A new hero dons the iconic green cloak in this retelling of Robin Hood’s tale.
Young Lady Marian of Edwinstowe is not a typical damsel in distress. Long betrothed to Robin of Locksley, Marian relishes freedom more than future romance, prizing horseback riding, archery, and Sherwood Forest over feminine, domestic pursuits. But when Robin falls to stock-character Saracens in the Crusades, Marian is nevertheless devastated and wonders how to protect Robin’s people, Locksley villagers and outlaws alike. Haunted/guided by Robin—or an idealized version of him—Marian uses her noble station, tall stature, and unparalleled archery skills to become Robin Hood. The requisite (albeit not-so-) Merry Men, daring heists, and archery contest follow, all retold with feminist and egalitarian undercurrents. Secondary character Guy of Gisborne—black-clad, scarred, seemingly sinister and servile—surpasses his traditional toady role and evolves to become a suitable foil to feisty Marian. Spooner (Hunted, 2017, etc.) grounds Marian’s adventures with rich historical details and offers a flawed, fervent heroine whose revolutionary desires and short-term schemes encounter brutal medieval realities like war, death, taxes, and the inherent chauvinism of chivalry. All characters are assumed white.
Steeped in tradition but infused with feminism and political concerns, a Robin Hood for a new audience. (Historical fiction. 12-18)