Lady Of The Forest by Jennifer Roberson is a re-telling of the Robin Hood legend.
Maid Marian is still reeling from the death of her father, Hugh FitzWalter, and wondering what will happen to her childhood home of Ravenskeep, when the Sheriff of Nottingham takes an interest in her.
Robert of Locksley has only recently returned home from the crusades where he fought at the side of Richard the Lionheart. Still nursing old wounds and deeper emotional scars he fights to return to his old life even though he has become a different man.
The lives of Marian and Robin are destined to intertwine as the heir to a vast throne becomes known as an infamous outlaw, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Or is that how the story goes? What of Little John and Sherwood forest? What did Will Scarlett do to receive punishment of death? Will Prince John succeed in stealing Richard's throne... Guess you'll have to read to find out!
I actually read this book over a long period. It is over 600 pages long and is a bit on the slow side in the beginning.
I, like most readers, was very much aware of the Legend of Robin Hood, from movies, like Kevin Costner's, "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" and the BBC weekly show, "Robin Hood." It's a story we've always heard. Robin Hood stole from the poor and gave to rich. He was able to shoot a bow so well that he could split another arrow in to. He was the confidant of King Richard. I believe when I started this novel I was expecting to have those tried and true idea's about Robin Hood challenged. I was expecting something new and different. I realize that re-telling a legend is probably one of the more difficult pursuits for an author, but I was a little disappointed. After reading the entire book I felt like I hadn't learned anything new.
The story telling was excellent the characters were very well developed, the settings were descriptive and beautiful. But, you knew exactly what was going to happen. Maid Marian and Robin Hood's love story has been told time and again and I just wanted something more, some sort of different take on the tale.
Jennifer Roberson's follow up book, The Lady of Sherwood continues the story where Lady of the Forest leaves off. Sadly, I haven't picked that one up. I've read other books by Jennifer Roberson that I enjoyed very much. Like the Sword-Dancer series and the Karavan's Series which I highly recommend, but I just wasn't too thrilled with Lady of the Forest.
Overall I would have to give this one 2 out 5 apples from my book bag!