robin hood


The first book in the historical Nottingham series reimagining the myth of Robin Hood. Or rather a deconstruction of the myth.

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Publication year: 2019

Format: Audio

Running time: 25 hours 25 minutes
Narrators: Raphael Corkhill, Marisa Calin

This was far darker than I expected it to be. I guess it can be called realistic but is it really realism when every decision has bad consequences? But I guess it is realistic when everyone thinks they’re doing the right thing, no matter who they hurt or how much.

I was curious to read another reimagining of Robin Hood but unfortunately, this one wasn’t for me. For one thing, three significant POV characters are new: William de Wendenal, Arabel de Burel, and Elena Famwell, Will Scarlett’s lover. They’re solid, flawed characters with dark pasts. But since they’re not part of Robin’s myth I didn’t care for them. For another, it’s very dark. No matter how much the characters strive to do good, all their actions turn out to be wrong.

Set in 1191, King Richard is fighting in the crusades with Robin of Loxley and William de Wendenal as his closest allies. Robin and William even wear the king’s crown from time to time, acting as his body doubles to draw away assassins. But money and weapons don’t flow from England and that hurts the army. When Robin is wounded, he and William are sent to England to retrieve the missing weapons.

Meanwhile in England, the sheriff of Nottingham and his guard captain Lord Guy of Gisborne must collect crippling taxes that the king has ordered to fund the war. Lady Marion Fitzwalter is doing her best to keep the people from starving or rotting in jail because they can’t pay the taxes.

In the forest, a group of outlaws and former street urchins hide out, stealing what they can. Their leader is a huge, older man John Little who tries to keep his people safe. But Marion gives them information and directs their efforts.

The book did have some very interesting reversals. The current sheriff, for example, is trying to do his job and keep the peace. But the king’s demands and the disdain of the local nobles makes it very hard. Even his guard captain Guy thinks the sheriff is weak and ineffectual. Guy himself loathes everyone who breaks the law and does his best to keep his own men safe.

So, everyone thinks they’re doing the right thing, but they’re working against each other, which adds to the grim tone. Everyone also assumed others’ motivations are bad. However, there was some humor, especially in the banter between the characters.

The Robin Hood mythos had quite a few reversals. The biggest one is, of course, right from the start Marion was leading the outlaws and Little John was the field leader. Also, Robin’s attitude toward poor people was very elitist: he thought they were poor because they didn’t work hard enough and when he started to help the poor, it was a political choice. Alan a Dale isn’t a musician at all. Robin often mentions that the outlaws can’t effectively fight against Nottingham’s guard because the outlaws aren’t trained and have poor weapons. Will Scarlet has a different upbringing, I liked him a lot. I won’t spoil the others. Some of them I liked, some I didn’t. It was nice to see more female characters, though.

The book has multiple POV characters and each chapter starts with the name of the POV character and where he or she is. The story has quite a few surprises. Even the end has a very surprising twist and is a cliffhanger, not really an ending.

My newest Robin Hood short story is live!

This is another story I wrote for the Derelict anthology. I had loads of fun with this one, too. It’s very short and fast-paced.

Robin Hood protects his people, the Saxons. Sometimes even Normans.

A shield between the villagers and the malevolent Sheriff of Nottingham.

Robin loves the verdantly green Sherwood. Sunlight filtering down between oak trees and birches. Hunting deer and rabbits. Birds singing and woodpeckers drumming.

But soldiers invade his Greenwood. Stomping, shouting. Armor rattling, swords glinting.

Can he escape them?

A riveting, fast-paced short story, Robin Hood: Hunted will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I wrote this one for the Dereclit collection for Zombies Need Brains. It didn’t get in but I had lots of fun with it.

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The people of Nottingham live in fear of their malevolent Sheriff. Only one man gives them hope: Robin Hood.

Wintering huts compromised. Supplies gone. The winter will be harsh for Robin and his friends.

But not as harsh as the Sheriff’s killers if they get their hands on Robin.

A deadly game of cat and mouse in frost covered Sherwood. Snow betrays every step.

Robin Hood versus the Hunters is a fast-paced medieval adventure short story.

Every story in the Tales of Sherwood series stands alone. Follow the adventures of Robin Hood, his wife Marian, his best friend Little John, the Norman outlaw Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck, and all the other Merry Men in Sherwood.

My next Robin Hood story is on Amazon!

When I started writing this story, I though that it would be a story for the Derelict themed anthology for Zombies Need Brains. But it wasn’t. Then I thought it would be a ghost story. Instead it became Robin Hood and the Fairy Knight.

I’ve been wanting to write a story from Marian’s point-of-view for a while now. When I was in the middle of the third chapter I realized that this was that story. So, I wrote the rest of it and wrote a new beginning from Marian’s POV. I hope you enjoy it!

Marian and her husband Robin Hood are trying to save a young girl from a horrible marriage. But a mysterious man kidnaps her righ in front of their eyes. Can Marian and Robin rescue her before she’s lost forever?

Fairies in Sherwood follows the adventures of Robin Hood, his wife Marian, his best friend Little John, Will Scarlet, and the other Merry Men. The series has also fairies who can be wicked or merely mischevious. But when mortals meet fairies, often the mortals lose.

Robin Hood and the Fairy Knight is a fun, lighthearted historical fantasy adventure novella. It has about 12,500 words.

My next Robin Hood story is on Amazon!

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Happy Christmas Robin Hood is a Christmas short story.

I lots of fun writing it because I used one my favorite tropes: enemies forced to work together, for a while at least.

The ruthless Sheriff of Nottingham has cancelled the Christmas feast for the poor. But Robin Hood has barely time to wonder what’s going on, when he’s knocked unconscious. He wakes up in a cart, tied up. Next to him is the Sheriff, also a prisoner. Can they overcome their loathing for each other long enough to escape?

“Happy Christmas Robin Hood” is a fun historical fantasy short story

This is a prequel story to Frank’s Robin Hood series.

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Publication year: 2020
Format: ebook

I stumbled on this series quite by accident and was delighted to find another Robin Hood series. However, this one is a bit darker than my own.

“Hood” tells the story of how Robin Hood got his nickname and is set in the early days of our heroes’ outlaw life. This outlaw band has Robin, Little John, Will Scarlet, Friar Tuck, and a young woman called Alis. We get a few clues about how Alis and Robin met. Everyone in the group seems to be born nobility but are now outlaws. Robin himself is the son of the late Earl of Loxley. Even though he’s still insecure about this ability to lead, the others willingly follow him.

This Robin has a dark past and is torment by it. He was jailed and tortured by the sheriff. A young woman whom Robin calls Rosa helped him in the dungeons, but she was killed because of it. Her death haunts Robin more than the torture and he has flash backs to it. The others also seemed to have dark pasts.

The story starts in Sherwood on Christmas Eve. Robin and his band haven’t eaten in two days. They ambush Sir Guy of Gisborne who is collecting taxes – and food from the mouths of peasant children.

This was a fast-paced and enjoyable read, if quite dark. I really enjoyed the close-knit family feel of the band.

A short story set in the world of Robin of Sherwood TV-show!

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Publication year: 2019
Format: Audio
Running time: 49 minutes
Narrators: Barnaby Eaton-Jones, Andy Secombe, Michael Praed, and Nickolas Grace

I recently realized that a company called Spiteful Puppet has done several short Robin of Sherwood books! Three of them are available on Audible and I snatched up the one which has both Michael Praed and Nickolas Grace (Robin and the Sheriff!) among the readers.

It’s very short, so it’s not very complicated. The sheriff and a couple of his knights have accidentally met Robin at edge of the forest and are chasing him. They come across an abandoned church. Robin is wounded and falls through ice to the icy river.

He wakes up inside the church with a priest who seems more than a little odd. The priest rants that Robin is tainted by violence but offers him sanctuary at the church. But the sanctuary extends to everyone.

This was great, short adventure very much in the spirit of the show. I don’t know what people who haven’t seen the show would think, but as an old fan I was very pleased. It was great to hear the familiar voices and the audiobook even has the main theme!

The only thing I could complain about is that it’s too short, and I would have loved for the Sheriff and Robin confrontation to be longer. But otherwise, it’s very entertaining.

Today my second Robin Hood story went live on Amazon! Robin Hood and the Impostors is a historical fantasy novella.

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A powerful fairy is envious of Robin Hood’s fame. The fairy enlists three vicious killers to impersonate three Merry Men. Can Robin find the killers before they destroy his good name and the villagers betray him to the sheriff?

Robin Hood and the Impostors is a stand-alone, light-hearted historical fantasy adventure perfect for readers who are looking for a fun read. It’s a short story of about 20,000 words.

Will Scarlet is another famous Merry Man and he appears in most modern retellings. Sometimes, he’s a hothead, sometimes Robin’s cousin.

In my stories, he’s quite a mellow bloke. He loves to sing and play the lute and many young women have fallen for his charms. He also loves to wrestle and fights with his sword when necessary. He’s a Norman who got in so much trouble, over a lady of course, that he was made an outlaw. As a Norman, he doesn’t have much skill with a bow even though he has been practicing since he joined Robin’s men.

He wants to always wear something red but if a disguise makes it impossible, he’d rather have the adventure, even dressed plainly.

Out of all Robin’s men, Will Scarlet has most in common with the troubadour Alan a Dale. Unfortunately, my next story doesn’t have a duet for them, but hopefully I can sneak is one at some point.

Little John could be the most famous of the Merry Men. Or who comes to your mind first?

In my stories Little John is Robin’s right hand man and childhood friend. He’s also from Locksley and they grew up together both working on the fields and secretly battling with quarterstaves.

In fact, in my stories Robin and Little John first became outlaws together.

John is usually level-headed and calm, thinking things through before acting. Indeed, he usually acts as a peacemaker and a voice of reason for his friends. When Robin is away, Little John is the leader.

But when he becomes angry, all bets are off. That’s what gets him in trouble in my next story, Robin Hood and the Impostors.

John’s most distinguishing feature is his height, over seven feet tall. He’s also brawny with broad shoulders. He is legendary for his skills with a quarterstaff and he’s also a good shot with the longbow. However, as a peasant he hasn’t had much practice with a sword until the first Norman join Robin’s band. He also has a habit of embellishing his own stories (well, who doesn’t?). He loves kids but hasn’t had much luck in romance department. Of course, women aren’t too keen on marrying a man who has a price on his head.

He’s proud to be a Merry Man and is more dedicated to fighting injustice than just having fun.

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