Title: The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides
Author: Ben Tripp
Series: Adventures of Kit Bristol, #1
Genre: Fiction – fantasy, historical, young adult
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Number of Pages: 304
(Disclaimer: If you purchase the book from Amazon through my link, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
Kit Bristol is on the run after being mistaken for a notorious highwayman. He’s forced to adopt the highwayman’s quest to rescue a fairy princess from an arranged marriage to the future King George III.
The Accidental Highwayman is one of my favorite books. The story has plenty of good, old-fashioned adventure in it, and I loved the characters!
Tripp’s writing style in this book is like nothing I’ve read before. The style reminds me of the kind of writing you’d find in an 18th-century memoir, but with more personality. The book is written in first-person point of view which allows a glimpse of Kit’s sense of humor and his view of the world.
Tripp does a great job blending the genres of fantasy and history. The fantasy elements are intriguing, and the historical context is fascinating. The book gives a sense of what life was like in 18th-century England. I learned the average lifespan was 30 years. Half of the population was under the age of 20. In the future United States, the French and Indian War was being fought. I also learned a lot of fun little facts like how matches of the time were made of phosphorous, and the smoke from them was poisonous.
Tripp acknowledges being influenced by authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, Madeleine L’Engle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, and others. Such a varied influence of authors makes this a unique book.
The illustrations (which were done by the author) are wonderful! They add so much to the book and I wish more novels had illustrations.
This is an outstanding book with an intriguing situation, wonderful characters, exciting action, and great writing. I recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy and/or historical fiction, and anyone who’s in the mood for a unique, good old-fashioned adventure. I’ll be reading it again someday, and I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel (which isn’t out yet).
I read the book way back in 2016, but I listened to the audiobook this past fall. As with any audiobook, I start out unsure of the narrator. For me, no matter how good the book is, the narrator either makes or breaks the audio version. In this case, the narrator is excellent! He does a great job with the reading and the character voices.
His tone and inflection helped me understand much more of the meaning in the dialogue. When I read a book, even a book set in England as this one is, I can’t help but hear all the dialogue in my own voice, so it was nice to hear all the varied accents in the audiobook.
It’s tough to choose between the book and the audiobook. The book’s advantage is the illustrations, and the audiobook’s advantage is the presentation of the dialogue. Both are worth experiencing, in my opinion.
I recommend this to:
- Fans of good old-fashioned adventure.
- Anyone who is looking for historical fiction with a twist.
• (From the preface) Gentle reader, this story contains nearly as many dark deeds, treacherous villains, and acts of violence as one might expect to find in a typical morning newspaper…But it is also a true story. It is a story about bravery, loyalty, and love.
• The heart is wiser than the head.
• “Here’s what this little life of mine has taught me. There is only one reason to live, and there is only one reason to die, and that is love.”
Have you read historical fantasy before?