Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Will in Scarlet by Matthew Cody

Will is a member of nobility and can't wait for his father to come home from his quest with the king.  While he's gone, Will and his mother have stayed with his Uncle.  He admires his Uncle and loves him, as well as the old Knight that is mentoring him.  When the castle is seiged and his Uncle is killed, he is sent through a secret tunnel to travel to his father.  Unfortunately, he gets pursued and gets lost in the forest.  What will he do now?

Knopf Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  This book will be available on October 8th, so make a note on your TBR list.

The forest Will is lost in is Sherwood Forest, and this is a tale of how the gang of Merry Men got started and how Marian got involved with them.  Marian is passing herself off as "Much", a young boy.  Will is not sharing the fact that he is nobility and adopts the name Will Scarlett.  The fact that they both have secrets brings them closer together.

This story is full of action and accurately portrays how the feudal system worked.  The poor were permanently poor and worked the land.  The royalty took the crops and the money from them for themselves.  Will is disturbed to find the situation the same everywhere, including the land owned by his Uncle.  This sense of wrong leads him to fight to avenge his Uncle's death, but makes him abandon his former life.

Marian has a similar problem.  Her parents are both dead, she has no wish to be bound to a horny old man, so she skips out of her home into the night and becomes a boy.  

I felt empathy for both characters and enjoyed this story.  It's like a prequel to Robin Hood and his tale.  That would be a good follow up story for your reader.  Why not send your young one for a walk in Sherwood Forest?

Happy reading.

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