fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsElsa Watson Maid Marion reviewMaid Marian by Elsa Watson

Orphaned and married off at the age of 5, Marian Fitzwater is awakened during the night of her 15th birthday, the day of which she was to move to her husband’s castle, to be told that he has just died.
As an unmarried woman with land attached to her name, she is now not only a very desirable catch, but now a pawn in the Queen of England’s strategic chess game to supposedly turn all of England to her son, King Richard’s favor. The catch is, Marian has no intentions of being married off to the highest bidder.

By seeking out the notorious Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest to aid her, Marian finds out that she is to be wed to the younger brother of her now late husband, a child several years her junior. However, it is not the man she’s worried about, but his power-hungry mother whom she noticed at her first husband’s funeral had surprisingly dry eyes… especially considering the mysterious circumstances as to how he died… Marian pleads to Robin Hood to help her escape this dreadful marriage contract and save not only herself, but her lands from being snatched up and destroyed.

It sounded like Maid Marian would be a good read, but it was not all it should have been. The writing style was tedious, and even though I wanted to get to the end to find out what would happen, I sort of already knew. The plot was predictable and at times, tiresome. It was fluffy — fun but not much substance behind it.

Maid Marian is told in first person from Marian’s POV, and therefore we get to know surprisingly little about the other characters. Though it was refreshing to hear the story of Robin Hood from an alternative point of view, it wasn’t exceptionally engaging and made me roll my eyes a little at times. It makes me feel like this should have been a kid’s book. All you had to do would be to take out the “we made love” sentence and it would have been. Young adults might like Maid Marian, but adults will get bored quickly.

Maid Marian — (2004) Publisher: 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.

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsJulie Waineo, one of our earliest guest reviewers, earned an MBA at Bowling Green State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a minor in French. Now living in Virginia with her husband and dog, Julie is an avid reader of not only fantasy, but historical fiction, the occasional “chick lit,” and children’s literature.