The Wicked Prince: A Robin Hood Retelling by Celeste Baxendell (Once Upon a Prince book 4)
Prince John has a long list of problems: a war that’s draining the country’s resources, the thief who’s leading the bad feelings against him, and a perfect older brother who’s threatening to send him to the front lines.
His solution: Marry the thief.
Robin Hood’s best kept secret is that she’s a woman. When Prince John figures that out, she falls for the one trap she could never have predicted, and the ring on her finger is more confining than any prison bars.
They both want to save the country and stop the people from starving. Can they put their differences aside long enough to find a solution? Will discovering the truth about each other signal the end of anything more?
“If he loved her enough without saying it, maybe she could love him in return.”
*Sighs dreamily* This book was perfection. Baxendell has such an understanding of human nature that shines forth in her characters. I loved watching these two enemies fall in love; it was so real.
Prince John thought himself a coward, yet he accepts the mantel of the “wicked prince,” knowing that the people needed someone to hate. There’s strength in letting others believe something about you without succumbing to that belief.
Robin loathes John for his cowardice, yet she doesn’t recognize his bravery — or her own cowardice. Being willing to take a hard look at ourselves like that requires a bravery we might not know we have.
I loved the found family and friendships of this story. They’re so relatable, and show Baxendell’s skill in developing the story with the juxtaposition between Robin and John.
If you love villain redemption arcs, he falls first, and artistic heroes, this story is for you.
A few swoony kisses. No swearing. Minor injuries.
(Thank you to the author for the ARC of this book. This is my honest review.)