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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,039 ratings  ·  232 reviews
Both a gripping historical epic and fascinating deconstruction of the Robin Hood legend, Nathan Makaryk's Nottingham mixes history and myth into a complex study of power--one that twists and turns far beyond the traditional tale of Sherwood Forest's iconic thief.

No king. No rules.

England, 1191. King Richard is half a world away, fighting for God and his own ambition. Back
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by Forge Books
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Craig Smith Not that I have read GOT books, but Nottingham isn't fantasy and has no dragons or magical swords or whatever GOT might have. It is just a (dull) rete…moreNot that I have read GOT books, but Nottingham isn't fantasy and has no dragons or magical swords or whatever GOT might have. It is just a (dull) retelling of the Robin Hood legend with a bit more focus on some of the other characters associated with him.(less)

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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  1,039 ratings  ·  232 reviews

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Nick Borrelli
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
As with the King Arthur legend, there have also been endless retellings of the story of Robin Hood. One of my favorites of these is the King Raven Trilogy by Stephen Lawhead which came at the tale from a purely-historical context, minus the glamorous and mythical elements. So when I received a copy of NOTTINGHAM by Nathan Makaryk from the publisher Tor-Forge and read the inside sleeve, I was more than curious to find out how this book would stack up in comparison.

The story begins in a very famil
K.A. Doore
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2018-reads
It's taken me a while to write this review because this book was just so. good. All I could think of was "wow, this is exactly how excited I got when I read Game of Thrones way back when." But you know, everybody comps everything to GoT, right? So I tried to think of another clever way to put it.

How do I describe a book that has such clever turns of phrase that constantly had me reading whole passages aloud just to delight in the pure Englishness of it all? How do I describe the multitude of vi
Katherine Riley
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Do you know the story of Robin Hood? Of course you do. But what exactly do you know? He’s a man in a hood, a charming thief who steals from the wealthy and gives to the poor. There’s a maiden who helps him, some merry men. An evil sheriff who tries to stop them.

Possibly you don’t remember much more.

But even if you do, even if can you remember the movie(s) in photographic detail, Nottingham will still prove you know nothing. Nottingham’s story goes so deep and wide that all of those images becom
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I first read The Mists of Avalon (awfulness of MZB aside), it was a transformative experience because it was the story I thought needed to be told. That's exactly what Nottingham is to the Robin Hood legacy. And the way that Nathan Makaryk writes is clever, cutting, and just plain gorgeous.

There are some elements you never saw coming (no spoilers here), but everything is exactly as it should be.

This is one of those special books. It's not one you borrow, it's one you keep on your
Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance

This novel was a bear of a read and masterfully constructed. Absolutely brilliantly written, though I didn't enjoy the entire ride of the book, admittedly. Neither a fan in particular of Robin Hood stories as such, nor clueless or uninterested, I picked his novel up because I needed a change in my reading pace; something meaty to chew on per se, and this was eyeing me from the shelves utterly intriguingly.

Right away, only a few pages into it, I knew I had found what I was look
Emily Joy
Well. I have a lot of thoughts.

(This review contains pretty important spoilers. They are safe in desktop mode, but app users beware.)

This book had many things that I liked and enjoyed. It's told from multiple perspectives, and about half of the POVs were women. As a story, Robin Hood lore traditionally has very few women, and I always appreciate the addition of more women to even out the cast of male characters.

Something that surprised me while I was reading this book was how the storytelling an
Jul 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
I just cannot finish this book. I’m not sure what it is about it, but every time i pick it up, i want to be doing or thinking about anything else. Part of what i think has happened is that the author has focused on showing the good and bad sides of each character, so there’s no one to root for. I can’t connect with anyone, because everyone is kind of an asshole. I can’t quite keep up with what they’re doing or scheming either. There are a lot of perspectives to keep track of, and i just don’t wa ...more
Susan Johnson
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
A wonderful retelling of the Robin Hood story that really captivates. It tells the story of Robin Hood in a fresh and modern way that really seems closer to the truth than other stories. I like the story of the three women featured in this. A very interesting story that kept me interested fro beginning to end.

Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In the ending Author's Note Makaryk says that he wanted to tear the story of Robin Hood to pieces, he lists a variety of reasons why, and you'll just have to buy the book to find out, but he resoundingly succeeded. I had no idea what to expect going in to this story, but I slowly began to recognize some characters, obviously Robin, Marion, Little John, Will Scarlett, etc, everything was just a little *off.* For one, there's little bits of historical accuracy sprinkled throughout, i.e. Robin is o ...more
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
1st book of the new decade, finished!

Nottingham, by Nathan Makaryk, is the best Robin Hood story I've ever read (although it is my first Robin Hood read). Makaryk took an old, legendary story that's already been retold in numerous formats, and turned it into a realistic historical fiction.

This was more of a tragedy, than anything else. Unlike any other Robin Hood tale, there was no real "bad guy". That's what made this so fascinating. It was told through multiple perspectives, and each one ha
Andrea Rothman
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dark and funny and absorbing in both language and story. Makaryk has created a whole new world on the page that explores the legend of Robin Hood and asks, what if this had happened instead? I delighted in how events and characters are refashioned in this novel, it feels fresh and thoroughly modern and also faithful in its own right to the times and the historical context. The ending is unexpected and great!
Can someone please advise if this book leans more towards Lady of the Forest or Hood? Inquiring minds need to know ...more
Bri (bloodydamn_taveren)
“What’s the price of your peace, William?” Robin’s voice was tiny and hurt. “Would you kill me for it?” How the hell did it get this far?
[...] “Would you make me?”

This is more than a retelling of the Robin Hood legend. In fact, Robin takes a backseat amidst the wider cast of characters at play in Nottingham. You may think you know who to trust and who to hate going into this, but you are quickly proven wrong.
What seems right in one of the POVs is immediately wrong in another, but you sti
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Before I begin my praise of this excellent novel, let us deal with the caveats. First, and foremost, is the concept of historical fiction. This isn't. It's more of a "in a historical fiction setting". The reason for this is tied into the second part, the actual history of this fictional character. So "Notthingham" takes the typical Robin Hood story and places it in a more realistic setting. As to second part, the history, most historians say that the Robin Hood story appears in the late 13th or ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Makaryk's concept, that everything we think we know about Robin Hood is wrong, is an intriguing one to set out with, and he never fails to make it pay off. From simple things like splitting an arrow, to the origin of the Merry Men, he one by one deconstructs the myth through a modern lens that asks, "What probably really happened here?"

At once an adventure thriller that keeps the pages turning late into the night as well as a socioeconomic quagmire that rings true today. Makaryk brings the char
Sarah Mazza
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed this novel. It was very original, exciting and quite an addictive take on an old story, which has felt tired and overdone in other tellings, especially in some movies. The plot was very well done, with plenty of world building and setting up of events before they rolled into motion. As a reader, I could actually see the mechanisms working; misunderstandings before characters turned on each other, paranoia seeping into a character’s mind and affecting their decisions before a bet ...more
Blair Hodgkinson
Well, what to say about this long Robin Hood novel? First off, it could be a lot shorter and less convoluted. Having said that, it is also highly derivative of the last four or five filmed versions of Robin Hood. Maybe that's not fair, as any story told as often as Robin Hood's is bound to owe a debt to previous versions.

So those are the aspects I think needed improvement. However, I also liked a number of components. First off, the characterization of Prince John was very amusing. The villains
James of the Redwoods
I did not like this book. Very disappointing.

Take one overworked folktale, sprinkle with f-bombs every few paragraphs, replace Crusader era attitudes with those of 21st century video gamers, add scene descriptions with an eye for easy conversion to a movie script and there you have it.

If you must read this, save your money and go to the library.
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-challenge
1100s Nottingham, the Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood and all the merry men ... and Lady Marian. A fabulous recount, and so much more detail, of a legendary tale. British history at its best. I highly recommend it. 4/5
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of re-tellings in general and I am a fan of the Robin Hood myth in particular. So when I discovered Nottingham I knew I had to read it. Nathan Makaryk is a talented author! It’s no hyperbole to compare Nottingham to George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.

At the heart of Nottingham is, of course, the legend of Robin Hood. This Robin Hood tale, is unlike the ones you’ve read or watched before. In Nottingham, Maid Marion takes an active role in the formation of the “merry men
Chase Hackett
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love adventure stories, and I loved this one.

Written with skill and polish, the author has taken the familiar Robin Hood stories and built them out to a taut, cohesive 500 pages. I laughed out loud, I wiped tears from my cheek on the subway, and I nearly got myself killed walking and reading at the same time.

Can’t wait for his next one.

May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of Robin Hood with a twist. It took me a little while to get into it (too tired to read at night) but once I got into the story. Wow what a story! I didn't really like the last chapter (more like hated it) and then the epilogue came and it left me with the feeling that it was brilliant (for an ending). ...more
Camilla Isley
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had to get past the prologue, which was kind of confusing to me and almost put me off the book entirely. But once that was done, I was surprised by the book. In particular by the underlying humor sprinkled all over—wasn’t surprised to discover the author is also a comedian—and by the fact that all characters always seemed to be perfectly right, even when they were arguing completely opposite cases.
Kim McGee
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This story feels closer to the truth than other retellings of the legend of Robin Hood. It is told through the eyes of noblemen and women, common folk and all those others in between. The good people of Nottinghamshire are fed up with being taxed while their king is off fighting the Holy Wars in the Middle East. They have no real law, no hopes for better conditions and little faith in those who have been left to sort things out. What starts out as a way to help the common folk spirals out of con ...more
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: x2019-read
This was really good. This is a densely written story, full of historical detail of the time (the Crusades, King Richard, etc.). More importantly, it's adetailed examination of the Robin Hood legend. The author literally rips the romance of the myth to bits, and asks you to rethink your assumptions about who’s good and who's evil. I love the way the author interrogates the legend, and asks us to think about the strife and difficulties that would have occurred in England once countless people (i. ...more
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 t
Christina Marie Reads
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I honestly don't even know where to begin! My mind was absolutely blown away throughout the entirety of this book...You *think* you know all about King Richard, Robin of Locksley aka Robin Hood, his "merry" men, Lady Marion, the High Sheriff of Nottingham, and Captain Guy Gisbourne - but you don't, not at all.

Nathan Makaryk retells the legend of Robin Hood in a way that you've never dreamed of, heard of, read of, or watched. He puts you in the mind and in the shoes of every character, and makes
Reese Hogan
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book had a lot going on, and it’s hard to even know where to start. First of all, the comparisons to Game of Thrones are pretty well spot-on, although I enjoyed Nottingham better. Admittedly, a lot of my Robin Hood love comes from foxes and men in tights, so this was a dive into some much deeper territory for me. I loved picking out the familiar nuggets and characters. I loved that every time I had a grasp on the plot, it took an unexpected twist. Also—to take a quick detour into a particul ...more
Severine Salvador
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could rate this higher. It was better than I could have wished for.
Makaryk takes a story everyone is familiar with, and does away with the typical good vs. evil narrative. Each character has their own agency, their own internal logic, and you pity everyone involved. I loved every character equally even though they created conflicts for each other. Each chapter is a character, a new angle-- and Makaryk masterfully makes you believe everyone is fighting for the greater good. Its good vs.
Another surprise listen.
The narrators did a good job with this. A different take on the Robin Hood story.
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Bookish First Rea...: Nottingham by Nathan Makaryk 2 11 Oct 23, 2019 05:24AM  

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Nathan is a writer, playwright, actor, director, and comedian. He is a co-owner of the Maverick Theater in Fullerton, CA, where he premiered his original play "The Legend of Robin Hood" in April 2012. This work was later developed into his debut historical epic NOTTINGHAM, published by Tor/Forge Books in August 2019. ...more

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“Ah,” Robin rolled the sound around his mouth. “That’s been something I’ve meant to ask you. What exactly does the Church think of what you’re doing here?” “The Church?” Friar Tuck threw his hands up in disgust. “Honestly, I haven’t the faintest. I’m sure they’d say any number of things about it, and some would be true, and some wouldn’t, and all of it would mean we hadn’t given them enough tithe last week. If I cared what the Church said about the things we do, I wouldn’t be out here doing them.” He chuckled, massaging the snags of his beard. “I suppose the Church would have us stay true to the laws of the land, but the Lord would have us stay true to our hearts. In better times, aye, those would be the same. Our job is to do our best to keep the two in harmony.” 1 likes
“Take thy bow in hand," said Robin,
"For Much will ride with thee,
And all can be together,
If no man die for me.”
More quotes…