Review: The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell

The Forest Queen Cover

When sixteen-year-old Sylvie’s brother takes over management of their family’s vast estates in The Forest Queen, Sylvie feels powerless to stop his abuse of the local commoners. Her dearest friend asks her to run away to the woods with him, and soon a host of other villagers join them. Together, they form their own community and fight to right the wrongs perpetrated by the king and his noblemen. 



I received an eARC of The Forest Queen from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I read most of The Forest Queen in one sitting, and while the world building was good, I couldn’t help but feel like out should have been told from another perspective.

The Forest Queen needs trigger warnings for on page suicide attempt, food shortages, rape mention, corrupt police, murder, robbery, and incest mentions (siblings).

Cornwall wanted to create a Robin Hood retelling that focused on a heroine, but Silvie want really a heroine. there were no real stakes for her in The Forest Queen. Everything she needed fell into her lap, thanks to Bird and Little Jane. The writing was well enough, but nothing about it wowed me. 

Bird and Little Jane were characters I would have loved to know more about. If anything, I would have liked to hear this story told from their perspectives, or perhaps together. They both led rich lives as commoners and discovered the injustices that Silvie only learned about because of them. I really would have liked to see more of the world from honestly any of the characters except the boring Forest Queen.

I wouldn’t recommend this one, but I don’t not recommend it either, if that makes sense. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything particularly great, in my opinion. Instead, try Charlotte Hamilton‘s queer Robin Hood retelling Lambs Can Always Become A Lion

Meh Fox

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