Knopf Books for Young Readers
Hardcover 272 pages
Received e-ARC for review from Publisher through NetGalley
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Goodreads- Will Scarlet is on the run.
Once the sheltered son of nobility, Will has become an exile. While his father, Lord Shackley, has been on the Crusades with King Richard, a treacherous plot to unseat Richard has swept across England, and Shackley House has fallen.
Will flees the only home he’s ever known into neighboring Sherwood Forest, where he joins the elusive gang of bandits known as the Merry Men. Among them are Gilbert, their cruel leader; a giant named John Little; a drunkard named Rob; and Much, an orphan girl disguised as a bandit boy.
This is the story of how a band of misfit outlaws become heroes of legend - thanks to one brave 13-year-old boy."
Oh wow, this was such a great novel! Everyone that has every been evenly slightly interested in Robin Hood must read this novel. It's got a little bit of everything in it so everyone should find something appealing in it. Will Scarlet is actually the young son of Lord Shackley who has been off fighting with King Richard in the Crusades. In his place, Lord Shackley's brother Geoff has been running things and trying to teach Will, a mischievous teen who is more child than grown up, how to be a lord.
This is like an historical novel without too many dreary details, but enough to make you feel like you're really there. And Will, he's someone you will love! He's led this sheltered life, protected and pampered from the real world and all of the sudden he is thrust into politics and the real world and he sees the "Real England." He has to leave behind everything and everyone he knew, all the comforts of home and join the Merrymen just to try to survive.
This is a character driven novel with two different main characters Will Scarlet and Much the Miller's daughter, who is posing as the Miller's son. It's safer that way. The chapters go back and forth between the two points of view and they blend seamlessly. There is a budding romance between the two and it's sweet and good. Will is a gentleman and just what Much needs.
I cannot say what it is about this novel that pulled me in, but I swear I could not put it down. It's very well written, never a dull moment. Someone's life is almost always in peril and the Merrymen seem to take it in stride. It is very interesting to see how the Sheriff of Nottingham becomes who he is and how the Merrymen become bandits that give to the poor and why. Will has to grow up fast and face some ugly truths. But this is one of these books that I have to have a copy for my own shelves. I hope it's going to be a series. The secondary characters where just as interesting as the main characters and it was enchanting, a fairy tale in a way, one we've heard told over and over, but this was completely original.
Yes, Will is 13, but remember the time period. Much is only a year older and she is of marrying age. So this isn't a young book. It reads like an ageless book. I just loved it! That's the best I can say about it. I loved it!
I received a copy of the e-ARC from the publisher for review through NetGalley. The opinons expressed in this review are my own.
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