Monday, August 3, 2015

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest - Melanie Dickerson

Pros: The language used throughout the book places the reader in the time period.  Well done.  I appreciated the age of the main characters.  I LOVE the medieval time period, and I send a shout out to the publisher that as a reader, I crave more medieval books.  The plot has fine detailing and is exquisite.  There is a message of redemption throughout the book that everyone can relate to.  Also, the author does a very good job of setting up supporting characters for future novels.  I identified four possible future main characters (Margrave Thornbeck, Mathis P, Rutger, and Kathryn).  If the author intends a trilogy, rather than a longer series, one of these main characters may be paired with Kathryn.  I look very much forward to reading her next novel "The Beautiful Pretender," which, as I hoped, stars Margrave Thornbeck front and center!  Finally, the cover art is a winner.  This book stood out to me among hundreds of other books on the same shelf in the bookstore.

Cons: Although I purchased this from the adult Christian fiction aisle of our local bookstore, it struck me as juvenile fiction from the very first page.  I checked the back of the book for the genre, but there was nothing on the back to indicate that it was for teens.  The content is squeaky (read: unrealistically) clean - even for Christian fiction.  Physical attraction is an important component of romance fiction, and I believe it can be done realistically without compromising Christian values.  My main concern with this novel is the question "Who is the intended audience?"  The G-rated content points to teen, but the intricate plot points to adult.  I left the book feeling confused as to whether I should recommend it to other adult women.  If the author worked in more of a physical relationship between the characters, the story would come to life more for adults (think PG or PG-13 rating) .  If the writing style matured just a hair, I would consider that a bonus.