I felt the anticipation – and the fear. She weaves the heart of her characters right into the fabric of the story, making them alive and believable. The struggle Odette felt to follow her heart, or make a choice that would serve the greater good. The ache of Jorgen’s heart knowing he loved her, and yet could never be her match. I felt the longing whenever they were together, and the angst that they could never be.
Unexpected twists in The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest keep the pace moving, keep the reader reading through to the final page. Intrigue, mystery, who is betraying whom? And the Margrave himself, is he the man who murdered his brother? Or was he a victim in the same tragedy? What sentence does he bring to the lovely huntress who has depleted the king’s forest of deer?
I am completely enthralled with Ms. Dickerson’s writing, so much so that for days after I finished reading The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest, my mind still went back to the pages of this story. I look forward to reading all of her tales. Let the reading begin!
I was given a copy of this book in return for my honest review.
Melanie Dickerson is the author of Medieval fairy tale retellings, including The Healer’s Apprentice and The Merchant’s Daughter, both Christy Award finalists, winner of The National Reader’s Choice Award for 2010’s Best First Book, and winner of the 2012 Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama. Visit her on the web at http://www.MelanieDickerson.com.
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