You have the blood of kings and rebels within you, love. Let it rise to meet the call.
Isabelle of Kirklees has only ever known a quiet life inside the sheltered walls of the convent, where she lives with her mother, Marien. But after she is arrested by royal soldiers for defending innocent villagers, Isabelle becomes the target of the Wolf, King John’s ruthless right hand. Desperate to keep her daughter safe, Marien helps Isabelle escape and sends her on a mission to find the one person who can help: Isabelle’s father, Robin Hood.
As Isabelle races to stay out of the Wolf’s clutches and find the father she’s never known, she is thrust into a world of thieves and mercenaries, handsome young outlaws, new enemies with old grudges, and a king who wants her entire family dead. As she joins forces with Robin and his Merry Men in a final battle against the Wolf, will Isabelle find the strength to defy the crown and save the lives of everyone she holds dear?
This was such a fun and fast read, and although it is being sold as a standalone I would definitely enjoy coming back to this world someday.
Isabelle has only known one life, the life of the convent she has lived in since she was born. Her days are spent doing chores and generally getting in the way of the sisters. Though this life is sheltered she longs for nothing except the safety of herself and her mother. Everything is fine until one day she gets angry and shoots a soldier off his horse, when her mother comes to her cell to rescue her Isabelle sense’s a fear in her she has never seen before. Her mother tells her to run, to find the outlaw Robin Hood and tell him ‘The Wolf is back.’ Isabelle is terrified but trusts her mother and does as she asks, but her journey will take her longer than she expected, she will find allies and enemies in the unlikeliest of places and eventually find the father she never realised she had.
This book is perfect for fans of the original Robin Hood story, but are also looking for something fresh. We get all the characters we know and love; Little John, Allan a’Dale, King John, but this book brings in the next generation of Merry Men and I defy you not to fall in love with them. Isabelle, the daughter of Marian and Robin, she has lived her life never knowing the truth about her father, and when she finds out she is equally annoyed and amazed. How can she be the child of the legendary outlaw. She feels like she can’t live up to the name, and being insecure in herself plays a huge part in the book. She was a fantastic viewpoint to read the book from, as she knew little of the Merry Men and Robin, we get backstory and little snippets of history without it seeming too much of an overload.
When Isabelle sets off to search for her father she gathers her own band of merry men, the next generation as it were and I fell a little in love with them all. Adam is the leader, the Robin of the group. He centres them all and keeps them on mission, if he shoots a few heated glances at Isabelle and maybe his hands linger a little longer than necessary, whose going to complain. Little is the son of Allan a’Dale and the mischievous one of the group, if there is trouble you can be sure Little is somewhere nearby, but underneath that exterior lies a boy who tries desperately to live up to his fathers legend. Helena takes no nonsense, she manages to keep a hold on the boys, mainly little, by using expert death glares and the fact that they all know she could shoot them from a mile away if she needed too. Patrick is the calmness of the group, the level headed one and the one who shoots you understanding glances, even when you have done something wrong. All these characters fit together to make an unforgettable gang, one that Isabelle longs to feel a part of.
As I said before, Isabelle was a great perspective to read from, but not just for Robin’s history. Her sheltered life at the convent give her a unique outlook on life which the author uses to her advantage when it comes to the world building. Her descriptive writing enveloped me in the pages, especially when it came to the Merry Men’s camp, and I thoroughly enjoyed her wild eyed amazement when she visits the bigger cities.
The romance in this book is soooo swoon worthy! Full of heated glances, unnecessary and lingering touches, and was very very slow burn. You knew who would end up with who, but the author made the ride worthwhile by throwing a few spanners into the works. I liked how the stories we learn of Robin and Marian’s romance and marriage parallel with Isabelles own, and I loved how by the end of the book we almost come full circle. I got little goosebumps and it made the bittersweet and heartbreaking ending that much more special.
There were times when I was worried this would end a little too happily, but the author manages to give us the ending we deserve with a little bit of heartbreak included. I enjoyed how she showed the reality of living life as a rebel and on the run, things don’t always end nice and neatly and I feel the author showed that. There were a few twists and turns in this book and I felt the author tied all the plot points together well at the end. We still get a slight cliffhanger ending, enough to make people want to pick up a second book if there was going to be one, but also happy enough to leave it as it is.