Monday, March 10, 2014

YA Review: Robin, Lady of Legend (Self Published Alert!)

What if Robin Hood wasn't the man you thought him to be—what if he wasn't a man at all?

Robin of Locksley is young, headstrong, and about to receive the worst birthday present of her life. Still struggling to define herself in a society that believes women are fit for little more than governing a household and bearing children, she balks at her father's plans for her future, but the consequences of her rebellion prove deadly. Hunted by both her father and the Sheriff, Robin is forced to hide her identity and seek refuge as an outlaw in Sherwood Forest.


Robin: Lady of Legend

R.M Arcejaeger (2012). [Genre: Adventure]

How I found it: A kindle freebie via Kindle Buffet 

Robin: Lady of Legend is a solid reinterpretation of a classic tale - what if Robin Hood was actually a girl, the runaway aristocrat Robin of Locksley? The writing is clear, easy to read and (heavens above) had no noticeable spelling mistakes (my pet hate in self published works). The storyline is solid, following Robin from her days as a young aristocratic lady fighting against her father well into the classic tale we know and love. Each chapter is a contained story-within-a-story, a welcome trope for many of the younger YA set and perfect fodder for reading aloud. The relationships between Robin, her sister Marian (ha-ha) and Robin's eventual love interest are sweet and very nicely done.

All that being said, Robin: Lady of Legend just didn't really sing for me. It's solid and has some nice, extremely clever throw-backs to the original. But that's it. The girl-disguised-as-a-boy trope in YA is common enough and when done well (I'm thinking Tamora Pierce here) absolutely soars. Arcejaegars attempt was ok. The perspective changes were a little jarring - either I need to know what's going on outside of everyones head, or inside someones head consistently. Not both! There's a few opinions that characters have that are a little to modern for the setting - for example Robin objecting to a marriage on the grounds that the groom is much older than her. Arcejaegar also brings in an inspirational element right at the end, just as things are winding up. I have no objection to inspirational fiction, but bringing it into the last two chapters felt rushed and out of place with the rest of the book. The ending felt rushed in general, with many story lines tying up very neatly very quickly. 

So on the whole? Sometimes books can be just ok. I'd recommend this to a younger YA set who are looking for clean, easy-to-read adventure, but suspect older readers will find it boring. 3/5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I like the idea behind this book but I'm pretty sure I've read at least one book that reimagines Robin as a girl already. Given that this one sounds like it was good but not spectacular, I'll probably not be going out of my to pick this up.