cover image Sherwood: A Novel of Robin Hood and His Times

Sherwood: A Novel of Robin Hood and His Times

Parke Godwin. William Morrow & Company, $20 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-05264-5

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. (Aug.)