A beautiful girl waits, angry and afraid, surrounded by imprisoning walls and men who desire her both to satisfy themselves and to further their ambitions. A powerful man with dreams of preferment callously manipulates those around him to gain his ends and finally stoops even to treason. A young lord, scarred by war in body and mind, attempts to deal with the waking nightmares that wall him off from others and from himself. A group of once-upstanding men become outlaws in a corrupt world where their very nationality can be seen as a crime. These characters may not sound like Maid Marian, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood and the Merry Men, but they are. Lively storytelling and pacing help make Roberson's impressively mature first novel an enjoyable, almost creditable recasting of the Robin Hood legend as historical fiction. There are flaws. Some of the characters' actions seem false; given their backgrounds, Robert of Locksly and Marian FitzWalter are unlikely to have been as naive as Roberson depicts them. She also has a few annoying stylistic ties: faces are scrubbed, looks are disreputable and appearance is dishabille far too often. But the romance works beautifully, capturing in the tale of Robin and Marian the terrifying bliss of first love. A diverting, delightful book from a most promising talent. 50,000 first painting; $5,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992 Release date: 09/01/1992 Genre: Fiction
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