{ARC} Review: Sherwood by Meagan Spooner || When the romance isn’t worth it

Sherwood

Meagan Spooner

Robin of Locksley is dead.

Maid Marian doesn’t know how she’ll go on, but the people of Locksley town, persecuted by the Sheriff of Nottingham, need a protector. And the dreadful Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff’s right hand, wishes to step into Robin’s shoes as Lord of Locksley andMarian’s fiancé.

Who is there to stop them?

Marian never meant to tread in Robin’s footsteps—never intended to stand as a beacon of hope to those awaiting his triumphant return. But with a sweep of his green cloak and the flash of her sword, Marian makes the choice to become her own hero: Robin Hood.

Publisher: HarperTeen

Published: March 19th 2019 

Goodreads

 
 

 

Trigger Warning

 

 

 

Blood, Death, Murder, Grief, Misogyny, Mention of Torture

I actually don’t know how to write this review. However, I should probably make a disclaimer: I liked this book. A lot. It was feminist and had action and a great cast of characters. Yet… I may gripe a bit more in the review for such a positive view on the book. So just remember, I LIKED THIS BOOK.

The premise of Marian taking the place of Robin after his death caught my interest of course and I honestly liked it yes I’m repetitive. The portrayal of her depression and grief, though it’s appearance was quick— we did start the book with Robin’s death, was done realistically and felt fleshed out.

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We even get Robin’s flashback POV’s from when they first met and how their relationship developed and yes, friends-to-lovers is my jam. But it was a nice addition to the insight of the two characters and their development to who they came to be as adults.

And the overall pacing was great, though there’s not really a slow moment; the rise and fall of the story beats were perfectly paced. It doesn’t hurt that the cast was pretty amazing, too.

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But you can expect that from any Robin Hood reimagining. However, I wasn’t expecting some characters to make an appearance. Some characters tend to be left out, like Alan a Dale, who I was not expecting and it gave me that found family aspect that I oh so love. Even Marian’s relationship with her father— that might be my favorite part of the book.

And this is very much a feminist, destroy the patriarchy story with discussions from not only her maid, who is quick to call Marian on her privileged, but other nobility, who may not have much agency, but do the small things to make just a little difference. And of course Marian, parading as Robin leading the merry men, knowing they can never know her true identity as they wouldn’t accept her as she is. 

So where did it go wrong?

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My biggest issue with this entire book is the last 25% and the romance, which strangely enough correlate. A lot of my issues are spoilery, so I’ll keep it tagged but it had.. no development? It wasn’t instalove, but I completely missed the chemistry and in a way contradicted/erased the feminist arc Marian went through. And that half hearted attempted to say Marian didn’t love Robin as much as he loved her… I could’ve been down for that if that forced romance with Gisborne wasn’t shoved in my face. At exactly the 75% mark in my copy was just a random I love you and an albeit very swoony yet again random romantic moment. It’s wild how not only does she find some agency, but now gets into a relationship that I’m kind of side eyeing and is now back at square one, relying on a man for safety. And I get it: times like these don’t afford women much, but… it felt like a setback from the 75% arc that she went through.

 

Which led to the ending being really unsatisfying… if you’ve read the spoilers you’d know. So one star being knocked off is kind of disappointing. I can’t say I’m disappointed with the entire thing, but all of that for the payoff that was given… it doesn’t bother me too much. I still enjoyed myself, even if I was deliriously reading for that last bit.

5 thoughts on “{ARC} Review: Sherwood by Meagan Spooner || When the romance isn’t worth it”

  1. Yes. Yes. And yes. This was my exact problem with the entire book. That Gisborne romance completely trashed the book. And I loved it so much up until Spooner decided to destroy all semblance of Marian’s power by all that nonsense with him. Ugh. It still infuriates me and I read this months ago.

    Liked by 2 people

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