Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Review: Lady of the Forest by Jennifer Roberson

Book: Lady of the Forest by Jennifer Roberson
Genre: Historical Fiction/Folklore
Rating: A
For: Once Upon a Time Challenge (folklore)
From: Paper Back Swap

Okay, I know. You're all getting sick of the Robin Hood thing, but guess what... I'm not! :)

This book is yet another take on how Robin Hood got started. There's lots of history in it and political intrigue, which makes me want to put it in the historical fiction genre, yet as it's about a legendary figure, it's not truly history either.

Most of the book is getting to know the different gang members, Robin's problems and challenges, Marian's difficulties, the sheriff and his insane ideas, etc. In fact, it's not until page 650 or so (100 pages from the end) that we see Robin Hood in action, pulling off his first robbery.

Now, since my ideal Robin Hood interpretation is now the BBC series, I'm inclined to do a little compare and contrast between that, and this book. I'll try to avoid spoilers, but they may slip in.

Things that are DIFFERENT:
- Robin Hood has long blond hair and is big.
- Much is a little kid.
- Little John has red hair.
- Robin has a dad, a very obnoxious unlikeable one.
- Will Scarlet is quite scary.
- The sheriff wants Marian
- Robin and Marian get together (and when I say together, I mean together!) very quickly
- Guy of Gisbourne is quite on the wimpy side. Ah poor Guy.

Things that are THE SAME:
- the sheriff's mannerisms and ruthless are spot on
- Marian's spunk
- Prince John's interpretation is quite the same.
- Robin is meant to inherit Locksley and it's manor
- Guy of Gisbourne wants Marian
- Robin's archery skills... smokin' hot
- Robin has nightmares about the Crusade

Bottom line: I loved the differences. I loved the similarities. I loved the book!

Jennifer Roberson's official website.

Other Reviews:

That's All She Read
All Booked Up

(My cover looked like the one above, but I just thought I'd post this cover too. Whoa Robin!)


  1. Wow - those are two entirely different covers! The first one almost makes it look like a children's book, but you would never mistake the second one for that!

  2. That's kind of funny that your book cover looked a bit more like a romance novel cover than the one from above! :) I guess it would draw you into the Marianne and Robin story in a different way. LOL.

  3. Oh, those two covers. When they re-issued those romance novel covers I just shook my head. Not that they won't appeal to the romance crowd, I just...don't think it's representative At All.

    Anyway, Suey I am so delighted you enjoyed this one! So few people I know have read it and I just think it's wonderful. I love the ending. I love Marian in this one. And her wonderful, brittle Robin. Thank you for reading it! :)

  4. Talk about two different covers! One kind of looks like a kids book and the other looks like a bodice ripping romance! Love it!



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