Review: The Accidental Highwayman – Ben Tripp

One of my all time favourite movies is The Princess Bride, starring Cary Elwes and Robin Wright.

Naturally I have also read the book a dozen or so times, and while I would never be opposed to reading it again, I am always on the hunt for books emulating this classic.

While I was perusing the YA shelves of Indigo a few weeks back I came across The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp.

The dust jacket was stunning, and on the inside flap it read, ‘Fans of classic fairy-tale fantasies such as Stardust by Neil Gaiman and The Princess Bride by William Goldman will find much to love in this irresistible YA debut by Ben Tripp.’

Naturally, I was hooked.

Did Tripp’s YA debut remind me of The Princess Bride? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.

The Book

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….

The Review

This was a good YA debut for sure.

Yes, there were some flaws.

Like how I found it to be a very slow build, with lots of character development, and maybe too much flowery language.

But, those flaws were also advantages.

A slow build allowed me to become more emerged in the world Tripp was trying to produce.

I particularly enjoyed how aspects of English history were woven into the otherwise YA fantasy setting, and hope to see it more in Tripp’s future Kit adventures.

The character development was second to none, and I was reacting to the characters exactly how I was suppose to.

On a side note, I got some very Count Rugen-esk vibes from Captain Sterne, anybody else?

I also really enjoyed the fact that the romance between Kit and Morgana took roughly three quarters of the book to develop, and they can’t even act on it because a kiss is basically marriage in the fey world!!!

To get all Princess Bride for a second, when the wedding was mentioned in Chapter 34, I couldn’t help but think about the wedding in The Princess Bride, and Peter Cook’s unforgettable performance as the clergyman in the movie. (Mawage)

*Decides to watch The Princess Bride for the umpteenth time*

The only thing I hope is toned down in the sequel(s?) is the flowery language.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why its there, but it would be nice to see Kit, but mostly Morgana, lighten up a little.

Lots of for growth, and after that teaser for the next book, you can bet I’ll be picking up the next one.

Overall Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars.

Purchase Links

Tor Teen| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indigo




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