Historical fiction is the genre of the day! With very little deliberation, I’ve decided to review Robin: Lady of Legend by R.M. ArceJaeger.
In this retelling of Robin Hood, Robin is a girl. All the usual characters are here, Mariam, Will Scarlet, Little John, etc. Robin’s father is Lord Locksley and arranges a marriage between her and the Sheriff of Nottingham. Robin runs away, intending to go to London, but ends up deep in Sherwood forest and the rest is history. Which leads to my one problem with this book: its predictability. On the other hand, if the story had been altered too much, I would have been disappointed. So, even though I knew what was coming, I was glad when it happened.
The character of Robin is perfection. She has a touch of vulnerability and the author very subtly brings this out. She is tough, but fair. While she never sets out to be in charge of a band of outlaws, she handles the responsibility with grace. Best of all she still has that Robin Hood charm and confidence. You’ll still find her issuing challenges, being boldly daring, and delivering one-line set downs.
The plot of this book is well paced. The author skims over periods of time, always leading us to the the good parts.
While the characters aren’t perfect, they are moral (aside from the obvious baddies….they are very immoral). Our main character’s take the power they’re given to help other people. They realize the consequence and seriousness of taking someone’s life. They work to protect those who help them. And they forgive and seek forgiveness. Throughout the book there really is a very strong moral message delivered without any preaching at all.
I read this book a while ago and then forgot about it. I honestly don’t think it’s forgettable, but that I read too much. I’ve read a few other retellings with Robin as a girl and this is my favorite. When I started glancing over it for this review, I actually ended up rereading almost the whole thing…and liking it just as much as before. I’m glad I stumbled on it again so I could share it with you. Happy reading, my friends!