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Review: Sherwood - Meagan Spooner

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Sherwood by Meagan Spooner
My rating: {★★★★☆}

YA Fantasy Fiction
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by HarperTeen

Source: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss
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 voluntarily read and reviewed a review copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

...It was every glance, every word, every interaction with servant and lord alike. The world had told her what she was to be. And she’d known all along that she wasn’t enough.

Somehow I missed reading Hunted even though it's been sitting on my Kindle forever just WAITING for me (but let's not get into a discussion about TBR piles today!) and I've kind of been kicking myself because:

1 I adore BatB retellings
2 I've heard a lot of good things about it from a lot of my trusted reviewers and friends
3 It's just so pretty and while that SHOULDN'T count for too much I just love aesthetic covers like that

So when I saw that Spooner had another book coming out and it was another retelling (not to mention the fact that it's ROBIN HOOD and genderbent to boot!!) I was super excited about it and couldn't help but jump up and down with a few squeals and hit REQUEST. Now imagine my excitement when my request was approved (again, massive thanks to Harper Teen!).

I can't actually profess to being a huge Robin Hood fan. I don't know any of the ballads, I've never read any of the books, but 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves' came out when I was a little girl and I can remember clearly watching it many a time with various family members and throughout my life. In fact, I'm going to have to watch it again ASAP. I loved this very romantic, action-adventure film and I loved Costner's portrayal of this iconic character. In fact there wasn't a lot that I didn't love.

As such, the premise of this book - the fundamental element that set everything in motion in this re-imagining was incredibly hard to swallow: Robin of Locksley is dead.... This isn't a spoiler - it's the first line of the blurb. However reading about it in the prologue was still distressing and everything in my heart rebelled against it. I was internally screaming at Robin to just look after himself first.... And yet honourable Robin, the Robin we probably all know and love, just wouldn't be the same if he hadn't given his life for his king.

Being my first foray into anything by Spooner I was just so impressed by the writing: It is GORGEOUS and just flows so easily and pulled me straight into the book. Even if I could barely stomach the fact that my hero was dead, I carried on just for the beautiful prose.

And I'm glad that I pushed through; this was a book worth reading and I loved the 'Girl Power' of Marian and her willingness to persevere for what she believed was right.

“You sound more like a man returning from his own war than a lady.”
"Who are you to say that being a lady, in itself, is not its own kind of war?”

This wasn't the fastest read and there were a few areas that I thought could have been trimmed down to make the plot a bit tighter, but again the writing was lovely enough to retain my interest. I would have also loved to have seen more of 'The Merry Men'.

Overall I did enjoy this book although I keep coming back to the point that I found it hard to deal with the basis (I just wish it could have been ANYONE else!). But it was entertaining and I can't wait to finally pick up 'Hunted' now that I know I've probably missed something amazing.

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