Book Review: The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson

Posted May 2, 2015 by meezcarrie in 5 stars, Book Review, Christian, fairy tales, historical, Melanie Dickerson, mystery/suspense, romance / 3 Comments

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest book review

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie DickersonTHE HUNTRESS OF THORNBECK FOREST by Melanie Dickerson
A Medieval Fairy Tale #1

GENRE: Historical Romance / Fairy Tale Retelling (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
RELEASE DATE: May 12, 2015
PAGES: 312

In the Robin Hood reimagining, a beautiful maiden poaches to feed the poor, while a handsome forester is on a mission to catch her.

The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.

For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave’s forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him . . . a man who was murdered at the hands of a poacher.

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.

The one man she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his cunning target . . . What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher? What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?

From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson, The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is a story of danger and love.


By day, Odette Menkels teaches the poor children of Thornbeck how to read and write. By night, she poaches from the rich margrave’s forest to feed them, sort-of a female Robin Hood if you will. I personally loved how Melanie Dickerson worked in the Swan Lake theme here too – the transformation of Odette not into a swan but into a huntress between day and night.

Jorgen, as the margrave’s forester, is charged with finding out who is poaching said forest and depleting the deer population, and in the process he hopes to solve his father’s murder (at the hands of a poacher).  There’s just one problem – he and Odette are falling in love.  Odette is hopelessly torn between knowing that she needs to continue poaching in order to feed the starving children and knowing that Jorgen would hate her if he found out she was the poacher he was hunting. Adding to the already-complicated situation is the hovering presence of Mathis Papendorp, the son of the town mayor. Mathis wants Odette as his wife and a childhood rivalry with Jorgen only amps up the stakes even further as they both battle for claim to her heart.

DO NOT RELAX! Just when you think it’s safe and you can breathe easily, WHAM! Another plot twist comes out of nowhere and leaves your jaw hanging open again. I believe at one point I even said, “No way!” out loud and then grinned because it was just that good. And then when it really is safe to relax, Melanie Dickerson steals your breath right back again with a couple of kissing scenes that are ooh-la-la fantastic!

Honestly, I don’t think any book can or will ever replace The Merchant’s Daughter and The Healer’s Apprentice as my favorites of Melanie’s works. However, Jorgen Hartman just may be my new favorite character across her series. (Serieses? Seriesi? What IS the plural of series?) Anyway…  Jorgen is just so ….true. He is endearing and sweet and chivalrous and loyal and Godly and true. And oh how he loves Odette. (Plus, that boy can kiss! *fan* *dreamy sigh* *dramatic flail*)

I am so excited about this new series, and I’m looking forward to the next book which I’m told features the Margrave as its hero. (Yay! He is a very mysterious character but a good guy overall.  Can’t wait to read his story!) Also, there were still some unanswered questions at the end of Huntress that I’m hoping we find out more about in future stories.

Bottom Line: Imagine this – Robin Hood meets Swan Lake meets Melanie Dickerson. If the thought that popped into your brain was “perfection”, then you already have a great picture of The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest!  Nobody but nobody retells a fairy tale like Melanie Dickerson, and this latest release may very well be her best yet. The characters are faced with some of the most complex decisions, some of the most pivotal situations, as in any of her previous retellings, and we the readers get the privilege of being observers to how it all plays out at the direction of Ms. Dickerson’s talented pen. You will swoon, you will cheer, you will swoon, you will grin, you will swoon, you will drop your jaw, you will swoon (did I mention that already?), you will thoroughly enjoy this read. Fair warning though: if you are the type of person who bites your fingernails under stress, your nails might be a wee bit shorter by the time you finish the last page!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3+ / will forget to breathe on occasion

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Melanie Dickerson

Melanie Dickerson is an award-winning author who earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from The University of Alabama. She has taught in Georgia, Tennessee, Germany and the Eastern European country of Ukraine. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA), she now spends her time writing and taking care of her husband and two daughters near Huntsville, Alabama.

You can connect with Melanie at her Facebook page, Twitter, and her website.

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