The Accidental Highwayman

The Accidental Highwayman

Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, A Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides

Downloadable Audiobook - 2014
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The Accidental Highwayman is the first swashbuckling adventure for young adults by talented author and illustrator, Ben Tripp. This thrilling tale of dark magic and true love is the perfect story for fans of William Goldman's The Princess Bride. 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....
Publisher: [New York] : Macmillan Audio, 2014
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781427260369
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file (09 hr., 50 min., 28 sec.)) : digital
Additional Contributors: West, Steve (Actor),- Author


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Nov 05, 2015

This swashbuckling fantasy was like a breath of fresh air. With a cheeky, self-aware sense of humor and a style reminiscent of Neil Gaiman and Eli Brown, it was an utterly charming listen. To be fair, some of that always lands in the lap of the narrator- in this case, the talented, sexy-voiced Steve West (what? I can't resist a lovely British accent, ok?). His ability to slip into different tones and accents that made characters well fleshed and aurally recognizable was lovely.

About the story itself: it's lighthearted and a constant romp (as you can tell by the ridiculous title), weaving classic faerie mythology with the late-1700s Britain. There are themes of friendship, romance, coming into one's own, what goodwill truly is, and then there's magic. It reminded me a lot of The Princess Bride, but somewhat less cumbersome in random details.

In fact, it's rated as a Young Adult, but I think the wry humor is more aimed at adults. And certainly the tones of myth throughout may go over the heads of younger readers, particularly if they're looking for a story with contemporary relevance and modern interpretations (i.e. Romantic) of romance.

In all, I highly recommend it for readers who are fans of stories like Neil Gaiman's Stardust. And do listen to the audiobook. I hear the printed version has some lovely pictures, but other reviewers have mentioned feeling bogged down midway through the book, and the audiobook version of the story definitely didn't feel that way to me.


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