The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, his Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Other Magical Persons Besides, by Ben Tripp, is as entertaining a YA fantasy as its title is long. Kit Bristol, former orphan, is in the employ of one Master James Rattle, also known as - as in a secret identity - Whistling Jack, the notorious 18th century English highwayman. When Whistling Jack is killed, Kit takes his outfit, his bulldog Demon and his horse Midnight, and finds himself on an adventure beyond his wildest imaginings.
A witch, to whom Kit has been tasked to deliver Demon, assigns to Kit the quest his master had been on: to rescue the faerie princess Morgana from an arranged marriage with the human King George III of England. Not only must Kit revamp his world view to include the presence of magical beings, he must now contend with those beings: feyin, pixies, goblings, ogres, gryphons, enchanted mirrors and maps and the like. In addition, the human Captain Sterne, is convinced that Kit is actually Whistling Jack, and is pursuing him singlemindedly, determined to hang him for the thief and rascal he is.
The best word I can think of to describe TAH:BtToKPhHMaMPaSOMPB is swashbuckling. Kit surprises himself with his bravery and loyalty, charging into his exciting adventures wholeheartedly to support the Princess Morgana and his new faerie friends. The story moves right along, the writing lighthearted and clever, annotated with footnotes. This volume is the first in a planned trilogy of Kit and Morgana's adventures - I have no doubt that the subsequent books will be as much fun as this first one.
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