I found this book in one English teacher’s classroom library and she was kind enough to let me borrow it. Initially, it was the cover art that intrigued me at first, but I soon found the story to be good in its own right.

As far as Robin Hood myths go, this one is the most fleshed out and finished feeling. Every character, from Robin and Marian to Sir Guy of Gisborne and the Sheriff’s daughter, has a unique personality and voice. Each has his or her own motivations and feelings about what’s going on. There are no flat characters here.

That kind of character development drew me in, and the rich background of Norman-Saxon political struggles, the power of a woman’s reputation, and the struggles of a boy come home from war kept me reading. Roberson creates a complete world – one where actions have consequences and where defying the powers-that-be (even for a just cause) can be painful.

Beyond all that, the love story between Marian and Robin unfolds at a natural pace, making it very enjoyable to read. Their history is that of semi-casual acquaintances, so the tie that binds them comes in the form of Marian’s father who fought alongside Robin in the Crusades. Because the whole “childhood sweetheart” thread is vastly downplayed, the relationship grows and unfolds in a very different way, with Robin and Marian getting to know each other as adults instead of as children.

Add to all this scheming sheriffs, Saxon peasants (one of whom has gone, for all intents and purposes, insane), and slimy Norman underlings, and we have ourselves a fun and engrossing Robin Hood Tale.