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on 8 July 2014
I really enjoyed this twist on the classic story. I might be a bit biased because I am a huge Robin Hood fan, who likes to read and watch every incarnation of him or her. This is not the first time I have seen Robin changed as a woman, Grimm Fairy Tales: Robyn Hood but they are not using her in the classic sense like R.M ArceJaeger.

The story line is great and true to the classic, obviously with the gender change there are a couple of different twists. In this incarnation Robin is tomboy, who is continually reminded she will never be a boy with the rite that gender offers. This is never more apparent as when she is forced into an arranged marriage to the Sheriff of Nottingham. With no back up from her family, Robin runs away to Sherwood Forest, where she lives in the disguise of a man and change the course of historical fiction earning the title of Robin of the Hood.

The story is very fast passed. I especially like the fact that Robins skill in archery come from possible a natural talent that she work for year to learn, but other skills she such as sword fighting and cudgeling (the Seven foot long wooden staff), she has to work longer to learn and through hard work there is gradual improvement to the point where she is at high level with them. She is not afraid to put in hard put in hard work. The only part of the story I did not like was the last 2 chapters the battle was were a little too rushed, the escape was a bit too easy. However as she managed to keep the character true to his/her core fighting for the injustice done to the commoner I can live with this.

All the classic characters are in the story, some more than others, even some of the classic location and scenes like the fight between her and Little John in the bridge, and the golden arrow tournament. If you are a fan of the classic story the enhancements in this one will keep it interesting enough that you are not just reading the something's again. Excellent to for all fans of Robin Hood.
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on 23 August 2015
Very good book. Would like to see a sequel
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on 30 January 2012
There are so many books, movies, etc., on the legend of Robin Hood that I was really impressed that the author was able to come up with something fresh and original. In this case, Robin is a young woman living as a young man in order to avoid being married to the Sheriff of Nottingham. There are some other noteworthy changes with the relationships that Robin has with the other characters, but I don't want to spoil the surprises. The author does not simply retell the same story with a woman instead of a man, but this new version does stay true to the moral lessons that accompany the traditional Robin Hood legends about helping others less fortunate. This is a very enjoyable interpretation of a classic story.

If you enjoy this story, you might also like A Stepmother's Story: The TRUE Tale of Cinderella, which features another twist on an old favorite.
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on 11 April 2012
*Full disclosure: the author sent me a copy of her novel in the hope that I would review it.*

Forget what else you may think you know about the legend of Robin Hood, because this book turns the myth completely on its head in a new and original way. In this instance, Robin is actually an eighteen year old girl- raised in a wealthy household, though not particularly ladylike given the times, and more concerned with slightly more tomboyish pursuits, including archery and sword fighting. Headstrong and fiery, she is appalled when she is told her hand has been promised in marriage to the utterly repellent Sherrif of Nottingham and makes immediate plans to escape. Whilst dressed as a boy and hiding in Sherwood Forest, she accidentally shoots one of the sheriff's foresters, and that is when her life as an outlaw really begins and the legend of `Robin o' the Hood' is born...

I have to admit that I initially approached this novel with a bit of concern. There have been many retellings of the myth of Robin Hood across the years (and I loved the BBC programmes, including the CBBC version years ago), so I did wonder what else the author could do to make this story stand out as new and exciting. Thankfully, I needn't have worried one jot. As with most fantasy novels I did have to suspend my belief on a couple of occasions during this story, but I had anticipated that- and after all, this is a story of a mythical character- and one who has been re-imagined as a woman in this instance, nonetheless!

The character development in this book is solid and infinitely readable: having Robin as a teenage girl and with all of the issues that come with it makes for a very interesting story and I really felt I knew who she was and what she stood for. She is feisty and stubborn, but at the same time, having to hide her true identity from those closest to her as she makes her new life in the forest, which adds a very interesting dimension to the plot as her constant frustrations and irritations with society and her situation come to the surface. I kept waiting for someone to stumble across her secret! I also loved Little John, and Will Scarlett and how the rest of her Merry Men protected her with no regard to their own safety.

Working in Nottingham myself (I can see the castle from our office window!); I did feel a real sense of place with this novel and can imagine how it looked in the past through the vivid descriptions of the sights, sounds and smells. I have also been to Sherwood Forest many times and the author's description of the landscape felt very real and natural. It is clear that the author has done her research into the area itself and I genuinely appreciated nice little similes such as `his tongue began to flow like the River Severn' and the nods to towns and cities in the surrounding vicinity as well, including both Lincoln and Mansfield. Driving to them is so easy and quick by car, you forget what an arduous trek it must have been to get there on foot, or even by horse. Nottingham in the past is brought completely to life.

I suppose that my only criticism of this novel is that I felt the ending seemed just a little bit rushed, especially the conclusion to themes that I would have liked to have seen a stronger focus on and that were built up through the novel. Though the story has admittedly been set up very nicely (and effortlessly) for a sequel which I will most definitely read should it happen, I would have liked to have seen a closer look at the reaction of the outlaws as certain events unfolded towards the end of the plot, as well as a bit more emphasis placed on the romantic aspect of the novel (it's difficult to say too much for fear of giving anything away, here!). That comes down to personal preference however, not to mention the complete romantic in me- I'm a sucker for a good romance and this book certainly had a romance with a twist which I found particularly enjoyable!

Recommended- and not just for young adults; this well-written story should appeal to anyone with an interest in the myths and legends of Robin Hood- particularly if a contemporary spin on such a well-known story intrigues you. Full of sword fights, bravery, villains, unexpected romance and with a heroine you can really root for, I wholeheartedly enjoyed this novel and will be recommending it to my friends.
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on 11 February 2012
This is a must read, an enjoyable twist on the classic Robin Hood story that you won't want to put down. It does require some suspension of belief, for example the heroine learns to talk like a man within a day, but you're soon swept away with the story. The author doesn't simply retell Robin Hood with Robin as a women, instead the tale is re-imagined and reinvented with different plot points and different relationships between the characters. Unfortunately the ending feels a little rushed and a little contrived (the author is clearly providing a lead in to a sequel), but only a little, and I sincerely hope the author writes that sequel!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 April 2012
This is a fun twist to the old tale of Robin Hood. It challenges everything you might have read whilst still remaining true to the original story. In this version our well known merry rogue of thieves is a girl with the skills of a man and devil may care attitude to boot. At least the Sheriff is still the ghastly menace everyone loves to hate. I really enjoyed the opening chapters and the beautiful flow of descriptive text. I think the writer has to make sure that it remains consistent though as some of the story and dialogue dips into less remarkable periods. Aside from that I think it was a very good read and would recommend it to children/YA and adults. I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review.
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Did Robin Hood really exist or was he just a legend? No one really knows. This historical novel turns the legend on its head and casts a woman as Robin Hood. My first thought was that it wouldn't work - but to my surprise it does work and works very well indeed. Robin's father wants her to marry someone she cannot stand and instead of bowing to his authority she runs away and hides in nearby Sherwood Forest. An unfortunate incident in which she kills someone turns her into an outlaw with a price on her head.

Here are all the characters of the well known legend with a different slant - Little John, Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck and all the rest of the outlaws. Gradually Robin - without revealing she is really female, collects a band of fellow outlaws including women and children. They survive many adventures in their running battle with the Sheriff of Nottingham and the forces of law and order.

This is an entertaining and well written novel which takes a fresh look at this well known and romantic legend of robbing the rich to give to the poor. I enjoyed and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical novels which are just a bit different. I was lucky enough to receive a free copy but it is well worth paying for in my opinion.
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I enjoyed this retelling of the Robin Hood legend and read it pretty much in one sitting - easily done thanks to the author's fluent and easy going style of writing. I loved the fact that Robin is a young woman (disguised as a man for most of the book) and the interesting tensions this brings out in the way she relates to others. The fact that she succeeds in a (very) male-dominated world is also a gentle statement against mistaken gender assumptions though not to the extent that you could call this a feminist book; it is in the end quite traditional.

The book is aimed at a young readership which may be why it plays a bit safe in terms of the plot and the extent to which it explores some of the deeper issues it touches on.

Aside from Robin's sex, the various adventures will be familiar to fans of Robin Hood so don't expect any other huge surprises. The plots are a bit thin and implausible at times, but best to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the read.

The writing is excellent though the vocabulary is challenging at times (immuring, eructation, chiaroscuro); not a bad thing to be stretched a little though.

A fun read and recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 14 November 2013
I read this off the back of Wolf's Head (The Forest Lord), which put me in the mood for another take on this classic story. So here I was.

This story has an obvious twist, and it could have proved difficult to accomplish, but I have to say I really enjoyed this version.

This was well written, and it was nice to see elements of the classic tale we all grew up with; the archery tournament, the fight with Little John on the log etc etc. But even aside from that, this book kept me interested in it at every turn of the page.

Although a slightly different genre, I found myself comparing with Magnificent Devices 4-Book Bundle - a series of books which although set in a steampunk world, also centred around a young noble woman thrust in to the world of crime and the poor. I loved those books, so to see comparisons here can only be a good thing.

I do hope that there is more to come for this version of Robin - I would definitely read more and would recommend you read this if you haven't already.
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on 8 December 2012
Robin Hood stories have always been one of my favourites so I am always eager to read a new take on it.
The fact that Robin was a girl made me very wary and I did wonder whether this could spoil the whole effect.
The book starts of a little slow but soon gets going.
Some people have commented on it as being unbelievable such as learning to speak like a man in a day but then the whole story is about a legend/possible make believe character so what's so wrong with that???
Are zombies real because you read about them??? No!!!
The only let down for me was the ending. It seemed that the author had put so much thought into the whole concept of a female Robin Hood, how to turn the story into something you wanted to keep picking up and reading but didn't know quite how how to end it.
I won't tell you the ending as that would be cruel but you will know what I mean when you get there!
Overall?? A book worth reading!!!
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