Friday, March 30, 2018

Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell - ADVISABLE

Cornwell, Betsy Forest Queen, 304 pages.  Clarion (Houghton), AUG 2018.  $18.  Language: G; Mature Content: PG (implied rape); Violence: PG (some fighting).

Silvie has lives in the Loughsley mansion with her father and her older brother John all of her life, but her best friend is Bird, the son of the huntmistress and the pair run wild through the woods as often as they can.  Now that Silvie is older and her brother is taking over running everything, she is afraid of her brother and she and Bird decide it is time to run.  On their way they find a village girl hanging from the bridge and they take her with them.  Little by little other refugees find their way into the woods to join them, and soon they have a group large enough to attract the ire of the king – and big enough for John to find and attack.

Cornwell written a lovely twist on the Robin Hood legend.   The familiar characters are different in interesting ways, without losing the appeal and thread of the original.  Silvie is not Maid Marian, nor is she Robin Hood, but her character is still well-worth reading about.  You might be able to hand this to students who like John Flanagan; I wish a wider array of knight-based books were still popular, though.  This is only advisable because of popularity; quality-wise, this is essential.

MS, HS – ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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