Friday, June 28, 2019

Mini-Review: Sherwood

Sherwood
Meagan Spooner
Published March 19, 2019
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 fiancé.

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. - from Goodreads
When Robin is killed fighting in the Crusades, Marian doesn't know what she'll do.  While trying to help a friend, she is accidentally mistaken for Robin and she realizes she has a chance to help improve the lives of those in her community.

I've never read a Robin Hood retelling and I only know the basic premise of the original story,  so I went in with minimal expectations.  Spooner is a gifted writer; her stories always have this quiet elegance about them.  However, this kind of meant that the action scenes didn't have a huge spark to them.  I never really got a thrill from any fight or heist scenes.  And I wanted more of those heist scenes; the small bits we got of Marian and the Merry Men planning and executing their missions to steal from the rich to give to the poor were quite fun.

Marian is a bit of the cliche "not like other girls" character.  Her height and archery skills set her apart and she doesn't feel particularly comfortable performing "typical" female duties.  I had to suspend some disbelief that people couldn't immediately tell she was a woman in Robin's clothes (although there were some good discussions about people seeing what they want to see, and to be fair, those closest to her weren't fooled).

The romance felt completely underdeveloped and unnecessary.  I much preferred the flashbacks to choice moments in Robin and Marian's relationship.  It just felt so real, especially how Marian remembered Robin in certain ways that others didn't necessarily agree with.  It made me wonder if that was because of his death and how things would have been different had he come back from the Crusades, and it made Marian question how well she actually knew him.

3 stars

26 comments:

  1. I've never read any of Spooner's books and I LOVE Robin Hood, so I've been interested in this book for a while. A pity that it seems rather average :(
    Lovely review, though. You gave me a strong sense of what this book is like!

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  2. I really like the Robin Hood story, but I am not sure I would enjoy this one. It just seems ok and I don't know how I feel about Marian assuming Robin's identity. I wonder if there are any other Robin Hood retellings out there that may be a bit more engaging? Thanks for the honest review.

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  3. I've only read the beauty and the beast retelling story by her, and it was quick and fun. I don't know much about Robin Hood's adventures other than the title track song (from a revamped movie about it) was used as my brother's wedding song-- Everything I Do, I Do It For You!

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    1. That was my dad and stepmom's wedding song, too!

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  4. I've been wondering about this one a bit. I like the Robin Hood story so I'm kinda partial to trying this one, but just haven't gotten to it yet. Bummer about the romance, but the flashbacks to her relationship with Robin actually sounds interesting. I might have to give this one a try!

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  5. I've had my eye on this for a while but I feel like I'd be disappointed by it. I don't really like "not like other girls" characters so that alone got me going like "meh" and the underdeveloped and unnecessary romance doesn't make me excited to read it either.

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    1. Yes, I'm kind of tired of the special snowflake characters!

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  6. This is disappointing, but not surprising. I feel like I haven't seen very many good reviews for this, if any. I'm definitely not a fan of a non-Robin romance happening.

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  7. I'm planning to read this for the retellings challenge so I'm curious to see what I think of it. I have a feeling I'm going to dislike everything you mentioned though, lol.

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    1. LOL, well, I hope you enjoy it more than I did!

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  8. AHHHH, I literally have this on my nightstand and it's just HAUNTING me waiting for me to read it. Like it's my next read! I am sorry you didn't like this one that much. =)

    Mary

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    1. Thanks, Mary, I hope you enjoy it, though!

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  9. This has been on my TBR but I'm not sure if I'll really like it. It seems okay, but I think I'll have some issues with things like you mentioned in your review, like the 'not like other girls' or the lukewarm fight scenes. Also, I think I'd miss a Robin-romance, even if we do have it in flashbacks... Maybe someday. Thanks for the review!

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    1. I'll be honest, I didn't have super high expectations going into it!

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  10. I'm really not that familiar with the Robin Hood story and have never read any retellings either. It sounds like this author can write, but I guess in a way that depends on the story and the reader's taste? The relationship between Marian and Robin does sound interesting though!

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    1. I feel like her books generally have high ratings, so it's probably more of a me thing!

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  11. I liked this premise, but it doesn't sound like it would be my cup of tea after all./

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  12. I totally get how you get how you felt about this one... I wanted more from it too, but I did adore her prose and I liked that she took a retelling in this different direction. :)

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  13. Hmmm... I had a feeling this would be an alright read. I read a Robin Hood retelling a while back and it felt the same with the romance and lack of action. I think this is YA which tends to add romance or at least too much of it when it isn't needed. Too bad. I might just have to read the original tale one of these days.

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    1. Yeah, I would say it's YA, and that's been one of my pet peeves lately with YA, the shoe-horning of romance into every story.

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!