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Review: Nottingham by Nathan Makaryk

Nottingham (Nottingham #1) by Nathan Makaryk

Nathan Makaryk’s debut novel is a gripping historical epic – full of action, intrigue and adventure – and a fascinating retelling of the Robin Hood legend.

Nottingham mixes history and myth into a compelling novel of power, ambition and heroism – one that twists and turns far beyond the traditional tale of Sherwood Forest’s iconic thief.‘The most pleasurable reading experience I’ve had since first discovering George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.’Bryan Cogman, Co-Executive Producer/Writer, Game of Thrones

England, 1191. King Richard is half a world away, fighting for God and his own ambition.

Back home, the country languishes, bankrupt and on the verge of anarchy. People with power are running unchecked. People without are growing angry. And in Nottingham, the largest and wealthiest shire in England, a dangerously passive sheriff seems intent on doing nothing.

As the leaves turn gold in the Sherwood Forest, the lives of six people – Robin and William, soldiers running from their pasts; Marian, a noblewoman working for change; Arable, a servant girl with a secret; Guy of Gisbourne, a beleaguered guard captain; and Elena Gamwell, a brash, ambitious thief – become intertwined.

And a strange story begins to spread.

Published 20 August 2019 |  Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia  |  RRP: AUD$32.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (4 / 5 stars)

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a Robin Hood retelling. I know I own a YA one which I have yet to read. This premise of mixing history and myth intrigued me and while it was a tad slow at the beginning (mostly due to my having to struggle to adjust to multiple perspectives), the novel was brilliantly executed.

The novel opens with brothers-in-arms Robin of Locksley and William De Wendenal marching in the Crusades with King Richard. There was an issue with the army’s supplies and they were sent back to England to sort this out. When Robin and William returned, they tracked these supplies to Nottingham and found themselves embroiled the local politics as the people are in a state of unrest. Their seemingly simple original mission suddenly lost its priority as they were buried deeper in the mire of love, betrayals, deceptions, and deaths.

There were so many perspectives in this novel that I feel there really isn’t a ‘primary’ one. We hear from Robin and William, of course, but also Guy of Gisbourne (only the captain), Sheriff Roger De Lacy, Marion, Elena Gamwell, and a number of others. After about halfway, the novel picks up on the pace and I really couldn’t bear to put it down for the last 100 pages! That ending though… I need some support (please PM me if you’ve read it as I could barely believer my eyes… WHAT did I just read?).

I really wanted to revisit the 1973 cartoon while I was in the middle of reading this and wow, this novel totally blew that cartoon out of the water. As much I enjoyed the cartoon, it was mostly due to childhood reminiscence, this novel, Nottingham, is an epic retelling of Robin Hood filled with strong female characters, complex villains, and an intricate web of intrigues.

Thanks to Penguin Random House Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Nathan Makaryk, above all other things, hates writing bios about himself.

Nathan’s debut novel NOTTINGHAM was released in August 2019 by Tor/Forge (US) and Bantam (AUS), with a sequel LIONHEARTS to follow in 2020.

Nathan is a theater owner, playwright, director, actor and improv comedian, living in southern California. None of these pay very well, so he also has a real job teaching audio systems networking software to people who have no idea he’s also a novelist and theater guy.

He likes dogs and scotch because of course he does.

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  |  facebook