Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Published March 1st 2016 by Zondervan
The only thing harder than fighting for what’s right…is fighting their feelings for each other.
For three years, the Cloaked Bandit has terrorized Wessex, robbing the nobility by knifepoint and a well-placed arrow. But little dos anyone know, this bandit is in fact Juliana Wessex, the rightful ruler of the land and a girl her tyrannical uncle—the current Lord Wessex—believes was killed along with her father.
Juliana has become skilled at hiding from Lord Wessex in the forest, using her stolen goods to provide food and shelter to the peasants her uncle has taxed into poverty. But when she robs Collin Goodrich, her red hair betrays her true identity. Lord Collin remembers Juliana from their childhood—and challenges her to stay on his estate for a week in hopes she will leave her thieving ways and become a proper lady once more. Juliana is intrigued by Collin and his charms, but only time will tell if he can overcome her distaste of the nobility—as well as win her heart.
Juliana Wessex was orphaned after her uncle killed her father for his estate and tried to kill her, too, but she escaped and lived amongst the woods for years. She became what was known as the Cloaked Bandit, steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Sound familiar? What she wasn’t expecting was to bump into a childhood neighbor.
Once Juliana is plucked up by Lord Colin Goodrich, the childhood neighbor, and could-have-been-betrothed-from-childhood, things go downhill from there.
This particular tale places you in a poor England and the patrons are suffering, thus the need for the Cloaked Bandit. In the beginning, it does well to situate you in the time period, but as the book progresses it swiftly loses its world building and shifts into a character driven story.
The plot is loose, it takes to the background instead of foreground to make way for the characters, which by the way don’t exactly grow by leaps and bounds. There seems to be instant love between Colin and this Cloaked Bandit, which he then realizes is none other than Lady Juliana. There is no such thing as a slow burn love affair here, as Colin swoops right into flirting and laying it on overly thick, enough to make me feel awkward because of the lame attempts.
The relationship between them is entirely forced, too, there are some instances where – as sweet and naive as what Colin could be, he grew to be manipulative [to me,] and tried to sway Juliana too much, when she was standing firm on what she wanted to do.
Overall, this story was not for me, it was too lovey dovey, not enough actual plot, but the writing was of a good quality, because of that I’ll give it 2.8 crowns.
What has been a good Robin Hood retelling that you’ve read or want to read?