Monday, August 10, 2015

If Robin Hood Were a Girl ...

A beautiful maiden who poaches to feed the poor. A handsome forester on a mission to catch her. Danger and love are about to unite in Thornbeck Forest.

The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and Odette Menkels spends her nights poaching his deer to feed the hungry orphans of Thornbeck. By day, Odette is a simple maiden who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.

For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave’s forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him ... a man who was murdered at the hands of a poacher.

When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries. The one man she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his cunning target . . . 

* * *

Melanie Dickerson has made a career of retelling traditional tales—Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, The Frog Prince and others—all set near the fictional town of Hagenheim that epitomizes the tales of the brothers Grimm. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is a version of Swan Lake with the added Robin Hood ideal of stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Except is it ever right to steal? Even for altruistic reasons? Odete must struggle with this, especially after she finds out what is really going on.

Like fairy tales, Melanie’s books are romantic dreams, but there are elements of Christian faith thrown in. Odete and Jorgen both sincerely want to please God, not powerful humans, in their choices.

I would have loved to interview Melanie for this post, but she is busy working on revisions to her November 2015 release, The Golden Braid, a retelling of—what else?—Rapunzel. 

What is your favorite fairy tale? If you were to write a retelling, would you set it in Mediaeval Germany or somewhere else?

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