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Before she was Maid Marian, she was Matty. . . .
Matty has been raised to dance well, embroider exquisitely, and marry nobly. But when Matty's mother is murdered before her very eyes and her father, a nobleman, is reduced to poverty, Matty's life changes.
As the daughter of Nottingham's most famous falconer, she finds a new destiny in the hawks her father keeps. She begins to understand their thoughts and even speak their language. The beautiful merlin Marigold becomes Matty's closest winged companion and her fiercest ally.
It is a treacherous time in England. The sheriff of Nottingham is rising to power, and a true king has been kidnapped. Determined to fight, Matty's friend Fynn becomes Robin Hood. As Maid Marian, Matty joins Fynn and his Merry Men, famously robbing from the rich to give to the poor.
You thought that you knew the legend, but this is the untold story. Bestselling author Kathryn Lasky soars to magnificent new heights here, giving us a bold tale of bravery and romance.
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Kathryn Lasky is the nationally bestselling author of many books for children and adults, including the Newbery Honor Book Sugaring Time; Elizabeth I and other popular books in the Royal Diaries series; and the bestselling epic fantasy series Guardians of Ga'hoole, which became a major motion picture. In Guardians of Ga'hoole, Lasky explores the behavior of owls. Now she uses her extensive research on hawks and the sport of falconry to again render a world that seamlessly blends natural history with fantasy.
The author and her husband, Christopher Knight, live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and summer on an island off the coast of Maine. There she enjoys watching peregrine falcons soar on the thermal drafts above the cove where she swims.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-9 After her mother is murdered and the family's castle is looted by followers of Prince John, Matty takes over the management of her father's hawks, learning their language and coming to share their consciousness. Half-orphaned and often hungry, she grows to be Maid Marian, friend and coconspirator with her childhood companion Fynn, renamed Robin Hood. In Lasky's reimagining of this legend, Marian is chief strategist of the band of boys who rob the rich, harass Prince John's evil supporters, and hope to ransom captive King Richard. There is a gentle but thoroughly modern love story, too. Matty may have been her father's jewel, but her growing affection for Robin does not turn her back into a decorative object she is the heroine of her successful quest, leading both birds and boys. Her five hawks are distinctive, and for them, the author of the owl fantasy series Guardians of Ga'hoole, has created a language and a convincing, if anachronistic, falconer. Lasky nicely weaves details of 12th-century life into this suspenseful adventure whose fantasy ending may surprise but will certainly please readers. Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD
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