book review

Review: Robin, Lady of Legend

R M Arcejaeger - Robin Lady of Legend

What if Robin Hood wasn’t the man you thought him to be—what if he wasn’t a man at all?

Robin of Locksley is young, headstrong, and about to receive the worst birthday present of her life. Still struggling to define herself in a society that believes women are fit for little more than governing a household and bearing children, she balks at her father’s plans for her future, but the consequences of her rebellion prove deadly. Hunted by both her father and the Sheriff, Robin is forced to hide her identity and seek refuge as an outlaw in Sherwood Forest.

Disguised as a lad for protection, Robin maintains a careful isolation from the world around her…until she chances upon a young boy being beaten to death by the Sheriff’s soldiers. Her rescue of the youth marks the beginning of her leadership in Sherwood forest and of the unfortunates who seek refuge therein. Robin’s endeavors to provide a life of honor and purpose for her people while aiding the land’s downtrodden win her high esteem, but enrage the Sheriff of Nottingham, who plots a deadly fate for her and her band.

As the Sheriff’s traps close in around her and assassins seek to bring her down, Robin must risk losing love, leadership, and life if she is to save her people and fulfill her destiny as one of history’s greatest heroes.

I am a huge fan of retellings so when I saw this book, where Robin Hood is actually a girl, I knew I had to read it. It was an interesting read that held my attention with a few plot twists that differed from the original story, while still keeping the traditional characters and story lines in the book. It did take me a while to read and I did have a few problems with it but, overall, I did enjoy it.

The cover isn’t amazing, but it shows what the story is about and it’s clear that it’s going to be a lot like a classic Robin Hood story. The title and the colours look good, although the author’s name in the corner doesn’t really match the rest of the cover. Having said that, I believe this book is only available as an ebook and so the cover isn’t going to make as much of a difference to whether someone would buy it or not.

This book had everything a typical Robin Hood retelling needs – archery, outlaws, a forest and an evil Sheriff. All the usual elements were there, although there were some things that were introduced in different manners, and I did enjoy seeing familiar characters and events in this book.

This book had a very happy and jovial feeling to it. It was really nice reading it because, as with most fairytales, when something bad is happening you know it’s going to end up alright. The plot was predictable at times, as is expected with a retelling of such a classic story, but there were some twists that I didn’t really expect. The story never slowed down too much and whenever I picked up it did hold my attention with whatever was happening. I wasn’t keen on the dialogue at the beginning of the book, but I grew used to it as the story went on and it soon stopped being a problem for me.

All the classic characters are in this book, like Little John, Marian and Will Scarlet, although there relationships with each other are a little different compared with the classic stories. Robin is the one who connects everyone and, although I enjoyed reading about her, she did seem to be a bit of a Mary Sue who excelled at pretty much everything. She did become more interesting towards the end of the book, but I felt her character could have been thought a bit more.

Similarly, the other characters were also a bit one-dimensional as I never seemed to get to know them properly. Some have more of a role than others in the story and they all have different personalities, but they were a little flat sometimes. However, I liked the interactions between the characters, and I was a fan of the twins (who, in my mind, looked a little like the Weasley twins). Also, the friendship between the merry men was perfect. I loved the way they’d have archery and cudgel competitions in the evenings, and they all seemed to get on so well with each other.

One thing I loved were the descriptions in this book. They were so beautiful and vivid in my mind, and there were some that I had to reread just to experience them again.

This book was definitely worth the read, although some characters could have been made more interesting with more of a personality. I won’t be rereading it, but it was a nice addition to the world of Robin Hood.

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