Book Review: The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson



I received a copy of this book from “” in exchange for an honest review.


Odette Menkels has a secret. Despite being a daughter of a somewhat wealthy merchant, she spends her nights in the forest poaching deer meat. The meat goes towards feeding the poor children of the village whom Odette teaches to read and write. The beautiful blonde Robin Hood believes that she’s doing the right thing, and God wouldn’t consider it a sin, despite the fact that poaching is a serious crime. How long can she go on like this, keeping a secret this grave? Would her future husband understand her determination to give to the poor?

Jorgen is a forester for the wealthy margrave who hates poachers more than anything. The margrave entrusts him with a task of apprehending the criminal. But when Jorgen meets the beautiful Odette at the Midsummer’s Day festival, he has no idea that she is the thief. As their romance progresses, despite the fact that Jorgen is much poorer than Odette and that Odette’s uncle Rutger wishes the best for her which in his eyes means she should marry a rich man, Odette is plagued more and more by her secret. Will their love overcome the secrets and the lies? Or will Jorgen have to turn Odette in?

This is a Christian retelling of “Swan Lake” with a Robin Hood twist and is the first in a new series of Medieval Fairytale Romance by Melanie Dickerson. I absolutely adore the Swan Lake ballet – seen it three times live – so when BookLookBloggers suggested “The Huntress” as a retelling, I ordered it right away. I’m fairly new to Christian fiction, and as an atheist, it was interesting to me how religion plays a role in a romantic story. The setting is XIV century Germany, as can be gathered from several German words scattered across the book, and obviously Christianity played a fairly big role in the society back then.

I initially had reservations about the book’s treatment of women – religion can be incredibly sexist – but I was pleasantly surprised to see Odette as a well-rounded, compelling character. She is not a “victim” – religion is a big part of her character and was obviously a source of support to her when she was an orphan living on the streets. It was also nice to see a Christian parental figure who genuinely cared about her and wanted what was best for her, even if it went against his convictions that young women should be married. Most characters in “The Huntress” are well-written and feel like real people, especially Odette. She was genuinely a good person and, as far as I understand, a good Christian.

I enjoyed spending a couple of afternoons with this book and I can say that my rating is 7.5/10


Favourite quotes:

“Children deserve to be treated kindly, whether they are rich or poor. A child cannot control his own fate. 

“I shall endeavor to refrain from being a temptation, Brother Philip, but I rather think it is the men you should be warning. Shouldn’t they shoulder most of the blame of they find me a temptation?”



Odette Menkels – Mia Wasikowska

Jorgen – David Kross



You might like “The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest” if you liked:

“The Belle Mead Plantation series” by Tamera Alexander

“The Valiant Heart series” by Dina L. Sleiman

“Like a Flower in Bloom” by Siri Mitchell



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