Tuesday, March 12, 2019

YA ARC Review: Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

Sherwood
Author: Meagan Spooner
Publication: HarperTeen (March 19, 2019)

Description: Fans of Danielle Paige, Marissa Meyer, and Alex Flinn will devour New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner’s next fierce fairy tale-inspired story, which Illuminae author Amie Kaufman calls “a kick-ass, gender-flipped feminist retelling.”

Robin of Locksley is dead.

Maid Marian doesn’t know how she’ll go on, but the people of Locksley town, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, need a protector. And the dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff’s right hand, wishes to step into Robin’s shoes as Lord of Locksley and Marian’s fianc√©.

Who is there to stop them?

Marian never meant to tread in Robin’s footsteps—never intended to stand as a beacon of hope to those awaiting his triumphant return. But with a sweep of his green cloak and the flash of her sword, Marian makes the choice to become her own hero: Robin Hood.

My Thoughts: SHERWOOD was a wonderful re-imagining of the legend of Robin Hood. This time the star is Lady Marian. She grew up with Robin of Locksley. Together they learned to fight, and wrestle, and shoot bow and arrow. Marian was always a little faster to learn and a better shot. She was also taller. With Robin, she could be who she wanted to be. He didn't try to imprison her in the usual role for women of her time.

Things change immensely when news returns to England that Robin has died in the Holy Land in service to his king. First comes the overwhelming grief which lingers for a long time. Then her maid Elena's brother Will Scarlet is arrested by the Sheriff's men and scheduled for hanging. Marian becomes aware of the injustices perpetrated by the Sheriff and determines to do something. She finds Robin's signature cloak, the sword and bow he had made for her, and sets out to rescue Will.

Her adversary is Guy of Gisborne who is the Sheriff's man and the man who wants to take Robin's place both at Locksley and as Marian's new husband. She never intended to impersonate Robin but she wasn't quick to deny it either. Not once she saw how much hope Robin's reappearance engendered in the people of Nottingham.

She gathers a crew - Little John, Alan-a-Dale, Will Scarlet, her maid Elena, and her stableman Midge, among them - and sets out to right some wrongs. She feels that she is being guided by Robin's memory until she does something unforgivable and Robin's voice in her head goes away.

I loved the characters in this story. Marian was so well-drawn and well-rounded. And Guy was no cardboard villain. Even Robin, who dies at the beginning of the book, is lifelife. I loved the interludes that went into the past and were from Robin's point of view about how he came to love Marian and how they grew up together.

The writing style pulled me right into the story and didn't let me go until the last page was turned.

Favorite Quote:
Grief, thought Marian, was not the melancholy mourning of a loss, not the land and dwindling ache that ballads sand of. It was forgetting, and remembering, again and again, an endless series of slashes, each as violent and sharp as the last. It was execution by a thousand different wounds, it was bleeding to death so slowly that you are certain it will never end, that you will suffer this torture for eternity, long after your natural life has ended. You are Prometheus, and instead of your liver, the eagle is tearing out your heart.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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