Roberson follows her popular Lady of the Forest with another excellent adventure about Marian and Robin Hood that combines aspects of the romantic, fantasy and historical novel. The action begins when Robin and his men, who are living with Marian at her estate, Ravenskeep, learn of the death of King Richard the Lionhearted, who had pardoned the gang for their legendary thefts. The king's demise subjects them once again to persecution by the sheriff of Nottingham. Roberson cleverly interweaves this fictional crisis with the historical problems that surrounded the election of Richard's successor. For sheriff William deLacey and Robin's father, the Earl of Huntington, support opposite contenders in this political conflict--reviled Prince John and young Arthur of Brittany, respectively. Roberson's tightly written plot paves the way for events that might have come off as coincidences or accidents in less skillful hands, and her characters are engaging. Particularly strong is her construction of Marian, portrayed as thoroughly independent but not burdened with anachronistic feminist ways. Her incorporation of historical detail, including the handling of bows and swords, is assured and lends an unobtrusive richness to the tale, while Marian and Robin's tumultuous love should keep romance fans turning pages. Exciting and satisfying, Roberson's genre-blending novel may be her best yet. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1999 Release date: 11/01/1999 Genre: Fiction
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