Fairly Certain (Love of Fairs #1) by Deborah Ann Davis (2015)
Teen | FantasyBlurb:
“What would you do if you thought you couldn’t fail?
Fairly Certain is the unlikely adventure of Petir Capota, a nineteen year old computer geek who finds himself back in the days of Robin Hood after falling out of a tree. He awakens in the forest surrounded by a band of young British scavengers, clothed as if in Old England. His instinct to freak out is tempered by the arrival of a lovely maiden wearing a bow…and arrow. Coming from college life where fair maiden types don’t ordinarily go for computer geek types, Petir is fairly certain he can try whatever he wants in this strange realm, and without consequence…so why not pursue Maid Rianne?
With the conflict of the Royals escalating, Maid Rianne has joined the outlaws hiding in the forest, openly defying the handsome and accomplished knight to whom she is promised. She is fairly certain Lord Petir’s uncensored admiration of her skills with the staff and bow— those same unmaidenly pursuits disdained by her own knight— does but flatter her. However, that does not explain the quickening of her pulse produced by Lord Petir’s unguarded gaze.
The outlaws bring Petir to their camp to tend his injuries. To Petir’s delight and Maid Rianne’s dismay, they invite him to join their merry band. What better way to get close to her? Throwing caution to the wind, Petir decides he has nothing to lose by pursuing Maid Rianne. It’s all fun and games until she is captured by the enemy. Now, a geek with no ability to defend himself must find a way to rescue a fair maiden who has become much more than fair game.”
pooled ink Review:
Thank you to the publisher & NetGalley for sending me a copy to review!
Fairly Certain is a charming, quirky, and enthusiastically amusing story aligned with the classic tale of Robin Hood.
The author includes a little note to preamble the story, which I loved, and she was right! This is a quirky little story indeed!
Another small and perhaps insignificant detail is I’d like to give a shout-out to the chapter titles. I found them to be both creative and funny. (:
(A bit irrelevant perhaps but I could honestly see this being re-finagled and produced as a fun school play. Not a crappy one that you only attend because it’s required or because your sibling has a role and your parents made you go, but one that is not only a pleasant surprise but a genuinely enjoyable show that becomes a quick classic amongst school theatre productions.)
BEFORE the dream is explained, here are a few of my thoughts that I had whilst reading:
Petir, Petir, Petir. I understand he’s a typical teenage boy whom has been sexually repressed from his lifelong singlehood but dear Petir… (I will not apologize for my feminism taking a brief moment upon the soap box, so brace yourself). Sure he’s a geeky loner and this may be his only chance to ‘get some’ but a) No, Petir, b) I’m not convinced I see exactly what Rianne sees in him, and c) NO, Petir. Petir spends much of his “dream” ogling openly at Rianne and continually trying to make out with her (even when she had told him “No”) because she’s “hot” and because it’s his dream so he can do whatever he wants (and yes, he actually says this many times). He also refers to her constantly (albeit just in his mind) as “Maid Hottie” and the like. I know guys are often this ridiculous and sex-driven but I like to at least pretend they have a bit more depth. The only way I’m even slightly letting Petir get away with his stereotypically manish behavior with Maid Rianne is that he so desperately believes that he is dreaming and the fact that Maid Rianne does not seem to altogether mind kissing him whenever his ploys succeed.
…All this being said he is far preferable to Lord Robert and fine, I suppose one could classify his forward behavior as “harmless” because he’s a “good guy.”
Okay, I’m off my irritatingly feminist soapbox now 😉
Maid Rianne I felt was a solid character whom I enjoyed following in the story. Strong, skilled, witty, and lovely she kept Petir’s world spinning from start to finish. There were only really two disappointments with this character. Firstly was her irritating devotion to Lord Robert. Her ability to rationalize and excuse his behavior was concerning. She knows he’s a total jerk and yet she kept defending him when there really was no defense. Secondly when she runs off with Mistress Jocelyn they make it far too easy for Lord Robert to follow which puzzled me because she otherwise had proven herself far too cautious and clever for such a gaping mistake.
This leads me into the “dream” itself and the many many clues that were dropped and swiftly ignored by dear Petir:
The people were able to dash to and from the castle on foot in almost no time at all. Supposedly the Prince’s soldiers had yet to be able to find the outlaw’s camp but if they were truly stationed so close to the very castle then they’re either the worst soldiers ever or something is up.
The outlaws all behaved considerably 21st century with their gender equality and such which, while nice, would have been totally historically inaccurate.
Petir spends days at this camp. Days. As in he arrived, he slept, he woke, he slept, he… So it was very clear to me that wherever he was or whatever this was it was not a dream. Also had he never heard of the ancient tactic of pinching oneself to reveal if one is dreaming or not? I mean he pulled a hamstring, which I would have thought would provide an even more definite conclusion. And yet he remained faithful to his “dream” hypothesis until the very end when he suddenly disappeared.
Rianne at the end also points out to Petir plenty of other clues but unless you’re a history buff you probably wouldn’t have caught those hints either.
AFTER the dream is explained:
[Insert a great wave of laughter]
So Petir was simply caught in an intense and dedicated cross-fire of LARP teams? That is hilarious and so incredibly embarrassing. Everything makes so much more sense. Wow, besides all of the obvious clues that something didn’t add up, those LARPers must have been pretty dang good to convince Petir so well. Or perhaps he should have his nerd-status revoked? Nerds are supposed to be smart, dorks/geeks are the ones who are also outcasts but are not necessarily smart.
Ah well, who cares?
Fairly Certain is a delightful, light and quirky tale spinning a teenage romance amidst the realm of Robin Hood and his Merry Men! An eye rolling, snort inducing, and snicker stealing ride of a book.
P.S. LARP stands for “Live Action Role Playing” in case you weren’t already aware (:
Purchase here: Fairly Certain
Meet Deborah Ann Davis!