Hey everyone! After reading and loving Hunted in January, I was delighted to receive an ARC of Sherwood by Meagan Spooner from Harper 360! The opinions expressed here are my own and are in no way influenced by the publisher.
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.
I’m really liking the way Meagan Spooner writes! This is the second book of hers that I’ve read and I’ve been impressed both times. There is some lovely lyrical writing, realistic dialogue and a good amount of world-building. I could really picture Sherwood forest and I particularly liked the sensory detail that was included, such as the autumn smells of rain and bonfires (heart eyes everywhere!)
One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the portrayal of Marian’s grief and anxiety. Maybe enjoyed is the wrong word? What I mean is that I found it highly believable and appreciated its inclusion. It is wonderful to see more fantasy books exploring mental health topics as this is something that has previously been neglected.
There were some really great feminist vibes throughout the book, with both Marian and her maid Elena fighting for girl power! It was impossible not to root for them.
I also loved the found family aspect of the book. ‘Robin Hood’ and the band of merry men form a fantastic group contributing both humour and poignancy to the story. And there were some very interesting moral questions raised.
There was a slightly strange enemies-to-lovers trope that I wasn’t too sure about, though it certainly added an interesting dynamic to the story. It just wasn’t really where I wanted things to go. I did, however, find the ending to be quite satisfying; I wasn’t sure how Spooner would be able to wrap things up but I think she did a good job.
Overall, this was a fun read and I would recommend both this and Hunted to any fans of retellings!
A final rating of 4 musical notes!
Sherwood releases in the UK on April 18th.