Sherwood Rogue by Kristi Cramer
Well, what a lot of fun this was. The tale of Robin Hood and his Merry Men reimagined, and in a totally different way. The story is told through the eyes of a 21st century American girl living mostly in the wilds of the US to escape her difficult family life. After an ill-advised call to the universe, a portal opens up and she steps through it, straight into Medieval England.
This kind of premise shouldn't really work. If you're any kind of cynic you may think it doesn't, but it was a hugely enjoyable read with a strong female character holding her own with a band of ruffians who don't realise at first she is a woman. It's a YA book with a difference. Medieval times were bloody, mucky and brutal, and Cramer doesn't shy away from that. The story is well-researched, giving the legend due justice as well as a fresh new twist.
There is romance, but it doesn't really kick in until halfway through. The strongest aspects of the story occurred in Sherwood Forest, when the robbing the rich to feed the poor was taking place, as well as the practicalities of living in hiding. Kay's eventual love interest was beautifully handled, as it didn't veer into the romance tropes, which would have been so easy to do.
And the ending was beautiful and totally unexpected. Yes, you have to remember this is a fantasy time travel novel, but the writing and historical detail were so good, it was easy to forget at times.
In short, definitely worth a read, with a great female role model and a cast of beloved characters. Well played!
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