fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review Jennifer Roberson Robin Hood Lady of the ForestLady of the Forest by Jennifer Roberson

How to explain my feelings about Lady of the Forest? A romantic historical novel about Maid Marian and Robin Hood, it was an enjoyable escape and post-work-stress-reliever for a couple of weeks. I did enjoy it. Unfortunately, when I shut the back cover, I realized I had just read a six-hundred page book containing almost no surprises.

Marion Zimmer Bradley, author of the stellar Mists of Avalon, gushes about this book in the cover blurb, and so I was hoping for a novel that would make me rethink the Robin Hood legends, just as Mists made me look at the Arthurian corpus differently. Part of what made Mists fascinating was that it took an old tale and re-examined it, humanizing the “bad guys” and telling another side of the story. Mists questioned all of our assumptions about Arthur and Morgan.

But, Lady of the Forest questions nothing, challenges nothing. The characters are just what we expect them to be… It doesn’t rethink the legend any more than does Disney’s kids’ movie on the same theme. It may be a nice romance, but it’s not in the same league as the best historical fiction. If you want a romance, you might like this, but for a haunting tale of mysterious forests and renegade Crusaders, go read The Black Chalice by Marie Jakober.


Robin Hood — (1992-1999) Historical fantasy. Publisher: As Sir Robert of Locksley shuns his life of wealth and aristocracy to fight alongside Sherwood Forest’s outlaws, Lady Marian of Ravenskeep, pursued by the Sheriff of Nottingham, joins her lover, embracing his life of adventure and danger.

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  • Kelly Lasiter

    KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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