The Forest Queen

304p. HMH. Aug. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544888197.
Gr 8 Up—Sylvie's brother, John, has just been appointed sheriff of Loughsley, her family's estate and corresponding town full of hardworking, honest villagers. John is power hungry and he takes advantage of the local people by any means necessary. He even tries to marry Sylvie off to a much older lord. After Sylvie comes to terms with all the wrongs that John and those in power are imposing, she runs away to the woods with her friend Bird and Little Jane. As they work to survive in the woods, other villagers join them in their attempt to free themselves from the evil nobleman and John. Cornwell gives an interesting gender-bending take on the Robin Hood tale. This book brings to light a strong female lead who learns the meaning of caring about others in the community. It is not imperative to know the source material, but familiarity with the classic adds another layer of enjoyment. This is a great read with parallels to current events; it shows readers that working as a community can have its advantages. It also weaves in threads on topics such as rape and birth control.
VERDICT A good choice for fans of fantasy, retellings of classic stories, the author's previous books, and strong female characters.

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