16 Feb 2020

The Piper's Pursuit by Melanie Dickerson

Hagengheim #10
December 3rd 2019, Thomas Nelson, 304 Pages, 
Print Ebook and Audio  

 A plague of rats. A giant beast outside the village walls. A host of missing children. And one young woman determined to save her people.

In 1424 Hamlin, Katerina faces threats from all sides. An outbreak of rats has overtaken the village, a mysterious beast is on a killing rampage of the village's children, and Katerina's evil stepfather is a dark presence inside the walls of her own home. Katerina is determined to hunt and kill the Beast of Hamlin herself before more lives are lost.

When Steffan, the handsome but brash duke's son, comes to town seeking glory and reward, Katerina decides he might be the ally she's been looking for—even though the only gentle thing about him seems to be the sweet music he plays on his pipe. But there's more to Steffan than she suspects, and she finds herself drawn to him despite her misgivings.

Together Katerina and Steffan must stop the enemy from stealing the children of Hamlin. But their interference might create an even worse fate for the entire village. Melanie Dickerson delivers another exciting fairy-tale journey of intrigue and romance in this reimagining of the classic Pied Piper story.

 My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

I'm not really familiar with the Pied Piper of Hamelin story, so I thought this was a worthy retelling. It's a little darker than some of Melanie Dickerson's other retellings, and just as a note to parents touches on some mature content.

I loved Staffan. He's that perfect mix of strong, manly, yet vulnerable and hurting from past mistakes. I wouldn't call him a rake as he wasn't immoral inn that sense. More a wayward or prodigal son.

Katerina, yeah wasn't so keen on her. At least she acknowledged her arrogance and rudeness at the end, unlike other female characters in previous titles by this author.
 Her stepfather's evil is just too obvious. He's barely even convincing as a creep, and at times what he did came over as so over the top he could have been acting. His men were almost cartoonish in their badness.

The plot was interesting, at least initially when you want to find out what's happened to the children, but that's revealed just over halfway through and then it just be gets sort of choppy and all over the place.

Also there were various scenes that came over as implausible , not did I care for most of the fight scenes. I get it. Swords strapped to your back look way cooler than the usual hanging at the side, but you would think that guys would learn their lesson about practicality when people kept stealing their weapons. Nobody ever managed to do that to Staffan though. Odd.

Finally some of the characters attitudes came over as too modern to be credible for the time period. And although they do things like going to confession I don't know sometimes the religion seemed a little modern too.

I'd certainly still recommend this author's work and keep reading her future titles, but I don't think I'm the target audience at 31 and not having teenage daughters.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for a PDF of this title. I as not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

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