THE PIPER’S PURSUIT
SERIES: Hagenheim #10
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: YA Historical Fantasy
TRIGGER WARNINGS: Mentions of domestic violence and child abuse.
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Two little bits of housekeeping before the real review.
First, The Piper’s Pursuit is book ten in the Hagenheim series. Yes, ten. I didn’t know that when I picked it up. NetGalley really needs to start listing things like that as a standard. There are a few references to Steffan’s family and earlier events. They were noticeable but only minor mentions, like cameo references. I think fans of the series will appreciate them and I don’t think the references affected my understanding of the story.
Second, I didn’t know this was Christian fiction either. There’s a noticeable amount o references to God, Christian values, etc. Whether this is good or bad will obviously depend on what you went into the story looking for. I wasn’t particularly keen, but I think it’d be unfair to add/remove stars or factor this into my review — like judging an MG for being aimed at kids, or a historical for being set in the past — but it’s something that I think you should know: whether it makes you more or less likely to pick it up.
The Piper’s Pursuit was a light-weight, fun and easy read.
I’m a big fan of fairytale retellings and The Piper’s Pursuit definitely gets points for originality. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pied piper retelling before, so Dickerson gets big points for that. It’s a pretty simple fairytale, without too much to work with but The Piper’s Pursuit manages to flesh out the story into something more complex and exciting. Steffan and Kat make for strong , likable protagonists and faced against Hennek, the mayor of Hamlin and a truly slimy villain, there’s a strong element of danger throughout. The plague of rats in Hamlin, missing children and deadly Beast stalking the town, add an air of mystery and tie all the other elements together.
The romantic plotline was sweet and well-paced. It fitted well within the adventure and mystery storyline. It has a sort of enemies-to-lovers trope going on. The Piper’s Pursuit a sweet romance, the kind of thing perfect for when you want a bit of drama, but also want to know it’s all going to work out in the end. It’s a comfort read: cute, angst-free, and feel-good.
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.
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