Sherwood by Meagan Spooner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
No, this book isn’t perfect, but it’s the feminist retelling of Robin Hood that I didn’t know I needed and utterly enjoyed. I love Robin Hood and I love strong, female characters, so I was immediately on board when I read the premise of this book. Marian picks up a bow and makes herself into a legend? Done.
Robin of Loxley never became Robin Hood, because he died in the King’s service. Marian is left behind to figure out what her life means without Robin and how she will go on. They thought they would be married and he would let her live her life, but now she realizes that she will be forced to marry another. Women in her time do not have the luxury of freedom or choice and that is unacceptable to Marian. I loved Marian as Robin Hood and how she makes you wonder, as the reader, what you would do in her shoes.
Meagan Spooner does a fantastic job putting Marian into the role of Robin Hood and making her a strong character, while still having to fit into the expectations of women at the time. That being said, the plot itself was the one aspect of this story that lacked for me strictly because it was sometimes a little slow and I could see that affecting people’s enjoyment of the book. Like some other books I’ve read that people have had the same reaction to, the action and story drops off enough that readers might struggle to get through those portions of the book and end up not finishing the story. That is super disappointing because this is such a cool feminist take on the Robin Hood tale and I wish that it wasn’t such a struggle for some people to get through.
I loved the supporting characters in this story, because Spooner was able to bring them to life and give them all unique personalities. I really appreciated that fact and thought that they were one of the strong points of the book. That being said, it was the character development of one particular character and the resulting storyline that I really loved. I can’t give specifics without there being spoilers, but I’ll just say that it is challenging for authors to get me to like or appreciate antiheroes or antagonists in a story because I struggle to relate to them – but I fell in love with this particular character. It was an unexpected aspect of the book and the character development that resulted from it definitely made this book more enjoyable for me.
Overall, I really enjoyed this (and the audiobook was well performed.) The characters were likable and Marian was an enviable Robin Hood.
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Sherwood – Meagan Spooner
Sherwood by Meagan Spooner