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In the Greenwood

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  131 ratings  ·  43 reviews
"In the Greenwood" is a new short story by Mari Ness, a beautifully told tale of complicated and conflicted love, a translation and transformation of a very old story that is sure to be familiar to every fan of folklore and history.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
ebook, 32 pages
Published December 4th 2013 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  131 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy

A moving short story that's an alternative version of the Robin Hood tale, told from Maid Marian's point of view. It's very bittersweet - maybe more bitter than sweet, actually - with an unexpected twist. I wouldn't have thought of making the Sheriff of Nottingham a sympathetic character, but it really works.

My heart hurts for all of the characters in this short story. This one will haunt me for a while.

I don't want to say much more about it because, spoilers, but go give this a read. It's
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
No, we don't always root for the good guys, but the ones we do root for tend to eventually become the good guys in our minds. That's human. We also love to be able to game the system, cheat the establishment, be the underdog who wins. That's also human.

The lovable scoundrels are at the heart of the stories we love. Thieves, assassins, spies, the whole 'Ocean's 11' gang, and, of course, the ultimate scoundrel-hero - Robin Hood. The one who takes from the rich to give to the poor; the one who
this one is a little riff on the robin hood legend, and has a more complicated ending than what some of you might be expecting

disney is not known for its risk-taking. but this one does take that risk, and it is a really moving spin on tradition. it is about sacrifice and the greater good and seeing past personal feelings and recognizing that even seemingly good deeds can have unexpectedly bad consequences.

it's actually a little reminiscent of

(view spoiler)

i definitely enjoyed
Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*

n, is for M. Ness

4 Stars

Afterwards, neither could agree on where they’d first met, or when.

I have spoken (written, actually) often about how much I prefer to be shown things than told them in a story. In the Greenwood is a rather rare exception to that rule, for me. I loved the tale from the bard feel to this Robin Hood retelling. I found it almost lyrical feeling, which was simply lovely.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way Ness portrayed Robin and Lady Marion’s (although, never – to my knowledge -
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
I don't know much about Robin Hood, or really anything at all besides the basic premise, so that may have prevented me from enjoying parts of this story. It was still beautifully written- the descriptions of the greenwood were lovely, and I could almost smell the pine and bark, hear the soft rustle of the leaves.

One thing I really did like was how the sheriff was portrayed as a man who was just doing his job, and trying to resist the king's demands when he felt that they were going too far. I
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
It happened. I gave five stars to a short story.

I don't give out a lot of fives.

This story was fucking incredible. And I think that it is a story that just so happened to hit me the right way at the right time. Because this story was so real, so full of goddamn truth.
She is the lady in the tower, stealing secrets when she can, kisses when she cannot.

He is the thief in the woods, stealing from the rich when he can, from the poor when he cannot.

Everything about this story was perfection to me.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-freebie
Ended the way I expected, that it had to. Good, solid re-telling. 3 sharp stars.
May 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
Opening lines:
Afterwards, neither could agree on where they’d first met, or when. She thought she’d been six; he said four. Both agreed he’d been older than she, although how much older was something they never discussed, nor tried to figure out, quite deliberately.

You may read online at
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rh-fiction
Packs an amazing punch. Even for non-RH aficianados this short story is a must read. Intelligent and clever.
May 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Wanda by: Bettie
18 MAY 2014 -- many thanks to Bettie. She knows my reading favorites as well as I do. This will be my breakfast-time reading this morning. Be back soon.

* * *

This read perfectly with my coffee.
Laure Estep
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: robin-hood
Written in an unusual present tense point of view that took some getting used to. Some beautiful lines of prose, especially descriptions of Robin's connection with the woods. A very literary feel, especially with the abrupt ending. Takes the usual Robin Hood story and looks more starkly at what is really at stake in those battles so glorified.

I'm not usually a fan of short stories, and such a sudden ending as this is one of the reasons why. There's so much beautifully wrought here, some intense
**✿❀ Maki ❀✿**
In the Greenwood is an interesting take on an old story.

The short doesn't use names, and instead relies on descriptions of each of the characters. But the story's been told so many times that it doesn't really need names. If you're familiar with the story at all, you *know* who everybody is.

I liked the writing style. The constant back-and-forth between his and her perspectives actually didn't annoy me here. I also enjoyed the more realistic study of the characters - the short took stories about
Rating 3.5

Interesting retelling of Robin Hood (and his Merry Men), told from Maid Marian's point of view.
No names are mentioned, but anyone knows the story to recognize it without trouble.
I loved in particular that the Sheriff is not the black-hearted villain from the other interpretations.

"She is the lady in the tower, stealing secrets when she can, kisses when she cannot.

He is the thief in the woods, stealing from the rich when he can, from the poor when he cannot."

Link here:
Blair Hodgkinson
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very good short story/novella.

While Robin Hood and Maid Marian are not directly named, as one of the other reviewers mentioned, there is no doubt about who these people are.

Many traditional themes associated with the Robin Hood legend are intertwined in a clever, original way and the ending is both surprising and completely logical.

The author is able to develop her characters and situation very effectively in a short space of pages. Commendable.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, short-story
Among the many things I'm a sucker for is Robin Hood stories. This one, slyly, never mentions Robin, Marian, or any of the Merry Men by name but we know who's who here. Lovely retelling of the legend, with a great twist at the end.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A really beautiful take on an old story - this was the Tor short debut for Mari Ness, and an impressive one.

History is written by the winners, at least most of the time, and this time we get to see it going all too realistically - there's a depth and complexity to this version that has a ring of muddy truth.

Available free here:
Interesting retelling of Robin Hood. It kept my interest.
MB (What she read)
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Very atmospheric and pretty, but the ending felt rather weak. Read for free here.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
"In the Greenwood" is an interesting and dark reimagining of a familiar story.
Maggie Gordon
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A much more nuanced and heart wrenching look at Robin Hood and Maid Marian. What is the sheriff wasn't simply an evil man, but someone caught between difficult responsibilities. What if Robin Hood was so dedicated to his own wars that he didn't see what he was doing to the people around him? What if Maid Marian was the one who eventually the one who had to choose between her love and her people? In short, this story was beautifully written and a really nice twist on the usual tale.
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Robin Hood with a twist, and a very realistic one at that. And that moment when you start sympathizing with the sheriff so much more than with the outlaw ... well, then you know you're no longer a child.
Dec 23, 2013 rated it liked it
3 1/2 Stars - Wonderful retelling of a well known legend. The different point of view shows just how complicated and conflicted their love story was. Ms. Ness brought the characters of legend from the realm of Disney and put them in the real world.
Karyn Kar Mun (Thy Evil Queen)
She is the lady in the tower, stealing secrets when she can, kisses when she cannot.

He is the thief in the woods, stealing from the rich when he can, from the poor when he cannot.

A retelling of Robin Hood, with a dark twist.

Lovely prose!

Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I do not want to spoil the story, so I will not say much. This is an interesting new fresh take of an old story, similarly to what is done in the work of (Wicked) Gregory Maguire. I am looking forward reading more by this author.
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not him, she thinks. Not him. His men, perhaps, but not him. He robs. He jests. He threatens. He gives. She is the lady in the tower, who steals secrets and sometimes kisses; and he is the archer in the forest; and she loves him, she loves him, she loves him.
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short little tale, but one that grants humanity to characters that are often considered inhuman, and paints others in a less that shining light.

And for some reason, "Greenman" by Type O Negative is playing in my head...
Wow. Excellent change of perspective on the well known Robin Hood story.
Nerine Dorman
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful retelling of a favourite legend. Ness delves into shades of grey with this one, with an empowered Maid Marion who faces a difficult decision. Any more than that and I'll spoil the secret.
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