Tripp, Ben. The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, A Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides. Tor, 2014. 295 pages. $17.99. Violence: PG. Language: G (1 swear). Sexual Content: G.
Kit Bristol is an indentured servant to a gentleman named James Rattle. One night Mr. Rattle comes home with a bullet wound and admits that he is Whistling Jack, the highwayman. Kit dons his master’s clothes, rides his black horse, and attempts to divert the hunt for his master. Kit returns home to find his master dead and everyone thinks he is the highwayman. He makes his escape on his master’s horse, midnight, thanks to a little fairy magic from a witch named Magda. She tells Kit that he must fulfill his master’s bargain with the witch—save the princess of fairy from an unwanted marriage to the king’s grandson (eventually George III). Kit manages to help the princess escape her carriage, but loses her. He comes across her again and they travel together with Willum and Gruntle, very funny fairies. Meanwhile, humans led by Captain Sterne are chasing Kit because they think he’s the highwayman and assorted fey folk are after the fairy princess Morgana. Their group is joined by Lily, who is unlucky at love, her insane Uncle Cornelius, and Fred the Baboon. What is the best way to stay hidden while traveling across the countryside? Becoming a traveling circus. Historically perfect, magically fascinating, charmingly romantic, and refreshingly quirky. A must read for adventure and fantasy fans. More books to come.
MS/HS: ADVISABLE. Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.