Noddingham: The True Story of Robyn Hood
By Anna Burke
Robyn Hood didn’t set out to rob the rich, but in Nottingham, nothing ever goes according to plan….
After a fateful hunting accident sends her on the run from the law, Robyn finds herself deep in the heart of Sherwood Forest. All she really wants to do is provide for her family and stay out of trouble, but when the Sheriff of Nottingham levies the largest tax in the history of England, she’s forced to take matters into her own hands. Relying on the help of her band of merry women and the Sheriff’s intriguing—and off limits—daughter, Marian, Robyn must find a way to pull off the biggest heist Sherwood has ever seen.
With both heart and freedom at stake, just how much will she risk to ensure the safety of the ones she loves?
I can’t lie: the cover for this book is what originally pulled me in, and I live for retellings. Nottingham: The True Story of Robyn Hood turned out to be a delicious retelling that totally transported me back in time to the Middle Ages.
The story opens with Robyn who’s struggling to thrive alongside her brother and his wife, who’s expecting a baby. The sheriff of the land is brutal and unfortunately hates them. After enduring a horrible life changing event, Robyn expels herself into the forest to live as a forester as she tries to grapple with what’s happened and devise a plan for the future.
Comparable to the classic tale, yet unique in its own way, this retelling had me right where I wanted to be. The writing is awesome. Amazing imagery, beautiful descriptions, a cast of strong, complex characters— I just love the way Anna Burke wrote this story. It’s incredibly unique and unpredictable. The pacing is perfect.
As far as characters, all were well fleshed out. Robyn isn’t perfect, but of course she was my favorite; I fell in love with her cleverness and bravery. There’s depth to all the characters.
The one thing I would’ve loved is more romance between the characters which is totally a personal preference. I expected more, and I felt like I was waiting for it throughout most of the book because two important characters aren’t together for much of the story. This scenario is always a challenge for me; however, this also makes the story interesting. Some might say the historical accuracy of this story is off, but it surely didn’t bother me, nor was it something I focused attention on.
This was my first LGBTQ+ read, and it won’t be my last. If you like fantasy—especially retellings—definitely give this book a try.
- Publisher : Bywater Books (January 21, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 420 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1612941656
- ISBN-13 : 978-1612941653
This book is included in my 2021 Retelling Reading Challenge. You can see what I’ve read so far by clicking here.
Thanks for reading my review! Have you read this book or any other Robin Hood retellings? Feel free to leave your thoughts below.