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Nottingham

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  595 ratings  ·  160 reviews

No king. No rules.

England, 1191. King Richard is half a world away, fighting for God and his own ambition. Back home, his country languishes, bankrupt and on the verge of anarchy. People with power are running unchecked. People without are growing angry. And in Nottingham, one of the largest shires in England, the sheriff seems intent on doing nothing about it.

As the

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Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by Forge Books
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  595 ratings  ·  160 reviews


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K.A. Doore
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Nick T. Borrelli
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Katherine Riley
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Sarah
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
UPDATE:
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
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Emily
Can someone please advise if this book leans more towards Lady of the Forest or Hood? Inquiring minds need to know
Susan Johnson
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Anthony
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Andrea Rothman
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Angela
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Scott
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jackie
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 ...more
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
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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
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Bridgette
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
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Chase Hackett
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

c.t.h.
Camilla Isley
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Lata
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 ...more
Christina Marie Reads
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
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Reese Hogan
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Mardi
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Melissa
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a brilliant take on the Robin Hood legend! Nottingham features excellent writing, great characters, and a well laid out plot that takes the reader to unexpected places. There are no true heroes in this book, but neither are there any true villains.
Gretchen
Too Much Politics

I won an advanced copy of this book from BookishFirst. Overall, it was an enjoyable read. The story dragged on a bit at times, and was also a bit unclear sometimes. I enjoyed reading from several characters' perspectives and comparing events in the book with events in the animated Disney film. There were several instances where the author seemed to poke fun at the film. One included a squire suggesting that the sheriff hold an archery contest to lure Robin Hood out of hiding.
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Sally Lindsay-briggs
A Bookishfirst gift that came quickly through the mail. I couldn't wait to read about a favorite childhood friend, Robin Hood and his cohorts, from television episodes to movies. The characters in this novel bore some resemblance to my memories. They were very well portrayed yet perhaps far too realistic, too violent and sadly they used too many swear words. There were murders and intrique, which at times became very intense. The book was very long, with lots of extraneous dialogue. The ending ...more
Blue
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay. Holy Hell.
This book was honestly amazing. This by far was the best retelling of the classic Robin Hood that I have ever read and probably will ever read.
Not only was this wonderfully written but I felt as though Nathan really nailed the characters on the head. Their mannerisms, personality and their character traits were brilliant and you could actually picture them in your head as the story played out.
You also get introduced to the politics of it all and how the characters to where they
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Jordan
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2019
*4.5

:O

I am still in shock (and awe!) because of that ending! Do yourselves a favor and add this one to your TBR, this is easily one of the best Robin Hood-inspired stories I've read.

Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

I've read and watched a fair number of Robin Hood-inspired stories and retellings in my lifetime, and Nottingham has officially become one of the best that I've ever read. I've found that it is difficult to get this story just right and although many retellings come
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Emilie
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book.
Wow. This book was not at all what I was expecting. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a retelling of the Robin Hood legend, but to just label it as that would be great disservice. This novel explores how legends are created, how politics work--on a global scale and on an individual one, how people's opinions are formed and how that motivates their actions, and how there never really is "a bad guy" and "a good guy."
The book begins with Richard the Lionheart on his
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Lisa
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, after much consideration (and a sleepless night), I am writing a pre-paragraph to put with my review.
I loved this book all the way through! Thinking (and knowing) that this was going to be my favorite book of the year! And in most of my thoughts, it still is ONE of my favorite books...However, the last part of the book with its twists, turns and treachery left me somewhat angry. And then I thought, "but isn't that the major ingredient for a good book? One that evokes emotions?". With that
...more
Azelyn Klein
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I wanted you to show me what you expected from a Robin Hood story, so I could hold your hand as we tore it to pieces.” -excerpt from Author’s Note


One thing I particularly liked is how Makaryk destroyed the reader’s expectations of the story. Here is one such gem in the book:

“Have you not heard?” John asked [...] “All the villagers talk about Robin Hood and Marion’s Men.”
Marion’s Men? I did hear that,” [Robin] mumbled. “ But I thought… I must have heard them wrong, I thought they called you
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Sydney Young
I enjoyed this book throughout, but the ending sealed the deal in this 5 star rating.

What is Nottingham? Not so much a retelling of the legend as a fictional exploration of the history behind the legend, bursting with life and surprises. Nothing is, ultimately, what you think. It’s interestingly a tale of our own time, too, where people are so caught up in what they know and so utterly devoid of the truths that others know, so caught up in what’s good (or not) for them that they miss the truth
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Bookish First Rea...: Nottingham by Nathan Makaryk 2 9 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.
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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.”
1 likes
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