Thursday, 23 April 2009

Maid Marian by Elsa Watson

An irresistible reimagining of the Robin Hood legend, Maid Marian brings to life the rollicking—and romantic—world of the Middle Ages.

An orphan and heiress to a large country estate, Marian Fitzwater is wed at the age of five to an equally young nobleman, Lord Hugh of Sencaster, a union that joins her inheritance to his. But when she is seventeen, Lord Hugh, whom she hasn’t seen in years, dies under mysterious circumstances. Marian is left alone again—a widow who has never been a bride. But now, like all unmarried young ladies of fortune, she is made the ward of King Richard the Lionheart. Since Richard is away on Crusade, Marian’s fate lies in the hands of his mother, the formidable Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. The bridegroom Eleanor selects will get Marian’s lands and, in return, pledge his loyalty—and silver—to the king. Marian herself is irrelevant and she knows it. Determined not to be sold into another sham marriage, she seeks out the one man who can help uncover the queen’s intentions: Robin Hood, the notorious Saxon outlaw of Sherwood Forest.

Marian is surprised to discover that the famed “prince of thieves” is not only helpful but handsome, likeable, and sympathetic to her plight. Robin’s men intercept a letter from Queen Eleanor, from which Marian learns, to her horror, that she is to marry her late husband’s brother. His family has a history of mysterious deaths, and Marian knows she is in danger. Once married, she can be easily disposed of—a fate she may have escaped once already. On the eve of her wedding, Robin Hood spirits Marian back to the forest. The Queen believes her to be dead, and Marian begins a new life with Robin Hood’s outlaws, who pledge to help her regain her fortune and expose the treachery of her enemies.

I adored this! The Marian created here was a brilliant character based of course, in the 1100s this is quite a fast read at a atouch over 300 pages and there were no boring parts it all flowed nicely.

I have not read many books based around the period of Robin Hood, in fact if any at all so this was a nice light introduction (I have Jennifer Roberson's on deck - hope they are as good!), firstly we see Marian as quite spoiled but, not irritatingly so but, as we go further along in the book she becomes worker in the field and becomes far less spoiled.

I loved how like the last book I read this was written in the first person and I do prefer books that way although sometimes you don't always get a good feel for the other characters but, I feel you do here.

This is Marian's story of course, and naturally Robin Hood is quite a central character but, more is based on Marian, loved it!


Daphne said...

I've often wondered if this was any good. Sounds like I should add it to the list!

Kailana said...

This sounds really good! I am going to have to give it a read. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to add this one to my wish list - great review!