Rosemary's mother, Celandine, is one of the aelfethe faerie folk who are a part of the forest. But as much as Celandine's knowledge of herbs and healing has made her loved by the people around her, it has made her hated by the "authorities," who have her murdered. The grieving Ro decides to go to her father and join his band of outlaws. Since she has never met her father and is sure he will never accept a girl as an outlaw, she cuts off her hair and changes her name to Rowan. Who can her father be but the legendary Robin Hood? Why did Celandine never arrange for them to meet, if Robin would have accepted his daughter? On her way to Sherwood Forest Ro is adopted by a half-wolf puppy who can catch arrows out of the air. She names him Tykell, and he saves her from Guy of Gisborn, a bullying lord. Ro's life gets even more interesting as she meets some of Robin Hood's men, and then Robin Hood himself. A runaway princess, Ettarde, brings herself to the outlaws' attention when the troop of soldiers who have been her escort turn the forest upside down in their search for her. There's not much new in this story, but it is very well told. The phrasing is often poetically lovely, and several of the characters are memorable. 2001, Philomel, . Ages 11 to 14. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
The stories of Robin Hood and his chivalrous band of outlaws have been told many times. Until now, few have been written about his family life. Springer extends the Robin Hood tale to another generation in this story of Robin's unclaimed thirteen-year-old daughter, who must search for him after the death of her mother. Disguised as a boy for her safety while on her way to find Robin, Rowan comes across many enemies and a few friends and learns about her infamous father and herself. Rowan's story is a fine quick read for someone interested in the Robin Hood legend. Robin is seen only through Rowan's eyes and it is clear that this is her tale, not his. For serious fantasy readers, this technique will only whet their appetite and leave them wanting more. There is a hint at the end of the story that there might be more to come, that there are certainly more tales to tell from the daughter's viewpoint. The characters are interesting and fit well together, calling for more in-depth stories about them. Rowan Hood reads like the first in a series, and teens are sure to hope that it will be just that, leading to many more. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Philomel, 208p, . Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Jennifer Rice SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
Thirteen-year-old Rosemary lives happily with her mother, a mistress of woods magic, in Sherwood Forest, but when her mother is murdered by the lord's henchmen, Rosemary sets out to find the father she has never metRobin Hood. She disguises herself as a boy for safety, calling herself Rowan. A creature she names Tykell, part-wolf, part-dog, becomes her companion and protector as she travels through the woods, and she befriends a big but gentle minstrel named Lionel and a runaway princess named Ettarde. They all must work together if they are to fend off the dangerous Guy of Gisborn and rescue Robin from the clutches of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Unsure of Robin Hood, who does not seem to know of her existence, Rowan at first keeps her identityboth as female and as daughtersecret from him, and then basks in his praise of her as an accomplished fellow outlaw when all is revealed. Rowan is invited to join his band, but chooses to stay in a grove of rowan trees nearby, setting up her own band with Tykell, Lionel, and Ettarde. This rousing feminist take on the Robin Hood legend is a quick and engaging read. Springer, the author of I am Morgan le Fay; a tale from Camelot (see review above), creates strong characters whom readers will hope to meet again, and she turns a nice phrase, too, with some lovely visual images. The action rarely flags, and younger YAs, particularly girls, will delight in Rowan's bravery and appreciate her conflicted feelings about her father. KLIATT Codes: JRecommended for junior high school students. 2001, Penguin Putnam/Philomel, 208p, $16.99. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; May 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 3)
Gr 4-7-Another entry into the popular genre of "alternate" tales, this is the story of Robin Hood's daughter by the woodwife Celandine. When her mother is immolated by the local gentry, 13-year-old Ro is left to fend for herself. She has no other family-her mother was part aelfe and ostracized by her human family-and she has never met her father. She disguises herself as a boy and makes her way to Sherwood Forest. She quickly makes an enemy of Guy of Gisborn, the local thug, and then becomes an outlaw. Ro eventually finds Robin and his men, but, fearing that he won't want a girl around, she doesn't tell him who she is. She forms her own band of comrades: her wolf-dog Tykell; Lionel, an oafish bard with a magical voice; and Etty, a runaway princess. When Robin is captured and sentenced to death, Ro and her friends rescue him and she treats his wounds. She reveals her secret and the two of them promise to be nearby when there is need. Ro is a likable character but her story is not well paced. The characters are not given ample time to develop, and story lines are not fully explored. Readers seem to be dropped in the middle of some scenes, and it takes a minute to figure out what is happening. Still, those who liked Theresa Tomlinson's The Forestwife (1995) and Child of the May (1998, both Orchard) will probably enjoy this one as well, though they will wish to know more.-Cheri Estes, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.