Book Reviews !
Things Medieval !
The Untold Story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian
modern retelling of a classic tale and a must for the medieval lover's
was the early life of Maid Marian? What was Robin Hood like as a
boy? What historic events surrounded those who now have become
in our own time? How did the band of Merry form? Who was
Marian? History doesn't tell us much about her.
Known as Matty Fitzwalter in her childhood, the legendary Maid Marian
learned the art of falconry from her father Lord William
She dreams of capturing, taming and training a merlin -- the one bird
which will mark her as an expert falconer. Matty has a magical
with the birds that she trains. She speaks their
language. Fynn, the
man whom legend would come to know as Robin Hood, is a mischievous boy,
stealing pigs from the sheriff's cousin and deer from the royal forests
to feed people. Like Matty, Fynn strives for bigger and better
but he always has a way of making a joke out of his exploits.
feels that Fynn and his friends do not take her seriously. She
struggles for his attention, but she never veers from her passion for
falconry. Both, however, will remember the times and their
Matty and Fynn grow up during troubled times. The people struggle
poverty while the tyranny of Prince John crushes them. Lord
Fitzwalter sides with Richard the Lionhearted, only to see the
brutality of Prince John's sabotage and his sheriff.
horrific loss of her mother, Matty is not a fair helpless damsel.
Previously friends, now older, Matty and Fynn work together. As they
uncover a secret plot to steal the throne, Matty and her special merlin
Marigold become the key for rescuing stolen jewels to provide for the
King's ransom. In order to help save the king, Matty and her
falconry skills will have to reach a new height.
Newberry award winning author Kathryn Lasky's HAWKSMAID is a wonderful
modern retelling of a classic tale, full of exciting adventure,
medieval history, an intimate look at falconry and just a bit of
romance for young readers. Not only do we get a glance of the
Maid Marian and Robin Hood, but also those events in their lives that
lead up to the legend with which we are all familiar. Modern
young women will appreciate the focus on Matty and Maid Marian as they
see her not as a helpless woman playing second fiddle but as a key
figure in the story. Kathryn Lasky combines historical detail
fictional imagination to create a story that appeals to the desire to
explore history while also being more approachable to modern day
readers. Animal lovers will appreciate the author's attention to
birds themselves and Matty's friendship with them. A beautifully
written, almost mystical scene perfectly balances the history and
animal-keeping science. The setting of the story, while very
resonates slightly with modern times.
Sensitive readers may find the mother's murder at the beginning of the
tale difficult, but the violence is not gratuitous but rather shows the
villains for the wicked people they are. Without those scenes,
and Fynn's subsequent actions would not be driven by the characters and
their history. From those initial scenes, the story quickly moves
to focus on Matty and her hawks and the adventure. HAWKSMAID is
excellent work of medieval fiction for modern young readers. If
are an adult reader with a passion for all things medieval, like this
reader, HAWKSMAID is a fun, exciting book to add to your
While grounded in medieval history and legend, Kathryn Lasky also adds
a delightful original twist!
Before she was Maid Marian, she was Matty. . . .
Matty has been raised to dance well, embroider
exquisitely, and marry nobly. But when Matty's mother is murdered
before her very eyes and her father, a nobleman, is reduced to poverty,
Matty's life changes.
As the daughter of Nottingham's most famous
falconer, she finds a new destiny in the hawks her father keeps. She
begins to understand their thoughts and even speak their language. The
beautiful merlin Marigold becomes Matty's closest winged companion and
her fiercest ally.
It is a treacherous time in England. The sheriff
of Nottingham is rising to power, and a true king has been kidnapped.
Determined to fight, Matty's friend Fynn becomes Robin Hood. As Maid
Marian, Matty joins Fynn and his Merry Men, famously robbing from the
rich to give to the poor.
You thought that you knew the legend, but this is
the untold story. Bestselling author Kathryn Lasky soars to magnificent
new heights here, giving us a bold tale of bravery and romance.