Robin Hood, along with her group of friends, has been aiding the poor of Nottingham for four years. They have become an hindrance to the Sheriff of Nottingham, terrorising the rich lords and ladies and robbing gold right from under the Sheriff’s nose.
Helping Robin from inside, and proving her most useful ally, is Lady Marian Fitzwalter.
After hearing about a special shipment coming through Sherwood – filled with gold, jewels and weapons – Marian agrees to help Robin gather information so she can ambush it. It is risky and dangerous on both sides but Marian would do anything for Robin. And Robin would do anything to feed her people.
But as the shipment draws closer and tensions rise, Robin finds herself having to decide which is more important: love or duty.
“Wait, you want to go to the tourney?” Allan prompted. Robin nodded her head. “What? Do you think you can just stroll up to the castle doors and say ‘I know there’s a bounty out for my head but I love a good archery contest, so let me in’?”
I know I’ve been usually using one of my bookstagram photos for my reviews, but I haven’t taken any in a while so I’ll just add one to this when I take it. Let me get the one content warning I spotted out of the way first….
- Mention of Attempted Rape
Now that that’s done, I can return to fangirling over this gorgeous f/f Robin Hood retelling. Let me say that one more time… F/F ROBIN HOOD RETELLING. Yes, it would be completely fair and accurate to say I’m in love with this novella. But, I usually have an order to my reviews so I’ll at least attempt to stick to that.
Robin and Mariam, the two point-of-view characters, were well developed enough that I could not only understand what they were thinking and feeling, but also be able to develop an understanding of them on a base level. This is so rare for me in books–I’m almost never able to pick out something that happens and think “I know who did that” or “there’s no way this character would do that.” So being able to do this here and be able to understand both of these characters so well was absolutely wonderful.
The side characters got a bit less development, but they did get enough for me to see them as people and be able to interact with them. I truly hope we get to see more of them in the next book because there’s some excellent representation going on.
The world was built up just enough that I was able to imagine parts of it, but this is where it fell a little short of my expectations. I felt at a disadvantage for not having been in a similar environment in regards to the town itself. I was able to very clearly picture the dungeons as well as Sherwood Forest, but I’m not sure if that’s because those locations were well developed or if it’s because I’ve been in similar locations and my mind filled the gaps in.
I mentioned earlier that this novella has two points of view: the first being Robin and the other Mariam. I’ve been pretty clear in the past that I believe the use of multiple points of view can either help or hinder a storyline, but I don’t believe there’s a situation where its use can remain neutral. The use of it in Lambs Can Always Become Lions added so much to the story while taking away nothing. It was a real treat to see it so masterfully executed.
The story flows really well from beginning to end, with variances in pacing that match well with the scenes. I really just had so much trouble putting this down and the pacing had a lot to do with it. The story moves near perfectly with twists and turns, love and violence.
And the story itself! Gods it was good. This fresh spin on a classic is sure to remain among my favourites for a long while. The language is fluid, the characters made me care about them, and the story was familiar yet new in all the best ways. There is also representation beyond the f/f aspect with non-binary, acespec, and Muslim characters. While the story is complete and most of the loose ends tied up, Charlotte Anne Hamilton hints that the story will continue in a sequel and I can not wait for it!
Overall, I rate Lambs Can Always Become Lions 4 out of 5 bookworms.
Don’t just take my word for it. Order a copy of Lambs Can Always Become Lions and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:
- Amazon US (Kindle)
- Amazon UK (Kindle)
- your local library
- This book is also available FREE through Kindle Unlimited
For more information about Charlotte Anne Hamilton and her work, visit her Goodreads profile.