Ben Tripp’s The Accidental Highwayman took a little while to bring me in. I think part of it was the writing. The book is set in England in the early 1900s (I think) so the language and way people speak is understandable but different enough to what I’m used to that some of the more subtle quips and jokes are rather lost on me. But after I got maybe 50 pages in I started to take it in better and things livened up for me.
The Accidental Highwayman is essential a story of the reluctant hero. Kit Bristol, a young man who has found a nice job as servant to a wealthy man who can’t hold onto his money, finds himself swept up in his master’s secret doings as a highwayman. As a result, he ends up meeting Princess Morgana and suddenly becomes immersed in the magical world.
There was a lot of hype around this book when it first came out and I won’t say that it totally fell flat but it wasn’t anything super spectacular either. There’s chases and battles and camaraderie and little awkward flirtations. It’s a fun story. Vaguely Princess Bride-ish.
I think I’m actually more excited for the sequel. In the first book there was a lot of exposition type stuff being developed and the driving plot behind the story was a little nebulous. Exciting and action-filled but nebulous. And the stakes weren’t really that high so I didn’t feel super invested. At the end of this first book, Kit finally embraces the new life style that has been forced upon him and he seems ready to kick some ass.
My expectations are a little higher for the next book so we’ll see what happened!