by Ben Tripp
In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol is the unwitting servant of notorious highwayman Whistling Jack. One dark night, Kit finds his master bleeding from a mortal wound, dons the man’s riding cloak to seek help, and changes the course of his life forever. Mistaken for Whistling Jack and on the run from redcoats, Kit is catapulted into a world of magic and wonders he thought the stuff of fairy tales.
Bound by magical law, Kit takes up his master’s quest to rescue a rebellious fairy princess from an arranged marriage to King George III of England. But his task is not an easy one, for Kit must contend with the feisty Princess Morgana, gobling attacks, and a magical map that portends his destiny: as a hanged man upon the gallows…. (Description from Goodreads.com)
The press for this book has firmly compared it to The Princess Bride by William Goldman and I cannot help but agree. This book has the same fun, adventurous, and romantic spirit as The Princess Bride. The main character, Kit, is both bumbling and sincere, thrust into a situation that puts him in great peril, but he steps up and becomes the hero that we all wish we could be...a true gentleman rogue.
With swashbuckling runs from soldiers, amazingly magical escapes from malevolent fairies, and fun friendships with unique characters developed along the way, The Accidental Highwayman was a quick, fun read. I loved not only Kit and the perilous position that he finds himself in, but the characters, and yes, love interest, that he meets along his journey. I'm really looking forward to seeing where he's led next, because, of course, the book leaves poor Kit staring right into the maw of his next dangerous adventure...
As a small aside, the author, Ben Tripp, is the son of the illustrator for the Amelia Bedelia series. The illustrations that he adds to The Accidental Highwayman are perfectly matched to the text.
Full disclosure: Review copy received from Publisher