Roberson's retelling of the legend of Robin Hood will please all fans
of the classic tale. It doesn't re-imagine or mess with the characters
or their motivations - the people here are familiar friends and
enemies - but their story is fleshed out to a grandly epic 600+ pages
of enjoyment. (And there's a sequel, too! (Lady of Sherwood)). I felt
the book was influenced by the original BBC Robin Hood series (from
the 80's) as well as older version of the stories. The books strikes
an excellent balance between realistic and idealized depictions of the
people and their times, and between romance and action - it's
definitely a romantic novel, largely from Marian's point of view (as
one might guess from the title), but it never gets too bogged down in
romance (ignore the horrible edition of the book with the embarrassing
romance-novel cover art!).
This story is beautifully written, the characters and emotions of the story are very vivid. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or romance. This is the first book of a two part series. This was my first book by this author and I plan on reading the second part of the series.
Robin of Locksley comes home after being away on the Crusades with King Richard and attempts to go back to normal life. His childhood friend, Marian of Ravenskeep, attends his coming home party in hopes of news on how her father died. Marian only has to look into his eyes to know that Robin is deeply troubled from his time as a prisoner of war. Robin must battle his personal demons before he can but he knows that he has his own demons to fight before he can fight for her.
Lady of the Forest is based on how the Robin Hood and Maid Marian legend began. Roberson fleshes out all the characters from the traditional telling of Robin and his Merry Men and gives each one a storyline of their own. Robin starts out a broken man but with the help of Marian he finds he doesnt have to follow in his fathers footsteps and takes his future into his own hands. Marian starts out as weak but grows into a woman who can stand on her own. The Sheriff is depicted even more villainous and twisted which added a skin crawling creepiness to this dark tale of honor, greed and betrayal.
I had very mixed feelings while reading this. I was cringing at times at the crudeness. This is not a fairy tale by any means. I liked the meat of the story but there seemed to be a lot of padding put in making this a lengthy novel (589 pages). In the beginning I was not a fan of Marian because of how pathetic she was acting but I grew to love her. Other characters I just loved to hate. If you are looking for a story about Robins adventures, this is not for you. This is how he became that man.
(Book was provided by publisher for an honest review)
For the love of one good man and the good of all men, she defies destiny and becomes a legend. She is Lady Marian of Ravenskeep--the proud, defiant knight's daughter who leaves her sheltered life behind to join a shadowy band of outlaws who follow no law but their own, or the orders of Robin Hood!