Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Mini Reviews of Mini Books: The Ghosts of Sherwood and The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water


The infamous Robin Hood and Maid Marian have settled down. Peace has generally reigned in Nottingham for years, and the Locksleys live happily on their estate with their three children. Robin and Marian return home from court ready to have a conversation with their daughter Mary, who is almost old enough to marry. Before they can come to a consensus, the three children are kidnapped. Robin and Marian call every ally for help, but Mary, John, and Eleanor might just have enough intelligence, bravery, and pluck to save themselves.

I've loved Robin Hood ever since I watched the Disney movie as a child. I'm always looking for new stories to try, and The Ghost of Sherwood was a quick, delightful read. I don't think it stays with readers for too long, but reading this story is an excellent way to revisit beloved characters and imagine how they might have changed with the passage of time. If you love Robin Hood, this would be a great way to spend an hour or two and a fun story to share with the next generation of readers looking to spend some time in Sherwood Forest. 

The Ghosts of Sherwood
The Robin Hood Stories #1
By Carrie Vaughn
Tor.com Publishing June 2020
112 pages
Read via Netgalley





Lau Fung Cheung and Tet Sang are bandits, but they are still men of honor and decency. When a customer becomes hostile with the waitress at a coffeehouse, they intervene on her behalf. But they didn't expect the waitress to follow them, hoping to tag along on their adventures. Guet Imm is a nun in the Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water, and certainly not a person the bandits expected to live and fight alongside.

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water was written with a true understanding of how novellas work. The reader knows that there is a wider world at play for these characters, but this particular story is about just a few people, their goals, and their relationships with each other. This is a wuxia-inspired (martial arts) story. While there is some fighting, it is mostly about slowly trusting the people around you and discovering where you belong. Zen Cho excels at subverting your expectations--where you expected a battle, you find an exploration of faith; where you expect a moment of great importance, you find yourself chuckling instead. It's heartwarming to witness Guet Imm and Tet Sang reveal their secrets to each other, but I wish I had felt more of a connection to the characters. 

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water
By Zen Cho
Tor.com Publishing June 2020
176 pages
Read via Netgalley

2 comments:

  1. I just finished Sherwood by Meagan Spooner, a story told entirely from Marian's point of view. I loved it. I didn't know the Robin Hood story very well, but now I'm interested to find other retellings of it.

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  2. What a nice book this is! I like this book very much.
    BookYap Reviews

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