The Ghosts of Sherwood by Carrie Vaughn

The Ghosts of Sherwood was a really surprising read for me, but delightfully so. Published by Tor.com, I expected a fantasy-esque story with magic or something otherwise fantastical. However, The Ghosts of Sherwood is a quiet story, albeit a quiet story with its moments of action. It’s quiet in its setting, in its character building, and in its plot. There is no magic – at least no magic more than some characters being able to shoot a bow and arrow really, really well – but I didn’t miss it here.

This wonderful little novella, clocking in at only 112 pages, feels like childhood all grown up. It’s about Robin Hood and his family; it’s about duty and love and the surprising places that strength can hide. But mostly, it’s about family and found family, and the lengths we go to for those we love.

The Ghosts of Sherwood, in simplest terms, is a continuation of the Robin Hood story, mostly told through the lens of his oldest daughter. Here’s where I have to admit that I know little to nothing about Robin Hood. I’ve seen countless adaptations over the years, but somehow I was still missing the bare-bones story of his life and of the different characters surrounding him (excluding, of course, his children and those new characters introduced as a part of the story). I’m sure there were nuances I missed and backstories I should have known. I sometimes felt a little lost – my fault for not knowing the story of Robin Hood like I should – but Vaughn always caught me up to speed so I never felt completely blind in the story. This is definitely a great novella if you know everything about Robin Hood, but I still think it’s still a great story if you know little to nothing about the famed archer.

Honestly, if I say much more about the novella it would be giving away so much of the story given its length. Vaughn does a great job of world-building through the narrative of the story, rather than info-dumping on the reader, and I think it’s best to explore Sherwood through her words. The Ghosts of Sherwood is a beautiful, surprising tale and I will definitely be reading on in the series.

Bottom line : 4.5/5 stars

Thanks to Tor.com and Netgalley for the arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Author: hhbennett

Book Blogger for all things science fiction, post-apocalyptic, near-future, speculative, horror or just otherwise weird and cool.

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