‘A Viper in the Forest’ is an inspiring read for any young reader looking for a female role model who stands strong and sticks to her morals and values while holding her own in a medieval world full of inequality, injustice and corruption.


The first book in the Young Marian Series, ‘A Viper in the Forest’ is written by Mandy Webster and is a prequel to the classic Robin Hood legend.

The strong, female lead character of this novel is Young Marian. Often portrayed merely as Robin Hood’s love interest or a member of his troupe of merry men, Young Marian will inspire readers with her fearless attitude and strong sense of duty.

Marian and Robin’s carefree childhood in Sherwood Forest takes a dark turn when the arrival of a sadistic new lord sets off a series of intrigues including robbery, kidnapping and murder.


The history of Maid Marian is not often revealed in her role as one of the main (but not lead) characters of the Robin Hood adventures, yet her heroism and courage cannot be denied.

There is a shortage of feminine heroines in Middle Grade Literature who challenge the issues of social inequality, yet in this medieval setting in which women are not recognized and are expected to be subservient Marian stands out as a heroine unwilling to accept the restrictions society wants to set on her.

As she champions the rights of peasants, treating others with respect regardless of their place in society, Young Marian remains a brave and strong young woman who manages to hold onto her values and morals even in the face of mortal danger – an inspiration for any female reader who is searching for role models and leaders as she navigates the often challenging obstacles that teen life brings about.