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.
I’ve never seen or read a Robin Hood story, save for a few glimpses of the one movie with the animals. Nevertheless, a female Robin Hood? Pretending to be a dead lord? And written by Megan Spooner. Boy oh boy did this sound like something I wanted to read the instant I heard about. I adore all of Megan’s books and I couldn’t for this next fairytale retelling!
I loved Sheerwood with a passion, which is one of the reasons I hate it. The last fourth of the book ruined it for me and it honestly pains me to say that. I loved it so much leading up to the end. It was fierce and strong and everything I’d hoped it would be and more. And I had to watch it all slip through my fingers like dust. Something I was desperate to cling onto, but went completely out of my reach.
I’ve never loved a pre-determined relationship. I don’t know the people and I just can’t fall in love right off the bat. But I loved Marian’s and Robin’s relationship and never even got to see them interact. Props for getting to fall in love with a character who is dead. I was having some serious “show me his corpse” thoughts throughout the book. Just, as the book goes on the question arises if you really know Robin. If you love him or the idea of him that is presented to you. It makes you think, but I loved him. I still do and there wasn’t enough there to convince me he wouldn’t be a solid guy if he was bigger part of the story.
Gosh, Marian. She was incredible. I loved her and I loved how the story of her becoming Robin Hood unfolded. It was masterfully done, without rush and it was amazing to see all the pieces of the original story fall into place. She’s a strong, passionate women who isn’t happy with her role in life. And she finds a way to make change in the best way she thinks she can. It might not be the best and she knows that, but she helps who she can. She felt so real to me, I felt like I could feel what she felt. She and the rest of the book, was amazingly written and it was just so good.
The side characters were amazing and lovable, I even felt fond towards a horse. Everything was so well developed and the world was expansive, but I felt like I knew every detail about it. Everything about the story made me want to keep reading, made me want to know what happens next, and had me completely starry eyed at the strength of Marian and those around her.
AND THEN IT ALL FALLS APART. A romance appears, out of nowhere. It’s hideously underdeveloped, no hints at all that this is the direction the story would take and no interaction between the characters that would indict this would happen. I actually felt gross. Not even the intense emotion surrounding so many events could explain this. It was so random and I hated it. This lead the ending of the book into something that just slips away. It doesn’t even touch the mat, let alone stick the landing.
It’s like it doesn’t even try to resolve problems, just goes into typical YA storylines, and ends. It could have been so good and I hate that that potential was wasted. Marian deserves better. Her whole crew deserved better. The more I think about the ending, the angrier I feel. I don’t know what could possibly happen next and the things I can dream up aren’t good. It doesn’t do justice to the story that came before it.
I loved Sheerwood and I’m happy I read it. I just wish it could have been what it had the potential to be.
Thank you for reading!