Review: Huntress of Thornbeck Forest

22574726Title: The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
Author: Melanie Dickerson
Genre: Fantasy, historical fiction, retellings

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
"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 forester.
Jorgen is the forester for the wealthy margrave, and must find and capture 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 she is the one who has been poaching the margrave's game.
Odette justifies her crime of poaching because she thinks the game is going to feed the poor, who are all but starving, both in the city and just outside its walls. But will the discovery of a local poaching ring reveal a terrible secret? Has the meat she thought she was providing for the poor actually been sold on the black market, profiting no one except the ring of black market sellers?
The one person Odette knows can help her could also find out her own secret and turn her over to the margrave, but she has no choice. Jorgen and Odette will band together to stop the dangerous poaching ring . . . and fall in love. But what will the margrave do when he discovers his forester is protecting a notorious poacher?

When I saw that the description of the book started with "Swan Lake" meets Robin Hood, I immediately requested this book on Netgalley. The premise sounded amazing: a vigilante swan princess who happens to fall in love with a man who has vowed to get revenge on whoever has been poaching the Margrave's forest: her. I thought this was a nice read, but it wasn't as exciting or entertaining as I expected.

I thought the main conflict was intriguing, and there was a lot more blackmail and political maneuvering than I expected, which was a pleasant surprise. However, I was not a big fan of Odette and Jorgen, the two main characters. Both of them are virtuous orphans who worked their way up after having lived on the streets; both of them are compassionate and kind and sacrifice things to give to the poor; both have a very strict moral compass and are purely good. It was incredibly boring. I like my characters complex and morally ambiguous, and if not, at least flawed. Both main characters were paragons of virtue and it was really hard to care about them because they felt so flat and childish. Neither of them really grew or changed over the course of the story, which also made it hard to care about them.

Although the main characters were not very compelling to me, I did enjoy piecing together the references to Robin Hood and Swan Lake. The stories fit together surprisingly well, and I thought it was a great idea.

*A free e-copy of the book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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  1. Well, I've been kind of curious about this book, but now I'm not. Honestly, I simply have no patience for those people that are 'good' all the time. About the most a character like that can hope for from me is that I don't hate them. Anyway, thank you so much for this review.


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