I’ve been struggling with how I want to write the review for this book. Why? Well, simply put: I was disappointed by it. I adored Hunted so much that I would have moved Heaven and Earth to get my hands on more from this author. Like magic the second book appeared and I shoved everything to the side to read. What I was met with instead was a metric ton of repetition, painfully predictable story, and an ending that caused me to scream while throwing the book across the room (and not in a good way). This was just not what I expected and I walked away feeling let down.
We were told from the very beginning that this was a gender-bending take on Robin Hood, one of my all-time favorite fairy tales, so I was ready to put everything on hold to read – and I did just that. Only… it took me nearly two weeks to finish this book because it was just so slow, boring, predictable, and everything else I’ve already mentioned. Marian, the obvious protagonist, was a difficult character to connect with. After losing her beloved in a battle, she accidentally assumed his persona while trying to escape from some bad guys in the woods. No biggie until the rumor started that mayhap Robin was not truly dead… Marian continued assuming his identity throughout the story to help bring some hope back to Sherwood. Very noble of her but those outings of hers were few and far between. The rest of the story was spent describing in grand detail life at the castles, life at court, and Marian having the same conversations with herself numerous times. This girl loved to repeat herself. Aside from that, the amount of detail that was put into describing the food, women’s fashion, and hair style at court caused this book to be painfully long. It was nearly 500 pages, roughly 250 more than it should have been in my eyes. The sheer boredom I experienced caused me to lose excitement in picking this up and finishing. I finally pushed through it and skimmed the last 150 pages hoping it would get better (NOTE: IT DIDN’T).
I never connected with Marian’s character. I sort of understood what she was doing but everything felt too easy and convenient for her. She found herself in a sword fight with the Sheriff’s men? No biggie! She just so happened to look enough like Robin that nobody questioned that it wasn’t him! She was also lucky enough to know just how Robin did his sword fighting so nobody could tell it wasn’t him that way either. She needed to find out how something was being planned by the Sheriff’s half-brother? No worries! He’ll tell her everything. She found herself in a bad spot and needed to figure out how to escape? PFFT. Never fear! Robin’s spirit will “talk” to her the entire time and guide her along.
You get the idea, right?
The pacing was the other part of the story that really thew me off. As I mentioned, there were horrifically long periods of the story where nothing happened. Having pages and pages where the forest was described in painful detail was not necessary. If it wasn’t the forest, it was the fashion or the food or some other detail that had already been beaten to death.
I did not completely and totally dislike this book, but a great majority of it just did not live up to my expectation. AND THAT ENDING! Do not get me started on that because it was such a cop-out. I do not agree with it one single bit. The last 50-ish pages of the book were so rushed that everything felt wrapped in a neat bow and taken care of. Nothing felt resolved. It had me seeing red, that’s for sure.
Am I sorry I read this book? Not at all. Am I disappointed with what I read? Absolutely. I do not feel that Robin Hood’s story was done justice with this one. Marian fell flat and shallow for me. The only real character I felt anything for was the bad guy, that should tell you something. If you do read this, do so with hesitation.