Mar 11, 2019

ARC Review--Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

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 fiancĂ©.

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.

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

I was a huge fan of Meagan Spooner’s Hunted, a marvelous retelling of The Beauty and the Beast and was eager for her next retelling, Sherwood. This time it would be Robin Hood, though with a twist, it would be Maid Marion taking on the iconic role. I know very little of the Robin Hood legend other than one Disney animated movie and a Mel Brooks movie. So, very limited knowledge but I was able to recognize certain characters as they made their appearance.

Sadly though, this read just wasn’t for me. I am not doing so well in choosing great reads this year. It’s saddening! The problem this time was once again, pacing! The pacing about killed me in this one! The book is nearly 500 pages and it took over a quarter of the book for Marion to achieve her first task and it was a task that was set for her from the getgo basically and to take sooo very long to get it done, about killed me.

We open to see Robin die and the news later filtered back to Marion. She’d devastated as they were betrothed and she goes into her cycle of mourning. It’s when she hears that her maid’s brother Will Scarlet has been taken prisoner for crimes he did not commit that she decides to act. She had taken a few of Robin’s things for the sake of memories but already her plan was forming to take on Robin’s identity and help to rescue her friend.

It doesn’t end with that one rescue—as she has to do it again later—but she eventually finds some other familiar people by the names of Little John and Alan—not sure if Alan was actually a character though from the original tale! And soon, they begin their mission of stealing from the rich to help feed the poor for taxes were being raised by the prince and enforced by the sheriff.

Then here’s where we get another (possibly) new character by the name of Guy of Gisborne. He set his sights on Marion for a possible marriage, but he’s also the sheriff’s right-hand man and does his bidding without question. He’s a very by-the-book kind of guy. He soon makes it his mission to bring the elusive Robin of Hood into custody in the name of justice.

Again, I will say that this book was very slow, for me. There was too much buildup and fretting about in order to get to all the action moments. There was very little doing and once the doing was done, it was time to discuss for a very long time what the next move would be.  I am sadden to admit that I did a lot of skim reading the last half of the book but the pacing was about to be the death of me. It helped to move things along as I skipped over a few things that were being drawn out. I sadly can’t really say that I enjoyed this one as much as Meagan’s first retelling. Perhaps it’s because I was not a Robin Hood fan like I was with The Beauty and the Beast. Again, I have very little knowledge where Robin and his Merry Men are concerned.

There wasn’t a great deal of romance in this one either. We only ever got to see Marion and Robin together through flashbacks of their childhood growing up together and right before Robin left to fight in the King’s war. Though it shouldn’t be too surprising that a romance was on the horizon for Marion from an unexpected suitor. That particular bit let me feeling conflicted. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that turn of events, but I wasn’t totally against it either. One of those dreaded middle road feels which is honestly worse than being for it or against it, in my opinion at least.

The ending though was pretty spectacular. It’s not a concrete happily ever after, but a more of what you will make it out to be. Those kinds of endings are particularly fun in their own way. While things may be over I still suspect that more adventures or misadventures will be had by all.

While Sherwood wasn’t the read I was hoping for, it did have potential. Perhaps I just wasn’t ready for a slow paced read after a handful of so-so reads. I’d still recommend this to all Robin Hood fans though, it definitely had its merits.

Overall Rating 2.5/5 stars
—again I feel the need to say that this rating by me means that it was a slightly better than okay read! Pay no attention to what other sites say about 2 star reads!

Sherwood releases March 19, 2019


1 comment:

  1. You aren’t the only one to say they didn’t enjoy this book. There are quite a few Robin Hood novels around - I recommend Parke Godwin’s novel with the same title as this one; that has a sequel which I can’t read again, though, too sad! But the first one was just beautiful. Amazing an American author who can write British heroes as well as he did! (He also did two about King Arthur - wow! Even better than the Robin Hood books)

    If you want a romp, Toby Venables wrote two books from the viewpoint of Guy of Gisburne, in which he is a sort of cross between James abound and Indiana Jones and Robin Hood is horrible!


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