When sixteen-year-old Sylvie’s brother takes over management of their family’s vast estates, Sylvie feels powerless to stop his abuse of the local commoners. Her dearest friend asks her to run away to the woods with him, and soon a host of other villagers join them. Together, they form their own community and fight to right the wrongs perpetrated by the king and his noblemen.
” I don’t think about it. But I should . . . you gave up everything . . .”
I have such mixed feelings about this book. At first, I really liked it. It ended with a smile on my face! But then…the more I thought about it the more I realized there were problems and problems and problemssss…
At first, upon seeing this book, it looks just amazing! A gender swapped Robin Hood retelling with an amazing strong female herione! And the premise really did draw me in. Now, I don’t actually know the story of Robin Hood very well except for the whole steal from the rich/give to the poor thing, so I can’t really speak on its ability as a retelling, but I can say that I thought it was a bit lacking. Most of the time is spent around in the forest just, like, chilling and focusing on character development rather than action. It wasn’t really bad as a book, per say, but for Robin Hood I would have liked to see more details of robbing, more action, fighting, struggles, stuff like that.
The book did seem a bit unrealistic, as well. More on the fact that there were no struggles in their attempts to rob from the rich, there really didn’t seem to be any struggles at all? The main characters spend a long time living in the forest, and they don’t really seem to have any problems or hardships beyond minor annoyances in going from lavish lives of luxury to living off nothing in the forest. For example, there’s a huge build up and talk of how are they going to survive the winter? But, in the end, it doesn’t matter and I guess they just do? There’s no real talk of them building up a store of food, or getting thicker clothes, or anything.
The romance was really irritating too. There wasn’t really an tension or anything, just a dumb lack of communication that could have been solved by one single conversation.
Finally, the ending/climax seemed really rushed. It seemed to come out of nowhere, and was really random and there was no real buildup or reason for it to happen other than the author just needed to end the book? And again, there wasn’t really a struggle so it was kind of just like the author was like okay well this has been fun and all but I’m moving on to a new project so let me just tie things up real quick with a pretty bow and leave.
With all those negatives being said, though, this was really a fun book to read. I really liked hearing about Silvie’s adventures in the woods with her friends. There were so many instances that brought a huge smile to my face, and I loved the casual conversations and banter.
I thought that Silvie had really good character development as well! She came off a bit pretentious and annoying at the beginning, but by the end I was really rooting for her and her merry little band. She really develops into a leader, a forest queen, and stands in stark contrast to the antagonist, her cruel brother John. There were some certainly disturbing things to do with John as well, that really pushed Silvie, and I loved how she faced him!
I feel like at this point I’ve said a lot more of negatives than positives and it seems like I hate this book, but I really don’t. This is one of those books I think that my enjoyment of it has more to do with how it makes me feel than specific things I can describe. Anyways, it’s a quick read (somewhat unfortunately, as I feel that if it was longer and really developed it could have been amazing!) and I read it in one sitting so if you’re looking for a quick bit of adventurous fun fantasy I recommend!