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Elfin Blood and a Monster's Magic

Rowan Hood: Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest by Nancy Springer

A mother's protection is a wondrous thing. When Rosemary felt her mother's powerful spell wrap around her so hard it forced her to the ground, she knew she had no reason to be worried for her own safety. But then it cut off as though cleaved with a sword, and Rosemary knew that something terrible had happened to her.

She approached the tiny cottage silently over the mossy ground. The flames rose in sharp fangs, and there was not much left of the house. Rosemary prayed that her mother were still among the living:

Please, let her be alive, and I will never vex her again, I will hang my mantle where it belongs, I will fetch kindling, I will sweep--

But Rowan knew better. She knew that this fire was set deliberately, not an accident from the hearth, else her mother would have called for help rather than use all her energy to protect her child.

When she found Celandine's blackened body, she felt her legs turn to wood. Her chest swelled tight so she could hardly breathe. Her mother had been killed because of what she was: a woodwife and a half aelfe. The poor people had loved her for her help; it was the rich lords who had killed her for their sport.

Rosemary was only a girl of thirteen and not fully trained to any trade. She realized that her options were few: servitude to the lord who killed her mother, wife to whatever man that lord chose for her, or a beggar wandering the commons and byways.

Yet she had one other option. She could search for her father, a man she had never seen. Faraway in Sherwood Forest they told tales about the man of the green wood. Would Robin Hood recognize his daughter?

The Monster's Legacy by Andre Norton.

On her own at last, if only for a little while! Sixteen-year-old Sarita, youngest of the Embroidier Dame Argalas' apprentices, leaned out of the window of the castle, watching Lady Florian and her guard ride off for a beautiful spring outing. With Dame Argalas away, seeking new and gorgeous materials, Sarita was proud to be given the responsibility of seeing to the stocks of pearls, gold, and jewels that would be worked into Lord Florian's banners.

Her work was valued, and her skill at creating wondrous designs had not gone unnoticed. Was not Lady Florian wearing a rich green cloak worked with silver thread by Sarita herself as she rode forth into the bright morning? Surely, being a member of the guild was worth the hard work and even the vow to never marry, if one were to be given the opportunity to create marvelous things with a skill that would improve over time.

What Sarita could not know was that an unseen enemy worked evil magic against this far-off stronghold. Before nightfall, the lady's silver and green cape would be spattered with her blood, and Sarita, city-bred though she was, would be fighting her way through an ancient secret passage, with the infant heir to Florian clinging to her back. To save sweet Valoris from his father's enemies, she must survive the wild lands surrounding the remote keep, find food and water for them both, and stay far away from the paths of their death-dealing enemies.

The sudden appearance of a battered and bloody man was at first a most unwelcome sight, but Rhys was a ranger, in service to Lord Florian also. He knew the lay of the land and how to survive under arduous conditions. He and Sarita shared much on the trail, but foremost was the magic that runs through their veins, drawing them ever closer to the stronghold of the legendary Loden, a creature whose name conjures panic and fear in the hearts of Lord Florian's enemies.