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Other Robins, Same Forest

Re Cameron's request about other Robin Hood retellings:

I strongly recommend _Sherwood_, by Parke Godwin. It sets the legend in William the Conqueror's period rather than Richard the Lionheart's, which goes strongly in the face of the traditional legend but actually makes more sense in narrative and conflict. It also has a real 12th-century feel to it -- these people suffer and rejoice in glorious, realistic, and bloody detail. They aren't nobility, either, but common farmers, priest and barkeeps (Little John), just trying to hold on to their own against the Normans. Like _Outlaws_, Mr. Godwin's book takes the glamour off Sherwood but keeps the magic in it.

With more reservations, I also recommend _Lady of the Forest_, by Jennifer Robeson. This book is a prequel to the legend (how Robin becomes Robin Hood) more than the legend itself, and dwells heavily on Robin's regaining of his masculinity after some disturbing experiences during the Crusades. It's interesting (especially for the mostly-Marian POV), and it's well-written, certainly; but I'd read _Sherwood_ first.

From: Cheryl K
Saturday, July 12, 1997 at 00:45:30 (EDT)