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The Heirs of Locksley

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"We will hold an archery contest. A simple affair, all in fun, on the tournament grounds. Tomorrow. We will see you there." The latest civil war in England has come and gone, King John is dead, and the nobility of England gathers to see the coronation of his son, thirteen-year-old King Henry III. The new king is at the center of political rivalries and power struggles, but J "We will hold an archery contest. A simple affair, all in fun, on the tournament grounds. Tomorrow. We will see you there." The latest civil war in England has come and gone, King John is dead, and the nobility of England gathers to see the coronation of his son, thirteen-year-old King Henry III. The new king is at the center of political rivalries and power struggles, but John of Locksley—son of the legendary Robin Hood and Lady Marian—only sees a lonely boy in need of friends. John and his sisters succeed in befriending Henry, while also inadvertently uncovering a political plot, saving a man's life, and carrying out daring escapes. All in a day's work for the Locksley children...


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"We will hold an archery contest. A simple affair, all in fun, on the tournament grounds. Tomorrow. We will see you there." The latest civil war in England has come and gone, King John is dead, and the nobility of England gathers to see the coronation of his son, thirteen-year-old King Henry III. The new king is at the center of political rivalries and power struggles, but J "We will hold an archery contest. A simple affair, all in fun, on the tournament grounds. Tomorrow. We will see you there." The latest civil war in England has come and gone, King John is dead, and the nobility of England gathers to see the coronation of his son, thirteen-year-old King Henry III. The new king is at the center of political rivalries and power struggles, but John of Locksley—son of the legendary Robin Hood and Lady Marian—only sees a lonely boy in need of friends. John and his sisters succeed in befriending Henry, while also inadvertently uncovering a political plot, saving a man's life, and carrying out daring escapes. All in a day's work for the Locksley children...

30 review for The Heirs of Locksley

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    4+ stars. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature: The adventures of Robin Hood’s three children continue in The Heirs of Locksley, the second novella in Carrie Vaughn‘s ROBIN HOOD STORIES series. It takes a unexpected four-year leap forward from The Ghosts of Sherwood. The eldest, Mary, is now aged twenty and still hasn’t met the young man she’s semi-betrothed to, and her feelings have shifted from fear and uncertainty to irritation that William de Ros still hasn’t bothered to come meet 4+ stars. Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature: The adventures of Robin Hood’s three children continue in The Heirs of Locksley, the second novella in Carrie Vaughn‘s ROBIN HOOD STORIES series. It takes a unexpected four-year leap forward from The Ghosts of Sherwood. The eldest, Mary, is now aged twenty and still hasn’t met the young man she’s semi-betrothed to, and her feelings have shifted from fear and uncertainty to irritation that William de Ros still hasn’t bothered to come meet her; in fact, she’s beginning to wonder if he even exists. John (named after Little John) is in his later teens now, and the youngest, Eleanor, is thirteen. Robin’s old enemy King John died a few years ago, and his thirteen-year-old son Henry is having his second coronation, which historically occurred in May of 1220. Vaughn sets this story in the midst of this actual event, when the nobility have gathered in London for the coronation. Young King Henry III takes a shine to the Locksley children when they’re presented to him, and impulsively announces an archery contest. John and Mary, both excellent archers (especially Mary) who are well-taught by their father, decide, in for a penny, in for a pound, and dress in Lincoln green for the contest. Friends are made, but also some enemies (not everyone approves of women archers in the thirteenth century). Robin encourages his son John to befriend the lonely young king, and John decides what Henry really needs is to get into some mild mischief. Specifically, he weasels his way into Henry’s chambers late in the evening and suggests that they sneak outside so Henry can try climbing a tree for the first time in his life. While hidden in the tree, Henry and John overhear and see dangerous goings-on that they weren’t intended to. It all gets complicated from there, and great fun. The Heirs of Locksley, like the first book, is a quick, light read, but it felt more fully fleshed-out than The Ghosts of Sherwood. Vaughn tells a straightforward tale that isn’t particularly complex, but I found it highly entertaining — enough to turn back to the start and reread most of it immediately after I finished. It includes a couple of diverting and rather meta scenes that underscore how Robin Hood is already becoming a legend.Those who watched King Henry’s coronation archery tournament thought it was a joke at first, the two fresh-faced archers from Nottinghamshire acting like Robin Hood’s heirs, making jokes about shooting Normans … It must have been a joke. Robin Hood was only a story.The characters continue to grow on me, and Vaughn offers insights into their thoughts and motivations that help bring them to life. Robin still has a wicked grin and a rather rebellious soul, but having children has made him realize that it’s more useful to have royal favor than to be sworn enemies of the king. Mary hopes to find love, or at least a man whose character she can admire, but the practical reality of arranged marriages at this time in England still needs to be dealt with. Vaughn comments in her author’s note at the end that the legends of Robin Hood don’t really fit into actual history — there were no friars in England during King John’s lifetime, for example — so all of the Robin Hood stories are essentially fanfiction. (It’s reminiscent of Robin McKinley’s afterword in her comparable novel The Outlaws of Sherwood, in which McKinley pointed out the scant historical evidence for longbows in England at this time.) But being brave and honorable, fighting against corruption, helping others: that’s the kind of fanfic we need. Many thanks to Tor for the ARC!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Justine

    This was even better than the predecessor novella, The Ghosts of Sherwood! Taking place four years later, Mary, John, and Eleanor accopany their parents to the coronation of Henry III. Henry is still a boy, only 13, and sadly inexperienced in childhood fun and adventure. Who better to provide an introduction than the heirs of Locksley? An archery contest, the foiling of nefarious plots, and even a tiny bit of romance, are all tidily packed into this fun and readable adventure tale. Another not-to- This was even better than the predecessor novella, The Ghosts of Sherwood! Taking place four years later, Mary, John, and Eleanor accopany their parents to the coronation of Henry III. Henry is still a boy, only 13, and sadly inexperienced in childhood fun and adventure. Who better to provide an introduction than the heirs of Locksley? An archery contest, the foiling of nefarious plots, and even a tiny bit of romance, are all tidily packed into this fun and readable adventure tale. Another not-to-be missed story by Vaughn.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    4.5 This was even more enjoyable than the first book. I loved that this book looked at the heirs (duh, from the title) and their personal futures. Robin and Marian were in the backseat of the story and weren't around as much because their children were the stars. It was about them managing the world and the part that they will take in it. Just an enjoyable and very fast read!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Craig

    The Heirs of Locksley is the second book of Vaughn's Robin Hood stories, and is set four years after The Ghosts of Sherwood. It's a fast, fun read, and I enjoyed reading it, although I didn't think it was quite as good as the first book. (I thought that the way Mary met her betrothed was a little too coincidentally fortuitous, and John suddenly becomes a bit too hastily inclusively p.c.) I hope the series continues.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marta Cox

    This delightful tale brings to life the children of Lord Locksley or as many refer to him Robin Hood. Mary, John and Eleanor are at court to see the new boy King Henry for the first time. However following on from some advice from his father John decides to help thirteen year old Henry get away from his staid and stressful life and embrace just a very small rebellion. Trouble is what seems just a harmless bit of fun turns quickly into a grand adventure ! I absolutely loved this story with its viv This delightful tale brings to life the children of Lord Locksley or as many refer to him Robin Hood. Mary, John and Eleanor are at court to see the new boy King Henry for the first time. However following on from some advice from his father John decides to help thirteen year old Henry get away from his staid and stressful life and embrace just a very small rebellion. Trouble is what seems just a harmless bit of fun turns quickly into a grand adventure ! I absolutely loved this story with its vividly written characters that easily came to life in the theatre of my mind. Mary is capable, brave and everything I want in a heroine. John is on the cusp of manhood and starting to realise that his life is about to go in directions that previously he hadn't foreseen. Eleanor is perhaps less fleshed out but she's sneaky, perceptive and her actions certainly help save the day. There is even a slight touch of romance deftly written in that made me smile for Mary but also wonder what the future holds for John. This is perfect for younger readers than myself as well as those who like me are long past our days of climbing trees ! This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality I picked this up, admittedly rather early, because it combines two of my great reading loves, English history and fanfiction. And I really, truly was NOT expecting the second part of that equation. I fell in love with English history at age 12, after seeing the movie Anne of a Thousand Days. I have no idea what drew me in so strongly. Certainly not any direct relationship to the history portrayed as I have zero English ancestry. Whether it was the pageantry, Originally published at Reading Reality I picked this up, admittedly rather early, because it combines two of my great reading loves, English history and fanfiction. And I really, truly was NOT expecting the second part of that equation. I fell in love with English history at age 12, after seeing the movie Anne of a Thousand Days. I have no idea what drew me in so strongly. Certainly not any direct relationship to the history portrayed as I have zero English ancestry. Whether it was the pageantry, the politics or the power, I was absolutely hooked, leading to a life-long interest in British history, whether fictionalized or not. Not that some of what grabbed me, like the Robin Hood and King Arthur, aren’t of dubious historical accuracy – at best. But this particular novella duology – at least it’s a duology so far – does a terrific job of setting Robin Hood, Robin of Locksley, into a reasonably historical version of the time in which he was supposed to have lived, and skirts around the issues of exactly which, if any, of the tales about him might be true by making him a secondary character in these stories. In these stories, Robin is no longer the outlaw of Sherwood. And he’s no longer a young man. Instead, he’s well into middle age, still powerful, still feared and hated and loved in equal measure, but also someone who recognizes that his time will inevitably draw to a close, sooner rather than later. These stories focus on his children with Marian; his oldest daughter Mary, his son and heir John, and his slightly fey child Eleanor as they take their first steps into adulthood. They also do a good job of giving bits of long-ago English history a face that makes them still feel relevant. The first book, The Ghosts of Sherwood, was a story about reckoning. About the nobles who favored King John still trying to eliminate Robin as a threat or a power, while the political maneuvering brought the negotiations surrounding the Magna Carta becomes personalized through his enemies attempt to kidnap his children – and his children manage to rescue themselves using the lessons their father and life on the edge of Sherwood have taught them. In The Heirs of Locksley, the times have changed and the story has moved on a bit. It is 1220, and King John is dead. His 13-year-old son sits uneasily on the throne that he will occupy for the rest of his life. But Henry of Winchester, Henry III, is still a boy. A boy who never knew his father, but still stands in his shadow. The shadow of a man who seems to have pissed off everyone he ever knew. Robin’s son John knows all about standing in a father’s long shadow. The two boys make a surprising common cause that leads them on an adventure that neither expected – to the consternation of all of the adults that surround them. Escape Rating A-: I said at the beginning that this combined my loves of English history and fanfiction. The setting of these tales is between two of my favorite historical mystery series, both set in England and both occurring at times of great upheavals in history – as this series does. I’m speaking of the Brother Cadfael series, by the late Ellis Peters, set in Shrewsbury, English between 1135 and 1145, at a time when the country was in the midst of a civil war. This series was also one of the first historical mystery series I have read, and the foundation of the popularity of the genre to this day. The other series is the Owen Archer series, set in York in the late 1300s during the events that would eventually lead to yet another civil war, the Wars of the Roses. Both of these series, like these Robin Hood stories, do a fantastic job of drawing the reader directly into their time and place while still managing to comment on either our own, the immutability of human nature, or both. (And now I’m missing Owen and will be moving the latest book in that series all the way up the virtually towering TBR pile!) But I also referred to the Robin Hood stories as fanfiction – as the author does in the afterword to this book. It’s a concept that now that I’ve seen it, I can’t un-see it – and it resonates. After all, the Robin Hood stories that we all know today weren’t written down until the late 1400s at the very earliest, three centuries after the adventures they portray. And even then, those written stories were merely printed versions of oral traditions that had arisen during the interim, sometime between Robin’s own time and the invention of the printing press. As part of an oral tradition, the stories that were printed were the ones that were remembered, whether because they were the best stories, the most memorable ones, were just told by particularly charismatic storytellers – or all of the above. There’s no historical canon version, just a lot of stories that center around a larger-than-life character and his band of outlaws as they rebelled against an unjust authority. It’s a “Fix-it” fic where the heroes fight wrongs and make things better in the end, as occurs when Richard the Lionhearted returns to his kingdom and the evil Sheriff of Nottingham is forced to leave Robin and his gang alone. The story conveniently ends before King Richard is killed and John takes back over, this time for good – or ill. The Robin Hood Stories series are a kind of “next generation” fanfic where the author takes the beloved characters and tells readers what happened after the happy ever after, moving the story to the literal next generation, the earlier heroes’ children. So she’s right. Not just that these stories feel like fanfiction but that the original Robin Hood stories were too. Complete with the “so many variations that the original canon is obscured” problem. In my review of the first book I noted that there’s a trend towards retellings going on right now. The world has gone mad and we’re all looking for the comfort of stories we know and love, in variations that may hold a few surprises but ultimately lead back to the tales that we already know. And that’s what these Robin Hood Stories have been so far for me. A lovely comfort read with an interesting view of a historical period that I enjoy, an ultimately a visit with some old and very dear friends. I hope there will be more.

  7. 5 out of 5

    thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)

    I loved this I just wish it was longer, I could really see it developed into a full novel and it would be even better than it already is. It’s a fantastic re-imagining of the Robin Hood myth and legends. I love how much Carrie’s novellas are character driven and I hope she writes many more of these. A fantastic way to escape for awhile. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maxine

    King John is dead and thirteen-year-old Henry III has ascended the British throne surrounded by advisors and sycophants. When the nobility is to be introduced to the new king, Robin of Locksley aka Robin Hood suggests to his children, especially his son, John, that they go in his stead as Henry might need a friend, someone close to his age who wants nothing from him. Henry is immediately fascinated by the three having heard all the legends about their father. When he admits wistfully that he has King John is dead and thirteen-year-old Henry III has ascended the British throne surrounded by advisors and sycophants. When the nobility is to be introduced to the new king, Robin of Locksley aka Robin Hood suggests to his children, especially his son, John, that they go in his stead as Henry might need a friend, someone close to his age who wants nothing from him. Henry is immediately fascinated by the three having heard all the legends about their father. When he admits wistfully that he has never climbed a tree, John decides to sneak him out of the palace for a night of mischief, a vey dangerous plan since the discovery of it could be construed as kidnapping. Worse, as they sit high up in a tree, they overhear what may be a murder and a possible plot against an adviser of the king. The Heirs of Locksley is based on the legendary character of Robin Hood, or to be more precise, his children, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It's very short, really a novella, and it's well written with a fair bit of action and palace intrigue to keep the story moving. The three Locksley children are very likeable as is Henry. I had not realized this was the second in a series but it worked fine as a standalone. I do, however, have to say that the length of the story worked both as a plus and a minus here. It felt that many of the plot points lacked both purpose or closure. They added little to the story and just seemed to be included here to, for example, allow the introduction of another character. Perhaps they'll be addressed in a future book but, here, they felt out of place. That aside, however, I would recommend it to any young reader (10+) who is looking for a quick read with likeable characters, lots of action but little violence. Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review

  9. 5 out of 5

    J.A. Ironside

    ARC provided by Tor.com via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I enjoyed this even more than the first book. They're very short and quite light reads, which is sort of the point. While they are not YA, they would probably be suitable for a YA audience (including the 12 - 14 end.) While Vaughn is clearly not writing the gritty 13th C for the sheer hell of showing the plagues and bloodshed, she doesn't shy away from the nastier aspects - hinting at them and leaving the reader to form her ow ARC provided by Tor.com via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I enjoyed this even more than the first book. They're very short and quite light reads, which is sort of the point. While they are not YA, they would probably be suitable for a YA audience (including the 12 - 14 end.) While Vaughn is clearly not writing the gritty 13th C for the sheer hell of showing the plagues and bloodshed, she doesn't shy away from the nastier aspects - hinting at them and leaving the reader to form her own opinion. As far as what are essentially fantasy reimaginings of the High Medieval period go, the history is also fairly accurate. This book picks up some years after the Ghosts of Sherwood. Mary has still not met her betrothed and now that she is an adult, is starting to feel frustrated as well as nervous with the situation. Her younger brother, John, is now sixteen and while still a mischievous scapegrace, his judgement has matured. The youngest child of Robin Hood, Eleanor, is still mute but here we see her as a clever teenager who is just as adventurous and competent as her siblings. King John is dead and his son - 13yr old Henry III - is receiving oaths of fealty. Robin of Lockesley would like his children to befriend the lonely young king, since he wants a better less tempestuous life for his children than he and Marian suffered in their early years. John takes this advice to heart with disastrous consequences... These novellas are a lot of fun. They're quieter fantasy stories but there's a lot of intelligent character development going on and they have a lot of heart. I really hope there are more in the series. Highly recommend.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ixxati

    This is a quick and fun read. I wish it was longer because it's starting to get interesting. Oh I just found out this is the second book or maybe the last book but it can be read as a standalone. I loved each of the characters in this story. This is a modern Robin Hood re-telling but the main characters were Robin's children which is Mary, John and Eleanor. Thank you Netgalley for The Heirs of Locksley ARC!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dale Russell

    WARNING ***** Minor Spoilers ahead. Be it upon your own head to journey onward***** It's been five years since the events in GHOSTS OF SHERWOOD. Mary, John, and Eleanor have continued to grow strong and independent. The kingdom has been relatively quiet, though with the recent death of King John, and the coronation of his 13-year old son as King Henry III that might change as parties to the new king begin to push their own agendas. Robin, as Lord Locksley, sees the influence of the late King John WARNING ***** Minor Spoilers ahead. Be it upon your own head to journey onward***** It's been five years since the events in GHOSTS OF SHERWOOD. Mary, John, and Eleanor have continued to grow strong and independent. The kingdom has been relatively quiet, though with the recent death of King John, and the coronation of his 13-year old son as King Henry III that might change as parties to the new king begin to push their own agendas. Robin, as Lord Locksley, sees the influence of the late King John's advisors not being one that is conducive to the new king's growth and suggests that his son take the new oath of fealty to the young king and perhaps sow the seeds of trust and friendship that was so lacking in his relationship with the child's father. But, good intentions are one thing, acting on those may create a whole new world of danger. And, Mary wonders, who is William de Ros and why is he NEVER around? Carrie Vaughn returns to the world of England in a time of unrest and change with scheming and potential betrayal in the air. This, the second and last(?) book in her tales of Robin and Marian and the next generation of Locksleys. Vaughn's forte has always been her ability to get into the emotions and feelings of her characters and these stories are no exception. She takes the reader through the doubts and fears of her characters in a way that is recognizable to any of us and drives them to their natural - as written - conclusions. Her characters are charming...or despicable...in their own ways. Another wonderful story from the mind of one of today's best. NOTE *** New Readers - if this was the first of the two books set in the world of Robin Hood, have no fear. The author has crafted this as a fairly self contained adventure with little needed background information from the previous story that can't be gleaned simply through reading this tale as a stand alone.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Telthor

    4.5–I may round up after thinking about it for a while but for now I’ll leave it at 4. rtc I still can't decide if I want to round up or down--I adore this book, this series, this family specifically, but as a book, this one feels slightly less than the one that came before it. I enjoyed the antics tremendously. At its core, this is a book about loyalty and adventure and good people doing good things together, protecting friendship and family, and I love and appreciate every word of it. But the s 4.5–I may round up after thinking about it for a while but for now I’ll leave it at 4. rtc I still can't decide if I want to round up or down--I adore this book, this series, this family specifically, but as a book, this one feels slightly less than the one that came before it. I enjoyed the antics tremendously. At its core, this is a book about loyalty and adventure and good people doing good things together, protecting friendship and family, and I love and appreciate every word of it. But the stakes feel a bit lower than the prior book, and while I'm bouncing all over everywhere for Mary and her good sir, I'm also...not necessarily best pleased that they exchanged ten words (ten delightfully thrilling words in the midst of a midnight conflict!) and are definitely getting married. Like. Fairy tale, I get it I know I understand but it still comes across as rushed and that makes me saaad. But, truly, I adore this series, and it actually hurts to give it less than five solid perfect stars. I want to live in these pages, dangerous as they are. This is the best fanfic ever. It's lushious and vivid and I adore the characters tremendously, and watching Robin and Marian flirt is my absolute favorite thing. Power couple. It's just good fun. It's not dark and deep, but it's clever and gentle and so, so welcoming.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katie P.

    Blog ✍ | Facebook 👩 | Twitter 🐦 | Instagram 📸 The Heirs of Locksley is the second book in the Robin Hood Stories series. I found it to be more like a novella at 128 pages, but the pacing is quick and it was a great, if short, read! So far, this is a duology, but it may evolve into something more. Several other reviewers have mentioned that historically, Robin Hood has been a less than accurate figure, but in Carrie Vaughn's interpretation, Robin Hood becomes almost historically accurate. At least Blog ✍ | Facebook 👩 | Twitter 🐦 | Instagram 📸 The Heirs of Locksley is the second book in the Robin Hood Stories series. I found it to be more like a novella at 128 pages, but the pacing is quick and it was a great, if short, read! So far, this is a duology, but it may evolve into something more. Several other reviewers have mentioned that historically, Robin Hood has been a less than accurate figure, but in Carrie Vaughn's interpretation, Robin Hood becomes almost historically accurate. At least, he becomes less mythical and more real in this re-telling/original story about his heirs. Mary, John, and Eleanor, the children of Robin and Marian, are fun characters who are headstrong, but also duty bound. Mary is the eldest, a whiz with a bow and always looking out for her younger sister. John is following in his father's footsteps, encouraging the new king to experience things he'd never experienced before and completely headstrong. Eleanor is the youngest, she doesn't speak and avoids crowds, she sticks close to Mary usually. The plot is interesting, with Robin's kids navigating the political sphere created by the death of the former king. Now, England is ruled by a king who is no more than 13 years old and close in age to John. The pacing is fast and the book was over before I really realized it. I did enjoy the character development and the world. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book! I received a galley copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Pankau

    A few years after the events of the last book, King John has died, and Henry III has just been crowned king at thirteen years old. The Locksley family pays fealty to the new King, and Robin’s teenage son John sees an opportunity to befriend this young King who is caught between his two major advisors. There is an archery tournament, a night adventure, and a small plot of court politics. This was a fun little novella. There’s adventure and interesting characters, but also some good historical res A few years after the events of the last book, King John has died, and Henry III has just been crowned king at thirteen years old. The Locksley family pays fealty to the new King, and Robin’s teenage son John sees an opportunity to befriend this young King who is caught between his two major advisors. There is an archery tournament, a night adventure, and a small plot of court politics. This was a fun little novella. There’s adventure and interesting characters, but also some good historical research to ground it. Only complaint is I would love for it to be longer, though it is a good length for the story it does tell. Still gets 5 stars because I enjoyed it so much. Hoping we get to see more books in this world with these characters.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    This one was fun, sort of a kids will be kids tale. I like that Robin and Marian let their kids take care of themselves, they are more than capable. Robin's advice to John about the new King was good in a couple of ways, though I don't think that Robin expected John to do things quite the way he did. I loved how the siblings stick together, right there to help when needed. I especially like the person that Mary finally met and how that will end up.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Fun and adventure with the Locksley siblings. The Heirs of Locksley takes place four years after The Ghosts of Sherwood. The king has died leaving his heir, 13 year old son, Henry III to inherit the throne. The entire Locksley clan attends the coronation in a seemingly peaceful time, but trouble does seem to follow. They have adventures and also a sweet surprise.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I may or may not be crying. I love this book so much. It's like a hug made out of paper.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    Oooo I really enjoyed this even more than the first novella!! I'm such a fan of the Robin Hood legend and I'd gladly read a couple more novellas following these kids and their famous parents.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cara

    Still to short for my liking! I wanted to know more about the Locksley kids. I know that's how it was done in those days but it makes me sad to think of Mary, John, or Elanor ever leaving the shadow of Sherwood. They're all growing up in this story and they'll all have to at some point.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ria Bridges

    After reading and enjoying The Ghosts of Sherwood, I knew I was up for another tale of Robin Hood’s children. This novella, just as short and easy to pick up as the previous one, is set around 4 years after The Ghosts of Sherwood. Mary is not yet married, having yet to even lay eyes on the man her parents are considering for her husband. Eleanor still does not speak, showing many signs of what we now would likely deem autism. John stands in his father’s shadow, unsure what to do with his life or After reading and enjoying The Ghosts of Sherwood, I knew I was up for another tale of Robin Hood’s children. This novella, just as short and easy to pick up as the previous one, is set around 4 years after The Ghosts of Sherwood. Mary is not yet married, having yet to even lay eyes on the man her parents are considering for her husband. Eleanor still does not speak, showing many signs of what we now would likely deem autism. John stands in his father’s shadow, unsure what to do with his life or what he will become. And now King John is dead, and his young son Henry ascends to the throne. Robin decides to send John to swear fealty on his behalf, hoping that the two, being closer in age than the new king is to his advisors, will strike up a friendship, placing John in the position of confidant and unofficial (and maybe someday official) advisor. It’s undoubtedly a political move, not one intended to curry favour and gain power so much as help keep his descendants out of disfavour with the man who will, with luck, sit on the English throne for quite some time. John is rather angry about the political side of this move, but he does do what’s suggested, and he does manage to get in good with King Henry, partly due to participating in a semi-impromptu archery contest (alongside his sister Mary, because Mary is a very good shot), and partly after sneaking his way to Henry that night in order to sneak the young king out to engage in some tree-climbing. Which isn’t a euphemism. John seems appalled that Henry never had the chance to climb trees, and so seeks to rectify the situation. The fun is cut short, however, when the two stumble across an attempted murder in the night, and take it upon themselves to solve the mystery of who and why. I enjoyed The Heirs of Locksley as much as I enjoyed The Ghosts of Sherwood. I expected a shift in character focus from Mary to John, though it’s not like Mary was completely out of the picture here. The dangling plot thread of “will she actually marry the man her parents wish for her” got tied up nicely, though I can see how it might annoy some readers. She met him, and while it wasn’t love at first sight, they did agree to marriage pretty quickly, still knowing very little about each other. But honestly, that didn’t bother me; it fit the time period and setting. Mary met him, liked how she felt around him and saw that he treated his horses well, figured she could do a lot worse, and so made the decision. The decision didn’t seem out of character for her, so I have no real problems with it. I also want to take a moment to talk a little about the vibes between John and Henry, and I swear, if there hadn’t been such an age and experience gap between them, I was wondering if there’d be a sparking romance between them in addition to that new friendship. But no, that wasn’t the case, and I can’t say I’m entirely surprised. I was surprised, though, by the very strong implication at the end that John was struggling a little to deal with thoughts that men are far more appealing than women. But this is where I have to confess a little bit of disappointment. I can’t find any information to suggest that this series will be ongoing, everywhere lists this as book 2 of 2, and that dips its toes into problematic territory. Mary gets a story focusing on her, John gets a story focusing on him, but Eleanor, the neurodiverse one, gets nothing with a focus on her? We get hints that John might be gay, but that’s where it all gets cut off and nothing about that gets dealt with after a “maybe he is,” moment? This concern might be rendered moot if more stories are written, but as it stands for now, with no indication that this series will continue, it’s a disappointing place to leave things. I want more fiction with neurodiverse characters. I want more fiction with queer characters. I get disappointed when I run into things that dangle a carrot but don’t actually follow through. So I’ve got my fingers crossed that this series will continue, that more stories of the Locksley children will be written. The stories are well written, fun to read even for those who, like me, aren’t super familiar with the Robin Hood story, and it would be a big disappointment to end things here, and for multiple reasons. As with The Ghosts of Sherwood, The Heirs of Locksley is a low-investment read that has a big reward. It’s short, both of them could easily be read in an afternoon, and they’re well-paced well-written adventures that take the reader back to a time of history and folklore, setting the stage in a way that brings the hypothetical to life. I definitely recommend them as quick reads for fans of speculative historical fiction, even if there’s that caveat of how disappointing it will all be if it ends here, after teasing such potential inclusivity. (Book received in exchange for an honest review.)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hobart

    This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- “Well,” Marian said calmly. “Perhaps they found an adventure.” “Marian, they were supposed to be nothing like me. They were supposed to be sensible and quiet and not at all prone to adventures.” “Hmm,” she said, refusing to state any opinion about what Robin’s children were meant to be like. If they were wild, she’d blame Sherwood Forest before she blamed Robin. Something about that place got into one’s bones and made one rash. WHAT'S THE HEI This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- “Well,” Marian said calmly. “Perhaps they found an adventure.” “Marian, they were supposed to be nothing like me. They were supposed to be sensible and quiet and not at all prone to adventures.” “Hmm,” she said, refusing to state any opinion about what Robin’s children were meant to be like. If they were wild, she’d blame Sherwood Forest before she blamed Robin. Something about that place got into one’s bones and made one rash. WHAT'S THE HEIRS OF LOCKSLEY ABOUT? It's about four years after the events of The Ghosts of Sherwood , King John is dead and the Locksley's are at the coronation of his son, King Henry III. Robin pushes his son John into taking care of some of the courtly duties as his heir (also, he's the Locksley without any political baggage). His sisters accompany him to meet the new king, one thing leads to another, and Henry calls for an archery competition to see them at work. The Locksleys being the Locksleys, trouble follows them—some comes at the competition, some comes later. Basically (like their father), the children go looking for fun, and adventure ensues—maybe it is Sherwood's fault. "So what did you think would happen, coming here? Knowing who their father is?” [Redacted] was trapped. He had the look of a hound who had cornered a boar all by himself and then didn’t know what to do with it. “Those . . . They’re just stories. You aren’t him, not really.” “No, of course not. That man lived a long time ago,” Robin murmured. “I am much angrier right now than he ever was.” You can just see the glint in his eye as he said that...(and the way he laughed about that line when SO WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT THE HEIRS OF LOCKSLEY? Like its predecessor, this is a quick read. A fun read—it feels like one more entry in a long-running series, not just the second. We've only got to spend roughly 250 pages with these three and they already feel like old friends. Vaughn tapped into something here and I'm so glad she did. In the afterword, she writes: What makes a good Robin Hood story? Adventure. Charm. Good people we like looking out for each other— it’s not enough to have a story about Robin Hood. He needs all his friends around him, and they need to be witty and skilled and admirable. Archery, of course we need archery. Clint Barton and Katniss Everdeen insist that we still need archery even in this modern day. And Robin needs to help people. He needs to denounce corruption and tyranny. He rebels and resists. From where I sit, that's exactly what Vaughn delivered. Most modern retellings (on-screen or in print) seem to miss the charm and witty parts in the gritty reboots—but Vaughn kept them. I know it's a duology, but I'd buy more—either the further adventures of the heirs or if she wanted to go back and tell some of Robin's adventures.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kend

    I may not be the world’s foremost expert on Robin Hood (I still kind of get Sherlock and Sherwood mixed up, so sometimes Robin Hood is also a bit addicted to opium as he susses out who is plotting against the king in my brain-forest) but that doesn’t mean I haven’t consumed literally every Robin Hood retelling I’ve ever stumbled across. It took me a long time to figure out why I liked this story so much, too, since it’s halfway a romance and halfway men comparing their bow lengths, if you know w I may not be the world’s foremost expert on Robin Hood (I still kind of get Sherlock and Sherwood mixed up, so sometimes Robin Hood is also a bit addicted to opium as he susses out who is plotting against the king in my brain-forest) but that doesn’t mean I haven’t consumed literally every Robin Hood retelling I’ve ever stumbled across. It took me a long time to figure out why I liked this story so much, too, since it’s halfway a romance and halfway men comparing their bow lengths, if you know what I mean, and I’m an aroace kiddo who is only ever down to smash the patriarchy. It turns out that all along I didn’t want to *get with* Robin Hood (or Marian for that matter, sorry luv) … I wanted to *be* Robin Hood. Smashing the patriarchy. Also capitalism. Being a hero not for any particular battle prowess but rather because of standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. And yes, a certain animated fox might have had something to do with the obsession as well. I’ve always really wanted to be a fox for a day. (Um, no, not in *that* way. Not my thing. But you do you, people.) All this to say, I’m primed and eager for Sherwoodlockian stories, and Vaughn *delivered*. The main characters in this novella are Robin and Marian’s children: Mary, John, and Eleanor. Mary is a kickass archer who might not yet be able to split her own arrow on the target but does come awfully close. She’s also a complete mess because she has been sort-of betrothed to a man for four years and never met him, and the book’s central events put her on a collision course with the truth. John is next in line, and he’s a very biddable fellow, serious-seeming like his mother but prone to getting in scrapes like his father, and now the scrapes involve a new KING, for goodness’ sake. And also, he’s starting to feel his hormones coming in, and they’re, how shall we put this, not exactly coming in straight. Eleanor is the youngest, and while she has no voice, that doesn’t stop her from being the one who got me to tear up by the end of the book. Luckily I had a sleeve handy, because it just won’t do to cry over *every* book I read. At least this cry was a cathartic “oh my goodness, this author GETS SIBLINGS” cry and not a bad cry. A really fun read, my friends, and not overwhelmingly long. [ I also reviewed this book on YouTube. ]

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brittney

    Book two in this wonderful series made me so happy. I read it in a matter of hours, directly after finishing book one The Ghosts of Sherwood, and I was so pleased by the ending. I wonder (hope, pray) that there will be a book three in this series as we seem to be delving deeper into each of the Locksley children as they grow up. The children are older now, four years later, with Mary being twenty and wondering where her mysterious betrothed is. While the engagement may not quite be official, as R Book two in this wonderful series made me so happy. I read it in a matter of hours, directly after finishing book one The Ghosts of Sherwood, and I was so pleased by the ending. I wonder (hope, pray) that there will be a book three in this series as we seem to be delving deeper into each of the Locksley children as they grow up. The children are older now, four years later, with Mary being twenty and wondering where her mysterious betrothed is. While the engagement may not quite be official, as Robin and Marian agreed to let her meet William first before marrying her off, it’s been a long time coming for the two to meet and decide if they will in fact be wed. John, meanwhile, is taller, stronger and while still mischievous in some ways, does have a practical head on his shoulders when needed. Eleanor, still brilliant and still without a voice, has learned a lot from watching those around her and her family relies on her as a litmus test for new people. In this story we learn that King John, who took the phone after his brother King Richard died, has now also passed away and John’s son Henry is now on the throne. Henry is young, only thirteen, and surrounded by old advisors from his father’s years and not really allowed to be a power king or a child. Robin encourages his kids to bend the knee to Henry, for the sake of peace, and to gain his favor so that the truce between the house of Locksley and the crown may remain. Without wanting to give too much away we see a lot of shenanigans, an archery contest and we finally meet William de Ros and see if he and Mary will be a match. The characters are still fun, vibrant and completely relatable. I actually enjoyed most of the new characters we were introduced to and Vaughn’s depiction of how shallow and deceptive others can be gives me hope that she will continue on with this series and let us see more of what becomes of John and Eleanor. Thank you to NetGalley, Carrie Vaughn and Tor.com for allowing me a copy of this ARC!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Liz (Quirky Cat)

    I received a copy of The Heirs of Locksley in exchange for a fair and honest review. The Robin Hood Stories by Carrie Vaughn continues in The Heirs of Locksley. This is the tale of Robin Hood and Maid Marian's children – as well as the children of several other famous characters from that fantastical tale. King Henry III is about to be crowned king – despite his young age. He's going to need the newly made friends in order to survive what is to follow. John is the son of the famous Robin Hood I received a copy of The Heirs of Locksley in exchange for a fair and honest review. The Robin Hood Stories by Carrie Vaughn continues in The Heirs of Locksley. This is the tale of Robin Hood and Maid Marian's children – as well as the children of several other famous characters from that fantastical tale. King Henry III is about to be crowned king – despite his young age. He's going to need the newly made friends in order to survive what is to follow. John is the son of the famous Robin Hood and Lady Marian, and he and his sisters are about to uncover quite the adventure. All in the name of taking care of their friend, the future king, of course. “We will hold an archery contest. A simple affair, all in fun, on the tournament grounds. Tomorrow. We will see you there.” The Heirs of Locksley is another diverting read following the children of such beloved characters. It's been fascinating to see them grow up – to see how they would fit in a world that we all just know as history. Mary, John, and Eleanor are simultaneously nothing and everything like I imagined they would be. Or rather, how I would have imagined them, had the thought ever occurred to me. Thankfully, the idea came to Carrie Vaughn, and thus this series was born. I love the concept of these three children trying to introduce King Henry to a life of fun and adventure. With the natural consequences, of course, since these kids don't know the concept of starting simple. Overall, I enjoyed every minute of this read, and wouldn't have minded seeing a bit more of it. On that note, I'm not entirely sure if this is going to stay as a duology, or if it'll become a larger series with time. Either way, I'll be curious to find out. Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Heirs of Locksley is the second book in the Robin Hood Stories by Carrie Vaughn. Released 4th Aug 2020 by Macmillan on their Tor Forge imprint, it's 128 pages and available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. This is a rollicking tale set 5 years after Th Originally published on my blog: Nonstop Reader. The Heirs of Locksley is the second book in the Robin Hood Stories by Carrie Vaughn. Released 4th Aug 2020 by Macmillan on their Tor Forge imprint, it's 128 pages and available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. This is a rollicking tale set 5 years after The Ghosts of Sherwood . Though it follows the same characters, it works perfectly well as a standalone adventure and there are no major plot spoilers, so the books can be read in any order. It's not clear whether the series will be ongoing; the plotting and narrative are episodic, but the books are so fun that I sincerely hope the author has more in store. Although I'm emphatically not young (or, some would argue, an adult), these struck me as very well written YA fanfic. The pacing and narrative tension are tightly controlled and the book is short, so the writing is quite spare. The language is totally clean and apart from some antagonists' attempted violence, it's an enjoyable and uncomplicated ride. This would make a fine choice for library (school or public) acquisition, gift, or family read together. The young Locksley siblings show grit, intelligence, resourcefulness, and loyalty, and I enjoyed the story very much. Four stars. Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jacey

    This is set at the time of young King Henry III's Westminster coronation in 1220. (He'd been crowned previously in 1216 – age 9 – in Gloucester when the legendary William Marshal, first Earl of Pembroke had been his regent.) Henry's early reign was beset with trouble, the Barons' War and the attempt by Prince Louis of France to take the English throne, followed the threat of incursions by Prince Llewelyn of Wales. This is the second book featuring the teenage Locksley children – but I haven't rea This is set at the time of young King Henry III's Westminster coronation in 1220. (He'd been crowned previously in 1216 – age 9 – in Gloucester when the legendary William Marshal, first Earl of Pembroke had been his regent.) Henry's early reign was beset with trouble, the Barons' War and the attempt by Prince Louis of France to take the English throne, followed the threat of incursions by Prince Llewelyn of Wales. This is the second book featuring the teenage Locksley children – but I haven't read the first. The premise is that Robin (Hood) of Locksley and Marian have three children, Mary, John and Eleanor, the youngest, who doesn't speak and is affected by crowds. The word autistic wasn't in use in the 13th century but it seems that she is somewhere on the spectrum. Robin suggests to John that the young king will need some young friends, since he's constantly surrounded by older men, bishops and powerful nobles. Henry is currently too young to rule in his own right. When John takes his father at his word and encourages the young king on a tree-climbing expedition for fun, they overhear a plot and rescue a young clerk. In the ensuing action, Mary meets the knight she's been betrothed to but has never met. The children of Robin and Marian are growing up. This would work well for YA or for smart middle-grade kids. I've enjoyed Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville books and while this is clearly aimed at younger readers, it's still very readable for adults, too. I'm a sucker for all things Robin Hood.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gregory D.

    The second novella in this series jumps four years to the coronation of the child-king Henry III (who is presented quite likably, making one wonder how he grows into such a wretched monarch). The story is fun, fast-paced and the characters very engaging, particularly the mute Locksley daughter Eleanor and the young king. But it feels very much that this is the end of the series, a duology, and as such, well, what really happened? There is virtually nothing that links the two tales, and as such, w The second novella in this series jumps four years to the coronation of the child-king Henry III (who is presented quite likably, making one wonder how he grows into such a wretched monarch). The story is fun, fast-paced and the characters very engaging, particularly the mute Locksley daughter Eleanor and the young king. But it feels very much that this is the end of the series, a duology, and as such, well, what really happened? There is virtually nothing that links the two tales, and as such, what we really have are two fun episodes in what feels more like the start of a series of 1980s style YA books that never gets the chance (perhaps she will write more volumes, in which case, this will be moot). But larger plot hints from volume 1 are irrelevant here, and there's almost the hint of..."if these children weren't Robin Hood's kids, would you care"? The irony is, YES, it's a great story of 13th c England, regardless, but I suspect the RH angle was necessary to make it marketable. So, as an episode, this is a 4 star novella; as a conclusion to a duology, it's 3. I am giving it a 4 overall since it's short, and it isn't like you will end up bitter if you read this and there is never another volume, you will just feel like you watched a Netflix pilot for a series that didn't get picked up.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Way_Word_Bibliophile

    When I read or heard Locksley, I never thought about Robin Hoods children but this book caught my attention and I immediately requested it. Thanks to Tor and NetGalley for providing an e-ARC in exchange of an honest review. This is the second book in the series and without reading the first one it was still easy to follow. This is a historic fiction and continues the tale of Robin and Marion and their children. It is an engrossing, fast paced and a short read. I was glued till the end and finish When I read or heard Locksley, I never thought about Robin Hoods children but this book caught my attention and I immediately requested it. Thanks to Tor and NetGalley for providing an e-ARC in exchange of an honest review. This is the second book in the series and without reading the first one it was still easy to follow. This is a historic fiction and continues the tale of Robin and Marion and their children. It is an engrossing, fast paced and a short read. I was glued till the end and finished it in one sitting. This book is about his children Mary, son and heir John and Eleanor. The characters are lovely and it is a delightful read. Full of adventure the children not only thwart assasin attack, but also save the life of the young king, forming a life long bond of friendship. Lots of action and adventure. Hopefully there will be another one in the series. It was weird to see Robin as a middle aged man man but I loved that he was still powerful. Loved and hated in equal measure. Highly recommend this book it will be enjoyed by all age groups especially people like me who grew up reading tales of Robin Hood and his band of merry men and also who read tales of bravery, chivalry and bandits and outlaws.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I was disappointed in this one, mainly because I know the author is capable of writing much better stories than this. It's very short, leaving little room for character development or plot, and there's not much of either. What plot there is relies entirely on two big coincidences, and I'm not at all a fan of having coincidence drive your plot. The first coincidence has the form, if not the content, of a Convenient Eavesdrop: characters just happen to be in the right place at the right time to ob I was disappointed in this one, mainly because I know the author is capable of writing much better stories than this. It's very short, leaving little room for character development or plot, and there's not much of either. What plot there is relies entirely on two big coincidences, and I'm not at all a fan of having coincidence drive your plot. The first coincidence has the form, if not the content, of a Convenient Eavesdrop: characters just happen to be in the right place at the right time to observe something significant. In this case it's not a conversation, but an event, in which they intervene (so there is some protagonism, at least). The second coincidence is a completely random meeting with someone who's been previously mentioned. As soon as the person came on stage, it was obvious to me who it would be, even though there was no non-narrative-driven reason for it to be that person out of hundreds of others. Not at all up to the author's usual standard. The first book was slightly disappointing, but at least had some moving moments; this does not. If there's a third, I won't bother with it. I received a copy via Netgalley for review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Leona

    I have to say that I enjoyed this more than the Ghosts of Sherwood. Perhaps that was because of the plot itself (son of an outlaw befriends young king, etc.), or perhaps it's because I already had read the previous novella. Yes, this is a novella. I didn't realize that when I chose to read it. Although it was shorter than I usually read, I was satisfied at the end of it. I also grew to like the characters (Mary, John, young king Henry III, and Eleanor), and would like to hear more of their advent I have to say that I enjoyed this more than the Ghosts of Sherwood. Perhaps that was because of the plot itself (son of an outlaw befriends young king, etc.), or perhaps it's because I already had read the previous novella. Yes, this is a novella. I didn't realize that when I chose to read it. Although it was shorter than I usually read, I was satisfied at the end of it. I also grew to like the characters (Mary, John, young king Henry III, and Eleanor), and would like to hear more of their adventures - particularly Eleanor, who is a bit of an enigma. I'm a fan of Carrie Vaughn, and this didn't disappoint. I enjoy reading her young women voices. I suppose this could count as YA, but it's a mature, balanced YA that is equally focused on plot as on feelings, meaning that it's great for adult readers as well. So, yay. This is a quick read, with no downsides except that it's short. I really wish I could have read about them all in a longer format book. I received an advance reader copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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