I wish I could say that I loved this book. I wanted to, so badly. But I had issues with it. Which hurts my heart. And so I am giving this book three stars. Wishing it was higher, but I didn't love it. There were parts of it that I loved. Yet not enough. But I will say that the writing was all kinds of perfect. And I loved that very much. Sigh.
But good writing could not save this book for me. I will not write too much negative about this book, because it wasn't that I hated it. I really did not. But I also did not love it. I have so many mixed thoughts about it. There will be some spoilers. You are warned. A few spoilers about the romance. Or non romance, as it was. I will begin by saying that I was nervous about reading this book, as I had read another review of it. And it mentioned the romance and how it worked. I had hoped it would not bother me. But I know my heart. And I knew it would hurt to read about this. And it did. I thought I could get past it, but I could not, sadly. My biggest issue with this was the main character. Which breaks my heart. The final parts of the book was also the best parts of it all. Hmph.
I will begin by sharing what I did enjoy about this book first. I do not think I will write all that much about Sherwood. As it just ruins my heart to think about the fact that I did not love this book like I wanted to. I'm still thrilled that I read it, but heartbroken that it wasn't really for me. As mentioned, the writing was lovely. And the world this book was set in was great too. I loved the historical feel to all of it. I liked that it was a Robin Hood retelling. Though I have only ever seen the animated disney movie, haha. Which I loved so.
This book tells the story of Lady Marian. She lives in a small village with her father. I liked getting to read a little about her life there. Her father was a pretty awesome character too, and I enjoyed reading about him as well. Her maid, Elena was amazing too. She has a big role in this book, and I grew to care for her a lot. Did not fully love her, but I liked reading about her even so. Marian has been engaged to Robin of Locksley for ages, but he has been gone for months now to fight in the King's war, far away from Marian.
Word arrives that he has died. And everything Marian thought her life would be has died with him. She will no longer be the Lady of Locksley. She will no longer be free, though married to Robin. She is full of grief. Because she loved Robin. And they had spent pretty much their entire childhood together, growing up together, always playing together. Best friends. Reading about her grieving for him was pretty hard. I did not feel too much, but it was still sad to read about, and I did connect with Marian through most of it.
There is so much going on with this book. I do not know how to write it all down. So I will not. Her maid's brother is about to be hanged. And Marian will do anything to save him. So she puts on Robin's old green cloak, and goes out into the forest to save him. Which she manages. But now everyone thinks that Robin has returned from the dead, and is back to save the outlaws and the poor. Which he is not. Marian did not plan for this. But she is kind of drunk with all of this power too, and she uses it in any way she can. Hmm.
This book takes place over a few weeks. Marian ends up going with her father to Nottingham, the bigger city a few hours away. While there she must live the life as a lady, though she is also living as the masked Robin Hood. This story is all kinds of complicated and hard to describe. So I will not try. Marian passes as a boy for so many people. And as such she is able to help a lot of people too. She also meets some men in the forest, whom becomes friends, though them with Robin Hood. They were all great to get to know.
I honestly do not know what to share about this plot. So I will not share much about it. This is such a long book. And although I do love long books, I did feel this was a bit drawn out so many times. I kept wishing for more. More action. More romance. More anything. Marian is grieving for Robin. Though we learn more about them as the book goes on. That Robin loved her for real. That she might not have truly loved him that way at all, only as her best friend. Reading about their past friendship was good, though. I enjoyed it.
Then there was Gisborne. There will be spoilers. He is seen as the villain from the very beginning of the book. Marian cannot sand him. She hates him. And she treats him pretty badly because of this. True, he didn't seem all that nice for most of the book, but the way Marian treated him was still not okay. She did this same thing with some other characters too. Which made me end up disliking her a little. Gisborne is seen as the villain for almost all the book. Until near the end. Where he turns into the love interest. What.
Which was quite sudden. They were talking. He was sharing more of himself. And she suddenly realized that she felt more for him. Then they were kissing. And she was running away. Then a little more action and drama, a little romance on the very last page, and then the book ended. Yeah. What. I'm not pleased with the ending of this book. Sure, it was a good ending, but it was way too quick and ended in a wrong place. There needed to be more. More answers, more romance. I needed more of everything. How rude.
I was especially disappointed with the romance in this book. Sigh. It was about her past love for Robin, whom died. Except she did not feel romantic love for him. So there was no need to not have romance in this book until the very end of the book. And then such little romance too. I felt like there could have been so so much more. And much earlier on too. I probably would have liked this book more, if there had been. Ack. As I ended up feeling like this book was a bit too long with very little happening, honestly, and sadly.
There is so much I have not shared about this book. Yet I have written way more than I was supposed to. Oh, well. Sherwood was not the most amazing book that I so wanted it to be. It was not bad, though, and I enjoyed parts of it a whole lot. But I did not love it. But I did love Gisborne. But he was not there nearly enough. I loved parts of Marian. But not most of her. I'm glad I read this book, though. Huge thank you to the publisher, HarperTeen, for the auto-approval on Edelweiss. And I do think you should all read this too.