Thursday 5 September 2019

Book Review: Brightfall by Jaime Lee Moyer (Historical Fantasy)

Title: Brightfall
Author: Jaime Lee Moyer
Publisher: Quercus/Jo Fletcher Books
Publication Date: 5 September 2019
eBook - PDF
Historical Fantasy
ARC via NetGalley


Someone is murdering the Merry Men . . .

It's been a mostly quiet life since Robin Hood put aside his pregnant wife Marian, turned his back on his Merry Men and his former life and retreated to a monastery to repent his sins . . . although no one knows what was so heinous he would leave behind Sherwood Forest and those he loved most.

But when friends from their outlaw days start dying, Father Tuck, now the Abbott of St Mary's, suspects a curse and begs Marian to use her magic to break it. A grieving Marian must bargain for protection for her children before she sets out with a soldier who's lost his faith, a trickster Fey lord, and a sullen Robin Hood, angry at being drawn back into the real world.

It's not long before Marian finds herself enmeshed in a maze of secrets and betrayals, tangled relationships and a vicious struggle for the Fey throne.

And if she can't find and stop the spell-caster, no protection in Sherwood Forest will be enough to save her children.

I found Brightfall an immensely fun and entertaining read. It's not a retelling per se, as all the events from standard Robin Hood stories have taken place prior to those in this story, but it does take familiar characters and show them in a new light. Marian is very much the central figure here, and I enjoyed Moyer's portrayal of her as a strong, independent woman. My favourite character was Bert, though I do wish Marian had given him a nobler-sounding name. Every time she addressed him I wanted to laugh at the thought of a Fae lord being called Bert! The fantasy elements were central to the story and worked well within the historical setting, the prose was engaging, and the action nicely paced. I would definitely read more from this author in the future. 4.5 stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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