Before he was the famed outlaw, Robin Hood, he was Robin of Locksley. Every hero has a start and a story that we often don’t get much information on, this book is about the young years of Robin and his crew.
The story opens at Robins birth and then jumps to follow him at age twelve. We get a glimpse of Robins relationship with his father as well as with his childhood friend Guy of Gisborne and the Gisborne family. Where Robin saw friendship, jealousy and hatred began to seethe into Guy’s heart. When a visit to the castle of Nottingham introduces Robin and Will Scathelocke, a new friendship comes along just at the right time. A scandal divides the Locksley and Gisborne clans and seals the hatred Guy has been growing in his heart for Robin as well as further alienating the Locksley men.
Fast-forward another 6 years and the death of Sir Gisborne brings his family back to their lands. A now grown Guy has harbored his hatred and it has made him even more cruel. Robin and Will are the best of friends, though Robin and his father have never been able to reconcile their feelings for each other. Robin has grown into a caring, wise noble. He looks out for his people where he can and has earned the respect of his village. With the return of the Gisbornes, trouble takes over and Robin will be sorely tested.
**The next paragraph contains a spoiler.**
This was a great read. The author did an excellent job of catching the feel of the Robin Hood story. The writing was evocative of the older stories I have read concerning the outlaw that was beloved by the people. The story is well written and captures the attention quickly. I did not put it down from start to finish. There were a few things that did somewhat disappoint me though. Though eventually Robin begins to realize his feelings for Will, he entertains relations with a peasant girl. At times this felt contrived, but I could also see how many young men accepting their selves can go through relationships in this manner, the fridging of this character hurt. Good books are able to evoke pain, but I am not sure her death was a necessity.
Aside from that point, I loved the story. It was a fun introduction to who Robin would become and I would gladly read more in this series. I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
4 out of 5 stars.
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“It’s not that bad—” Will began, but Robin held up a silencing finger. Without a word, Will subsided onto a stool. Robin went to fetch a clean rag and dipped it in a bucket of water pulled fresh from the well. Crouching at Will’s side, he reached up and touched the cold compress to Will’s face.
“Damn, that hurts!”
The cut was a nasty one. As gently as he could, Robin stroked the rag down Will’s cheek, wiping away the trickling blood. His skin was warm and slightly rough with stubble. Robin’s heart gave an unsteady lurch. He cleared his throat, which had gone suddenly dry, and searched for something to say. “I met Sir Richard on the way home. It seems my father was worried and asked him to find me.”
Will swore, though that might have been due to Robin’s ministrations.
“It’s all right. He said he would keep silent. I trust him. The next time my father asks where I am, don’t lie on my account.”
“I could tell him you’re off drinking at the Blue Boar,” Will suggested. “He’d like that a good deal better than the truth, I reckon.”
“Let me deal with him. You don’t need any more injuries.”
Will’s face softened. He leaned a little into Robin’s hand. Their eyes met and held. They stayed like that for a few seconds, neither moving, neither looking away. Robin had never noticed before how long Will’s eyelashes were. They were a shade darker than his hair, as were his eyebrows. His lips curved in a slight smile, and Robin’s heart did that odd, painful lurch again.
“You know I’ll help if I can,” Will said. “What’s a couple of rotten vegetables between friends?”
Robin tore his gaze away with an effort. The strength of his reaction surprised and unsettled him. Abruptly, he got to his feet, tossing the bloody rag aside.
“You should let Martha look at that. It may scar, but she is sure to have a salve that will help.”
~~About the Author~~
N.b. Dixon is an author of historical fiction. Her love for the Robin Hood legend began in a neglected corner of the school library and has continued ever since. She is a self-confessed bookworm and also a musician.
She began work on the Outlaws Legacy Series in 2013, and was accepted by Beaten Track Publishing in 2016. Outlaws Legacy is a historical series based around the Robin Hood legend. The author describes it as Exciting Historical Adventure with GLBT romance. Book 1, Heir of Locksley, will be released in paperback and ebook on December 1 2016.