*Note, I was provided an advanced reader’s copy of The Forest Queen from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Robin Hood reimagined as a female? Yes, please!
The Forest Queen is the story of Lady Silviana of Loughsley, “Silvie”. Raised amongst the wealth and power of nobility, Silvie has been isolated from the struggles of the countrymen who live just outside the walls of her manor. But when her father grows ill, and the king names her brother, John as Sheriff, Silvie begins to see just how barbaric and cruel he’ll be with the power he’s been granted.
In the dark of the night Silvie flees her home with her best friend, Bird (Robert Falconer). Together they, along with a steadily increasing band of followers, build haven in the trees of the surrounding forest.
In true Robin Hood fashion Silvie and her new friends return to Loughsley in nighttime raids to “rob from the rich and give to the poor”.
The Forest Queen was an intriguing concept. I found it a bit hard to get drawn in to at the beginning and found the build up to be slow. This book might be setting the groundwork for further books, which I understand, but I’d prefer more swashbuckling and adventure with my Robin Hood stories (even if it’s just Book 1).
Some of the characters felt underdeveloped, I did come to really like Bird and Little Jane though.
One of the things I really appreciated in this book was the idea that a female character could be relied on to take the leadership role in both a rebellion and the establishment of a community. Just because of her own attributes Silvie was viewed as the authority figure in the band of evacuees from Loughsley.
I can’t say I liked The Forest Queen enough to rave about it, but it was entertaining, interesting and an easy read.