Review: Knight of Sherwood (Outlaw's Legacy, #2) by N.B. Dixon

Robin returns to England after four years fighting in the Holy Land. On arriving at Locksley, he discovers that Guy of Gisborne, his most hated enemy, has been made Sheriff of Nottingham. Forced to flee into Sherwood, Robin sets himself up as champion of the poor.

But Robin has a secret. His feelings for his friend Will Scathelock have deepened, but to acknowledge the truth would mean facing up to his past. Meanwhile, Lady Marian Fitzwalter, heiress to the vast Huntingdon estate, is determined to claim Robin for her own.

""Never underestimate a man with a big stick," Will told him."


I have soooo much love for this book. So. Much. Love. It is my absolute favourite book of the year and I just want to gush and read it again and make everyone read it and tell everyone who disagrees with me that they are utterly wrong and...


I just love this book.

I loved the first one in the series but this just ups the game for me. I have so many words, so many thoughts, I'm not sure where to start.

Okay. The setting.
I love historical novels, especially those set in Britain, and the legend of Robin Hood is a classic tale told, and re-told, for generations, and I love that this is an M/M version of that tale. What I love even more is that it's believably so. It's not written for titillation, it's exploring another way of viewing this classic hero, written sympathetically for the time in which it's set. 

The hardship of life in the 12th century is portrayed so well. The way the lives of the poor were dictated by the whims of the rich. Where women held no power, where the poor held no power, where life was so easily thrown away, even the lives of children. Life was hard. Food was scarce, taxes were numerous (and increasing), and loyalties could have you killed in a second.

NB Dixon depicts this time so well. She makes the reader fall for the characters, understand the deprivations they face and how difficult decisions were. She's very clever though, because she still manages to give us strong female characters, even in this time of oppression of women. 

The story of good versus evil is an old, old tale. What makes this story important to me as a reader is how much I care for the characters. Not just Robin and Will, but all the 'good' guys ... and equally, how much loathing I had for Guy and Prince John and others.  The good guys aren't all honourable in every way, they are human and make mistakes too. Even Robin. Sometimes especially Robin... pride comes before a fall...

This was apparent in how Dixon wrote King Richard the Lionheart. Hailed as a hero in literature, we see his true colours and his love of war. We see how the choice to follow him was the lesser of two evils to many. To Robin especially. This story is about humanity and love-for-humanity. It's about politics. It's about religion. It's about choices and decisions and effect and cause and...

It's about right and wrong.  The black, the white and the grey. 

God, it's about love and trust and caring for others. 

It's about a harshness of life that is scary.  

It's about manipulation and honour.

It's about the harsh reality of life. It's so, so, so, so, so good.

Of course, this story is also about Robin and Will. I love these two. I love the hardness of their love. The trueness of it. For me friendship is the strongest, most important pull in a relationship. A soul deep friendship is more of a turn on than any amount of on-page, descriptive sex. I have to say, if you're looking for pages of sexual fantasy between Robin and another man, well you're in the wrong place. This book has very little on-page sex, and not even that much off the page if I'm honest. I only feel I need to mention it because I know for some readers it is important - for me though, it is not needed. Robin and Will have the slowest of burns and the relationship is primarily of friendship (and love). 

Dixon nearly had me throwing my kindle at the wall at the end, no spoilers but I need the next book. The only problem with falling in love with a review book is knowing that I will have to wait for the next instalment (as opposed to buying and binging on a whole series in one go). 

This is the book I am going to recommend as my 2017 must-read, I loved and adored every single word. I know this book won't be for everyone (though I encourage all to try) but for me it is a complete and utter winner who's destined to be a forever favourite.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.


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2 comments:

  1. Sweet review! You've convinced me. A well done period piece is hard to find.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you!! Hope you enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete