My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a great book that makes the legendary story of Robin Hood accessible to girls, and lets them experience similar adventures from a girl's point of view. The protagonist is a young girl named Rosemary whose mother is part aelfin, which gave her some magical powers, most especially in the art of healing. Rosemary returns home one day to find her cottage burned down, and herself an orphan. Her mother had always told her that her father was Robin Hood, and so she sets out to find him. She feels alone and tries hard to make it on her own. Along the way to meet her father, she encounters several interesting characters who become her friends. She soon finds that she has inherited unique aspects of her mother and father's characters, and discovers who she is by the end.
This book is a great book for girls to read that will make them feel capable and ready for an adventure. Springer doesn't sugar coat how hard it is living out in the woods for Ro (who disguises herself as a boy named Rowan to protect herself), and she doesn't paint this time period as one that is easy for girls to live in. Nevertheless, Ro is a strong character that girls will find easy to relate to. The author uses some of the language you might expect for the time period, but it doesn't get in the way of reading it.
I would recommend this book to girls who like the Robin Hood tales, who like strong female protagonists, adventure, or books set in the Medieval Period (or stories with knights, kings, princesses, etc).
Nancy Springer is a fun children's author who takes interesting male characters and puts a girl's twist on them. She does this with her Enola Holmes series (Sherlock Holmes's younger sister). If you liked this, try that series as well.
See my post of Springer's book The Case of the Left-handed Lady, part of the Enola Holmes series.