The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson
From the publisher:
Swan Lake meets Robin Hood when the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant by day becomes the region's most notorious poacher by night, and falls in love with the gamekeeper.
Jorgen is the gamekeeper for the wealthy margrave, and he is in pursuit of the poacher who has been killing and stealing the margrave's game. When he meets the lovely and refined Odette at the festival and shares a connection during a dance, he has no idea that at night she is the one who has been poaching the margrave's game.
Odette is caught up in a ring of black market sellers of poached animals. She thinks the game is going to feed the poor, who are all but starving, both in the city and just outside its walls. However, most of the animals are being sold by the greedy leader of the ring-her stepfather. When Odette discovers what he is doing, she threatens to expose him, putting herself in great danger.
The gamekeeper finds her poaching one night and shoots her, wounding her. When he realizes who she is, he hides her to keep her from being executed by the margrave and also to protect her from her stepfather. Jorgen and Odette will band together to stop the black market poaching ring . . . as they fall in love. But what will the margrave do when he discovers his gamekeeper is protecting a notorious poacher?
Having never read Melanie Dickerson's work before I was excited to read her novel. I love fairy tales and was curious how her YA retelling would go. I was pleased with what I read and would easily recommend this to YA readers. Melanie Dickerson weaves in old fairy tales with a new twist and plot.
As a YA book you expect certain things to be not as intense as a regular book, yet you want it to still be paced well and interesting. Melanie Dickerson does a great job with this. She paces out Jorgan and Odette's story well and foreshadows events to come in the conversations of the characters.
The romance between Jorgen and Odette is appropriate for the age-group and I liked that even the kissing was seen as a promise for marriage, not just a make-out session. Odette is a strong heroine. She is not weak and fights for what she thinks is right, sacrificing. This is a good model for girls. Jorgen is also a strong character who is trying to do what is right in his loyalty and job. This is another good example of how to live.
Melanie Dickerson has done a great job and I am excited to read more from her.
I received this book free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.