Melanie Dickerson is known for her young adult books that are loosely based on fairy tales. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is the first in her adult series of medieval fairy tales. It does not disappoint.
Odette Menkels spends her afternoons teaching the orphaned children of her village to read and her nights poaching dear in the margrave’s forest to feed those same children. While she is an excellent shot with her bow and arrow, the thing she treasures most is the fact that she is helping those children. Jorgen Hartman first notices Odette in the church on the day of the Midsummer Festival. Later that afternoon, he meets in her in person and dances. Jorgen works as the margrave’s forester. His job is to find and capture the poacher—a man he believes murdered his father. Despite their differences in their positions in society, the two are drawn to each other but also know they have no right to fall in love. Odette knows she is the person who may cost Jorgen his job while Jorgen struggles with the fact a life with him would mean a step down in society for Odette.
While the story was somewhat predictable (I figured out what was going on pretty early on), the true motivation behind several people’s actions remain a mystery until the end of the book. Odette and Jorgen’s childhoods allow them to understand each other in a way few others can. As both main characters struggle with whether to follow their heads or their hearts, things get more complicated for both of them. Part Robin Hood, part Swan Lake, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is an entertaining and fun read.
****Thomas Nelson Fiction provided me with a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.