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Medieval Historical Fiction Novel of the Week

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Sherwood, Parke Godwin, Robin Hood, Medieval England, Medieval History, Historical Fiction, NovelSherwood by Parke Godwin

Publisher: Avon Books (Mm) (August 1995)
Average Customer Review on Amazon: 4 stars

Editorial Review from Publishers Weekly:

Godwin sets his highly satisfying retelling of the Robin Hood legend in the time of William the Conqueror, when the bastard of Normandy was pacifying his unruly new country. After the Saxon thane of Denby is killed at York, his son Edward Aelredson, nicknamed Robin, succeeds to the land, located next to Sherwood Forest. The young thane is outraged by the blinding of one of his men in retaliation for poaching King William’s deer; when his attempt to reason with the sheriff of Nottingham turns to violence, Robin is outlawed. Before fleeing, Robin marries his love, Marian Elfrics, who is then sent to serve William’s queen. Robin and four followers–Welsh woodsman Will Scatloch, blacksmith John Littlerede and Father Beorn and his sexton Tuck–commence the exploits that make them famous and give heart to the downtrodden Saxons. Denby is given to the sheriff, who falls in love with Marian and begins to develop a grudging respect for Robin. An attempt to enlist the two men in a treasonous plot draws them together unwillingly but fatefully. Godwin ( Waiting for the Galactic Bus ) depicts these epochal times vividly and colorfully, with carefully etched characterizations of Normans and Saxons. A sequel is planned.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Editorial Review from Library Journal:

In his telling of the Robin Hood legend, Godwin offers a fresh, intriguing version set 100 years earlier than usual, in the time of William the Conqueror. After the uprising against William is put down and his father is killed, Robin goes home to inherit his father’s land and title. En route, he encounters Marian, who has lost her home and family. Robin finds carrying out the king’s edicts intolerable and flees to Sherwood. Robin’s men are outlaws, robbing the rich to give to the poor, but possess no special powers except their knowledge of the forest and skill with the bow. Opposing them initially is the Sheriff of Nottingham, here Ralf FitzGerald, a Norman knight depicted sympathetically. Godwin’s tapestry interweaves the church, paganism, romance, treachery, violence, and everyday life. The result is believable and enjoyable with well-drawn characterizations. Readers of Godwin’s earlier novels can look forward to his view of Sherwood and its sequel. Recommended, especially in light of this summer’s film, Robin Hood .
– Ellen Kaye Stoppel, Drake Univ. Law Lib., Des Moines
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc