Fiction, Historical Fiction, Young Adult

The Highwayman’s Footsteps

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Title:  The Highwayman’s Footsteps

Author:  Nicola Morgan

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Most friendships don’t start at gunpoint.  But that’s how highborn Will meets the highwayman’s daughter.  They’re both in desperate situations – one badly injured, the other on the run from soldiers.  And so they begin to work together.  But while wounds may heal, the soldiers won’t stop chasing…

I don’t normally read historical fiction, but two things convinced me to pick up this book.  One was the promise of highwaymen, which sounded at least interesting.  The other was the three-dollar price tag.  I figured for three bucks, it couldn’t be that bad.

It wasn’t exactly like I expected, but it wasn’t bad.  And it’s almost funny that Henry played such a big part in the story (despite the fact that he wasn’t in much of it) and wasn’t even mentioned in the synopsis.

Will was the main character and the narrator.  I actually wasn’t too happy with the fact that he narrated.  His speech and his thoughts were, as best as I can figure, in keeping with the time period (the 1700s, I believe).  Which means the whole book had a formal, almost stiff tone.  That kind of kept me from getting into the book.

Other than the narrative problems, I liked Will.  Even though sometimes I wanted to give him a good long lecture about what it really means to be cowardly.  He was good with horses and totally unused to Bess’s kind of life, but he was up for giving it a try.  He was a likable character, but not necessarily a memorable one.

Bess (the highwayman’s daughter) herself wasn’t too remarkable, but seeing through Will’s eyes, she was.  Will had grown up with the kind of girls who stayed in bed for a month if they got stung by a bee – and then there’s Bess, who rides a horse as good as any man, robs people at gunpoint, and says whatever she thinks.  Except for the robbing people part, she wasn’t too remarkable to me – but she was to Will.

This was kind of a “meh” book for me.  I liked the plot just fine.  Plenty of adventure and excitement and running from soldiers to keep me interested.  But the characters just weren’t remarkable or memorable to me.  I don’t regret the read, but I highly doubt I’ll read it again.

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