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Description: Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village--a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.
Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known.
Sometimes books like this are hard to review. I enjoyed the setting, and parts of it were interesting, but I never felt connected to the characters, which greatly decreased my enjoyment of the book.
Merry Ellison is like a female version of Robin Hood, only she does what she does to protect a group of children that were orphaned during a raid on her home village by King John. She is a strong girl, and while she doesn’t act very girly, neither does she spend time wishing she was a guy. While the setting and plot make her sound like a really cool character, she ended up falling short for me.
All the other characters, even Timothy, were rather one-dimensional. Now that I think about it, the whole book would have been better marketed for youth fiction rather than YA. The whole style of writing felt more suited for a 10 or 12 year old, except for the romance.
The romance in this book was heavy and very shallow, lots of talking about how they are feeling toward each other but not a lot about each other’s character. Also the love triangle was a bit awkward, because Merry refers to Allen along with the rest of the band as the children, which made it hard to keep in mind that he was really sixteen. Timothy was very likable and was one of the better parts of the book, as he was more mature than most of the other characters.
The story was interesting, and it did keep me turning pages. I think it took me only three or four days to get through the book. The plot was interesting and different enough from some of the things that I have read that I wasn’t bored.
I think those who like romance, Robin Hood type stories, and are looking for clean YA will enjoy this book.
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.
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