‘No Good Deed’ by Kara Connolly was an unexpected delight.
Ellie is in Nottingham for the Olympic archery trials whilst she unintentionally travels back in time to the Medieval period. Her bravery and moral compass lead her to make decisions that only a certain hooded archer would do. Being an outlaw, Ellie must learn which path will lead her back whilst also keeping her alive as well as not changing the course of history, talk about stressful.
The first chapter I couldn’t get a handle on Ellie. I felt the beginning was a bit forced tone-wise but once she got to Nottingham castle it smoothed out. I really – and I mean REALLY – liked that Ellie became Robin Hood. I think it’s such a good twist and it was completely believable. Ellie had some big figurative balls on her to come up with some of her plans and then to just not care about the rules. Robin Hood was ahead of his time and Ellie proved this. I loved that she was all ‘no f*cks given’ sometimes. Her internal conflict with getting back home for the trials and staying to help the people of Nottingham was interesting and it added immensely to her character in general. Even though we don’t meet her brother until the end, I felt his presence in some of Ellie’s decision making, as well as her parents and I think this kept the reader bound to the emotional undercurrent.
Sir James was an odd character. I understood why he was in the story; Ellie needed a protector at the beginning and someone to keep a foot in throughout but I didn’t understand the chemistry between the two. He was very humorous at times however which won him my favour. I liked the Friar Tuck spin Connolly gave him, I didn’t see that coming at all. Much had his moments too and his story-telling is what projected Ellie to notoriety. I suspect that Isabel is Maid Marian although it wasn’t very clear. There was certainly no romance between Isabel and Ellie. Little John and Will Scarlet were incredibly funny and I lived for those Merry Men scenes. Now, Guilbert. I felt there was SO much chemistry between him and Ellie. Even from the beginning and I’m so sad that nothing ever came of it. I don’t know how I feel about the last few pages yet but I’m glad that a descendent actually managed to meet her. That was a nice surprise and it left a smile on my face.
There were many horrible characters in this book, and sexism played a massive part which is why I’m glad Robin was Ellie. Her skills as an archer helped her greatly however I would have liked to have read about her duel with Guilbert as the legend of Robin Hood says he was also a great swordsman. I also didn’t know there were so many french speakers back then in England? Or how badly I now want to visit Nottingham castle!
This book has stayed with me since I finished reading it and I hope it stays with me going forward because I love it. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did but the history of the well known legend of Robin Hood added that extra ‘WOW’ factor. It was extremely funny only in that ’21st century girl in medieval times’ way can be. It had warmth, it had so much character and it was emotionally balanced. I cannot recommend this book enough. And I’ve just put Nottingham on my map of places to go!
“I was pretty sure I’d just been declared an outlaw by the sheriff of Nottingham and friend-zoned by Friar Tuck in the same day.”
I received this in Unicorn Crate’s August ‘Legendary Archers’ box.
You can get it here