A mostly Young Adult book review blog run by a mother and daughter team.
The fact that this book is described as a book for fans of The Princess Bride, was a reason why I couldn’t pass it up! I loved The Princess Bride! But can we first talk about this title? It is crazy long! So for the duration of this review, let’s just call it The Accidental Highwayman, shall we?
The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp took me on an adventure, that is for darn sure. Main character, Kit Bristol, was found by one James Rattle while performing at the circus. He takes him into his home, and makes him his servant. But apart from answering to his master’s beck and call, James Rattle teaches him skills that will serve him well. Skills such as defending himself and becoming a proficient swordsman.
Kit doesn’t question his master’s nightly excursions and stands up for him when others in the village inquire about it. But one night, he hears a ruckus in his home and finds his master severely injured who reveals his secret…that he is the sought after highwayman Whistling Jack, and not too far behind him is the villain of the story, Captain Sterne, who ends up being the thorn in Kit’s side. Kit must keep up the ruse that his master is well and resting.
Somehow, Kit accidently becomes the sought after highwayman, and his adventure begins! His travels lead him to a witch that tells him that it is now up to him to complete the quest that his master could not finish, as stated in magic law… a quest that includes a beautiful faerie princess (Princess Morgana) who is betrothed to a human king.
As the story unfolds, the lives of Morgana and Kit are both on the line…with Redcoats out to take down Whistling Jack (aka Kit), goblins, and dark fae, there is never a dull moment.
What I enjoyed the most about this book was the humour. It was everywhere in this books! Whether it’s found in the interaction between Kit and Morgana, to the crazy uncle you come across in the story, to the rebel faeries who help our twosome along the way. Even the evil Captain Sterne had his moments. It totally reminded me of the humour in The Princess Bride, but I also couldn’t help but have Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean pop in my head as well.
Most of the story in The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp was go, go go. One interaction closes and another incident opens up. It was the action and adventure in the story that kept me going. I will admit that there were times where the story slowed right down, and my attention was lost. It also frustrated me that Kit and Morgana had no idea how they felt about each other, even though it is so very obvious. I guess that’s an attraction for some readers, but for me, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. It was so obvious! There’s a reason someone gets jealous…why are you second guessing your feelings?
Because of some of the words or terms used in the book are from long ago, I liked that the author included footnotes to help the reader understand what is being said. I think if it weren’t for that, I would have been more lost. It also provided some interesting facts that make you go “hmmmm! I didn’t know that!” In fact, I’m pretty sure I said that exact phrase a few times while reading those footnotes. But on the other side of that spectrum, I was a little annoyed to have to stop what I’m reading to jump down to the footnote to find out what’s being said. At times, it would take away from the momentum of my reading experience.
What intrigued me at first was the author’s note in the beginning where the inspiration of the story came from…a chest belonging to an ancestor that hadn’t been opened in 150 years. Low and behold, the key for this chest is found in some random box of knickknacks with the discovery of old documents…and a story is born. What a great conversation starter.
Absolutely fans of The Princess Bride will love this book, as well as fans of the humour in Pirates of the Caribbean. If you’re looking for a book that will have you chuckling, while enjoying an adventure with unforgettable characters, The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp is one read you won’t want to pass up.