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Maid Marian

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  966 Ratings  ·  134 Reviews
An irresistible reimagining of the Robin Hood legend, Maid Marian brings to life the rollicking—and romantic—world of the Middle Ages.

An orphan and heiress to a large country estate, Marian Fitzwater is wed at the age of five to an equally young nobleman, Lord Hugh of Sencaster, a union that joins her inheritance to his. But when she is seventeen, Lord Hugh, whom she hasn’
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 22nd 2005 by Three Rivers Press (first published April 13th 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aug 25, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Robin Hood is my absolute favorite legend of all time, but somehow nobody ever manages to match my idea of him. Far too many insist on making him gritty and morally ambiguous and useless, whereas I see him as a very smart, very righteous man with a great sense of humor. The POINT of Robin Hood is that he's a champion of the poor and the downtrodden, but he never loses his humanity or ability to laugh--and Watson gets that. Additionally, she managed to pack in most of my favorite tidbits of the R ...more
Oct 31, 2007 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of Robin Hood
Shelves: historical, own, pines
For as long as I can remember I have always been a fan of Robin Hood legend. Movies and books alike have told various versions that I have soaked up and loved. Earlier this year I found the best ever with the first two installations of Stephen Lawhead's triology Hood and Scarlet. Those two books being from the perspective of, of course, Robin Hood (Bran) and Will Scarlet. This book fits right in!! I know that Elsa Watson is her own author and nothing to do with the former, but really this ta ...more
R. G. Nairam
Yet another retelling enters the foggy area of "I'm not sure what to think of this..."

Vague spoilers and much rambling incoming...

It started out with a narration style that I found very hard to connect to, and a verrrry verrrry sloooooow beginning, exasperated by my issues with the narration. I actually flipped through the book, found the chapter where they were going to run into Robin, went "okay, I can make it" and chugged through to get there. I would sometimes skip ahead when I saw dialogue
Katie/Doing Dewey
Mar 10, 2013 Katie/Doing Dewey rated it it was ok
Although I had read reviews suggesting Marian might be too much the helpless damsel, the book started off well. Within the confines allowed her by medieval society, Marian does an impressive job taking control of her fate. The writing was beautiful throughout and the elegant language felt like the right way for Maid Marian to tell her story. Things quickly fall apart, however, when Marian finds she lacks the courage to run away from her second marriage and is only saved by the timely interventio ...more
Althea Ann
Mar 22, 2012 Althea Ann rated it it was ok
Picked up this book because of the beautiful cover and ROBIN HOOD!
I have to say, the book design is lovely. It's credited to Lauren Dong, and I think she deserves a credit here too. Not just the cover, but the lovely flowers inside, even the typesetting is nice.

However, the story... well, I really, really WANTED to like it. Very soon into the book, I realized that the characters' attitudes and behaviors were not consistent with 15th-century England. That's actually OK with me, I adjusted my att
Jan 20, 2013 Dana rated it it was ok
My review of this, may be a little harsh. My suggestion? Don't read this if you have an infatuation with Maid Marian because you will be sorely disappointed.

As any Robin Hood fan knows, the origins of Marian are shaky. Authors have full creative license with her considering there is only one detailed ballad of her time with Robin. Somehow, she has sparked curiosity and love with readers and viewers and has become an integral part of the Robin Hood legend. This Marian, however, is lacking. It isn
Jan 03, 2009 Emily rated it it was ok
Shelves: booksofthepast
This book SHOULD have been really good. I mean, c'mon! A famous cultural tale of the British Isles turned into a novel...sounds great right? And the protagonist is a beautiful noblewoman who forsakes her comfortable, stifling life for adventure and love, love with an infamous outlaw much beloved by the common people. It's a recipe for success. However, the writing was not much more than mediocre and there were several small discrepancies in the story that just made it utterly unbelievable. It wa ...more
Apr 09, 2014 Shelly rated it really liked it
As an infant, Marian is orphaned and heiress to great lands and fortunes. She is married off at the age of five to a young nobleman, Lord Hugh of Sencaster. The marriage joins her inheritance to his and vastly enriches his family. When she is seventeen, Lord Hugh, whom she hasn't seen in years, mysteriously dies. Now an unmarried widow, she becomes a ward of the King, who is off on crusade and cannot be bothered with such matters at home. The Queen, Eleanor of Aquitane, takes it upon herself to ...more
Mikaela Nadeau
May 11, 2015 Mikaela Nadeau rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 05, 2007 Aubrey rated it really liked it
Different twist on the story of Robin Hood as told by Maid Marian. Marian seeks out Robin Hood, whom she has heard about from her servant, to help her escape from a marriage set up by the Queen and regain her lands.

I enjoyed the book a lot. It was a little slow in the beginning, but then I couldn't put it down.
Sep 25, 2010 Teghan rated it did not like it
It was so bad. I hated every minute of it. It was childish, Marion and Robin were incredibly annoying and whiny and I frankly stopped caring about the characters early on.

If you want a really good Robin Hood book check out Lady of the Forest by Jennifer Robinson, its so good. !! so good.
Sep 02, 2008 Allison rated it liked it
Oh, how I adore the time of Robin Hood. Not necessarily the stinky, I do not shower aspect, but the chivalrous, love-a-feisty woman part. A cool twist on a old tale.
Oct 25, 2008 Laura rated it it was amazing
The story of Robin Hood from Marion's point of view. Very good!
Jun 14, 2009 Malinda rated it it was amazing

I think it is my favorite version on Robin Hood ever!
Mar 24, 2009 Kerry rated it it was ok
The legend of Robin Hood is one of my favorite stories so I am always on the lookout for a good Robin Hood book. This book, told from Maid Marian's point of view, was good. It looked at the story from a slightly different point of view from what I had before. The author put the story in historical context by focusing a lot on the politics and political maneuvering of the time (Eleanor of Aquitaine was featured as a fairly significant character) which I found interesting.

On the other hand, the vi
Sep 14, 2009 Julie rated it liked it
Orphaned and married off at the age of 5, Marian Fitzwater is awakened during the night of her 15th birthday, the day of which she was to move to her husband's castle, to be told that he has just died.

As an unmarried woman with land attached to her name, she is now not only a very desirable catch, but now a pawn in the Queen of England's strategic chess game to supposedly turn all of England to her son, King Richard's favor. The catch is, Marian has no intentions of being married off to the high
Sep 02, 2013 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-library
Elsa Watson takes her shot at one of the most romantic couples in story, song, on the screen (big and small) and in legend. She writes in the first person taking us from the childhood of Marian Fitzwater to her time at court to her time in Sherwood Forest and beyond.

It's a relatively short book but it takes a while to get interesting and then it bogs down again about two-thirds of the way through. In between, you do get the sense of romance and adventure that you want for Marian and Robin Hood.
Aug 05, 2013 Loraine rated it liked it
Hmmmmm. I don't know what to make of my reaction(s) to Watson's treatment of the Marian/Robin Hood story. She started out in the style of historical fiction, with good attention to detail.

But then she used one word in a most anachronistic manner. And I was particularly put off by use of that word to describe the people bound to the land. They were peasants, or cottars, or in some cases even slaves. But they were not farmers. They did not own the holdings (land) that they tilled, which they were
Madison H.
Apr 09, 2013 Madison H. rated it liked it
I was pretty excited for this one. I haven't read a lot of Robin Hood related things so it was intriguing. But it really didn't live up to my hopes.

There's nothing really wrong with the book. The writing is very,very good, it definitely fit with the time frame that the novel was set in. It was extremely authentic but it wasn't cheesy or forced like it is in some other books. So I really adored that aspect of the book.

The characters were also very nice. Marian was strong and intelligent but she w
Oct 28, 2009 Josie rated it it was ok
A fairly boring retelling of the Robin Hood legend, told from the perspective of Maid Marian. The author's Robin Hood has been heavily influenced by Howard Pyle's versions of the old ballads, and while Robin Hood and his (unconvincingly huge) band of Merry Men aren't the story's main focus, Watson still manages to pepper the thoughts and conversations in the book with references to many of the familiar tales. I found this annoying, as while the old ballads are the only references to Robin Hood, ...more
Jun 21, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I picked this up on a whim. I enjoy reading stories centered around the legend of King Arthur, and while this story isn’t about Camelot, it certainly has a similar tone without the depressing ending of being murdered by your own son. In most stories about the Prince of Thieves, we see everything from Robin’s point of view, with Maid Marian a whimsical love interest on the sidelines as Robin does his thing of robbing the rich to give to the poor. This book proposes we view things from Ma ...more
Jori Richardson
Mar 21, 2013 Jori Richardson rated it really liked it
I began reading this book with reluctance. After all, the story of Robin Hood has been told so many times, and I was mostly expecting this one to be "just another Robin Hood extension."
However, I was pleasantly surprised right from the beginning. Elsa Watson's writing is grounded, realistic, and elegant. I really felt as if I was there in her medieval world. The vivid setting and the fact that I love the middle ages prompted me to read the entire book in one sitting.

The story is about Marian Fit
Dec 31, 2010 Renee rated it it was amazing
A perfectly paced and inventive adaptation of the life of Maid Marian, in which the title character is fleshed out completely. Rather than seeing only a beautiful woman, the reader is treated to a witty, impatient, compassionate, politically-minded, careful-but-at-times-impetuous woman who is loathe to leave her fate in the hands of anyone else. Paired with this is Watson's careful research of the era, beyond the normal "Richard the Lionheart/Prince John" focus seen in some other adaptations.

Libby Ames
Jan 18, 2012 Libby Ames rated it liked it
Elsa Watson takes an interesting view of the tales of Robin Hood told from Maid Marian's point of view. In Watson's version, Marian is an orphan with lands and title. She is raised at Warwick Castle, but at the age of five she is married to another young child to give the mother a place of power over Marian's lands. When her husband is murdered before he is seventeen, Marian fears her arranged marraige to her late husband's younger brother. To save herself from another marriage and possible deat ...more
3.75 stars

Marian is nobility, and was not only betrothed when she was a young child, she was married at 5 years old to Hugh of Sencaster. But, she lived separately from her young husband until she would be old enough to live with him as a married couple. When Hugh dies as a teenager, Marian is free. But, when she is then set to marry Hugh's younger brother, Robin Hood whisks her away to live in the forest with him and his band of outlaws.

It was quite good. This was my first book on Robin Hood, f
Jul 10, 2013 Penny rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-fiction
I am fascinated with the legend of Robin hood and enjoy reading new tales of the characters I've grown up discovering in various books and films. The only knowledge known of Robin, the Merry Men and Marian is written through various ballads from the middle ages. In actual fact who Robin and Marian even was is extremely cloudy.

I didn't get the usual feel of Robin and Marian in this book they seemed different from the tales and films I have encountered but I still found my self intrigued by the k
Whitney Collins
Jun 04, 2016 Whitney Collins rated it did not like it
It was a struggle to get through this book. The author couldn't tell the story, she couldn't get you to connect with the characters, it wasn't an actual story you could get involved in. Instead, she had to tell you that Marian was in love, that Robin was adventerous, that Marian was sad. Marain herself was a whiny heroine, who moped and in my opinion was quite selfish. Not the book I was hoping for.
Alex Morrison
I'm not sure what it was about this book but I just couldn't get into it. I have about 20% of it left and no desire to finish it, though I may return at a later date. I did love what Watson did with the character of Robin Hood, including details about his personality that really rounded him out (e.g. that he couldn't keep still, always needing to keep moving no matter where he was) and the dialogue between him and Marian was pretty great. It may have been Marian herself who fell a bit flat for m ...more
Sep 30, 2012 Christen rated it it was ok
Worst Maid Marian book ever. Stilted dialogue and I'm pretty sure the author needed a dictionary a few times because her word choice was completely off. Poor execution. I can forgive anachronism pretty easily, but only if the characterization and plot are strong. Neither were. Too much narration while completely skipping over what could have been interesting action. For example, when Marian is "spirited away" on her wedding day, there was absolutely no tension! It didn't feel like he had saved h ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Sep 25, 2009 Tara Chevrestt rated it liked it
Shelves: england
This was a more pleasant, feminine telling of the traditional Robin Hood story. I have never gotten into the whole Robin Hood thing but found I enjoyed the telling from Maid Marian's point of view. Marian at first is a naive spoiled princess who cannot bear to sleep on straw. Being an orphan, however, puts her in the hands of the dreaded and feared Queen Elinor, and to avoid the Queen's plans, she enlists the aide of the famed outlaw, Robin Hood. This leads to a new life of adventure and discove ...more
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Pacific Northwest native Elsa Watson has always loved animals. After raising chickens and inoculating goats in the Peace Corps in West Africa, she and her husband moved to an island near Seattle where they've filled their lives with two cats and more chickens.

Elsa is the author of THE LOVE DOG, the story of a dog named Apollo who works in reality TV and the woman who tries to bring down his show.
More about Elsa Watson...

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