Review: Sherwood by Meagan Spooner
Robin of Locksley is dead. When news comes that he's fallen in battle at the King's side in the Holy Land, Maid Marian doesn’t know how she’ll go on. Betrothed to Robin, she was free to be herself, to flout the stifling rules of traditional society and share an equal voice with her beloved when it came to caring for the people of her land. Now Marian is alone, with no voice of her own. The people of Locksley, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, are doomed to live in poverty or else face death by hanging. The dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sherriff’s right hand, wishes to step into Robin’s shoes as Lord of Locksley, and Marian’s fiancé. Society demands that she accept her fate, and watch helplessly as her people starve. When Marian dons Robin's green cloak, and takes up his sword and bow, she never intended that anyone should mistake her for Robin, returned from the Holy Land as a vigilante. She never intended that the masked, cloaked figure she created should stand as a beacon of hope and justice to peasant and noble alike. She never intended to become a legend. But all of Nottingham is crying out for a savior. So Marian must choose to make her own fate and become her own hero... Robin Hood.
If y'all have been around What She's Read for a while, then you know I love Meagan Spooner. I read Hunted last year and it rocked my world. I don't even know how many top 10 or top 5 lists that book's ended up on since.
Well, she did it again. Sherwood is one of those books where you tell yourself, "Just one more chapter," but you know you're lying to yourself. You will be staying up all night to finish this one.
Robin Hood has never been on my list of favorite folktales (I think it's a folktale? The internet seems to say so), but you know I love retellings, and I guess I'll read anything that Meagan Spooner reimagines.
In Sherwood, we get a gender-swapped and cross dressing Robin Hood full of angst and intrigue and emotion. It's a bit of a slow start, where we get a lot of Marian and Robin's backstory and the play-by-play details of Marian becoming Robin Hood. But, really, the emotional journey Marian goes on is worth it. Once we hit about the middle mark the story just gallops. All we need to do is just sit back and hold on tight. Meagan Spooner's prose is as lush and beautiful as ever, the heroine as fierce and flawed, and the romance as complex and slow-burning as only she can do it.
Should you read it? Well, I stupidly started this one around ten at night and didn't go to sleep until I'd read it all, so I think you probably should prepare for this one. Also, get ready to see this one on every other top 5 and top 10 list from here on out.
4 1/2 Stars
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Expected publication March 19, 2019 by HarperTeen