Cabbages & Kings by Morgan Sheppard

Cabbages & Kings by Morgan Sheppard
Publisher: Elemental Publishing
Genre: Historical, Young Adult (14 – 18 y.o.)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Chamomile

A Hero. Honourable Thief. Lovable Rogue. Scoundrel. Blackguard.

Everyone’s heard of Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men, with big, bad Sheriff of Nottingham and evil Prince John trying their best to thwart Robin at every turn. But what if things were different to what you’ve been told? What if Robin wasn’t as altruistic as history portrayed?

In the late spring of 1198, the hamlet of Girton is razed to the ground. Newly married eighteen-year-old Will Scathlock and sixteen-year-old Alana move to the larger village of Blidworth to start their lives anew. In his new job as a forester for the Royal Palace of Clipstone, known to the locals as King’s Houses, Will hears tales of a good thief, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. But in her role as seamstress for the Manor House, Alana hears a different story.

Find out what it was like for the peasant folk Robin was supposed to be helping, before his well-known adventures in Nottingham. Do you want to know the truth? Meet Alana Dale and read her story of what it was really like, and how it all began.

Cabbages & Kings takes the Robin Hood story to new horizons with this laugh-out-loud hilarious new reimagining!

I’ve always enjoyed a good retelling, especially about Robin Hood, a childhood favorite! Cabbages & Kings is just that, and so much more! A sweet coming-of-age story willed with humor and unexpected antics as Alana (a teen) leans to stand up for herself despite that not being done in her time!

Needless to say, not everyone is happy with this young lady learning to speak her mind, and she ends up in all kinds of delightful situations as she learns her limits and finds new allies along the way! I loved getting a more humorous take on the Robin Hood story while still getting a story with strong storytelling and enjoyable characters!

This one is truly unlike any other retelling I’ve found so far, and I loved Morgan Sheppard’s style and tone in this one! Enjoyable to YA readers and even perhaps for teens a little younger, this one’s sure to please!

Disjointed Lives by Morgan Sheppard

Disjointed Lives by Morgan Sheppard
Publisher: Elemental Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Promotions Manager, Ava Reese, has all she ever wanted: a fantastic husband, a great job, a good life. But her past haunts her.

Although she thought she had left the darkness behind long ago, her dreams start to haunt her during the day, making her question everything she has.

Ava hopes that meeting with her best friend, Paige, will help her find peace again. Can they put Ava’s dreams to rest, or will the past destroy everything Ava has so carefully built?

It’s never too late to seek out a happy ending.

This could have easily veered into speculative fiction territory, so I was pleasantly surprised by how the author found logical explanations for everything that happened in Ava’s life that felt a little unusual. Some of it could be explained by the turmoil she was experiencing at home, while other pieces of the puzzle took a little more work to put together. The author pulled it off, though, and I smiled at how everything was wrapped up in the end.

There were some portions of the timeline that never quite made sense to me. For example, I was confused by how and when Ava and Paige resumed their friendship after not speaking to each other for a decade. I also had some questions about how Ava’s friendship with her kind coworker began. It would have been helpful to have more information about topics like these.

The ending was well done. It explained everything it needed to explain, but it also left ample room for a sequel. I’d love to know what happened to Ava and her husband after the final scene that mentioned them, so I’d be thrilled if I ever get a chance to learn more about them. With that being said, it was also nice to sit with my thoughts and ponder the many possibilities of their future. Sometimes real life is every bit as open to interpretation, after all!

Disjointed Lives was a thought-provoking read.