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Nottingham: The True Story of Robyn Hood

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Robyn Hood didn’t set out to rob the rich, but in Nottingham, nothing ever goes according to plan....

After a fateful hunting accident sends her on the run from the law, Robyn finds herself deep in the heart of Sherwood Forest. All she really wants to do is provide for her family and stay out of trouble, but when the Sheriff of Nottingham levies the largest tax in the history of England, she’s forced to take matters into her own hands. Relying on the help of her band of merry women and the Sheriff’s intriguing—and off limits—daughter, Marian, Robyn must find a way to pull off the biggest heist Sherwood has ever seen.

With both heart and freedom at stake, just how much will she risk to ensure the safety of the ones she loves?

340 pages, Paperback

First published January 21, 2020

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About the author

Anna Burke

6 books661 followers
Anna Burke enjoys all things nautical and generally prefers animals to people. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found walking in the woods with her dogs or drinking too much tea, which she prefers hot and strong—just like her protagonists.

She lives in Massachusetts with her wife, dogs, and too many houseplants. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, where she now teaches in their Popular Fiction MFA program. She is also the Director of Education for the Golden Crown Literary Society.

You can follow her on Twitter @annaburkeauthor.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 186 reviews
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
March 25, 2021
I can’t lie: the cover for this book is what originally pulled me in, and I live for retellings. Nottingham: The True Story of Robyn Hood turned out to be a delicious retelling that totally transported me back in time to the Middle Ages.

The story opens with Robyn who’s struggling to thrive alongside her brother and his wife, who’s expecting a baby. The sheriff of the land is brutal and unfortunately hates them. After enduring a horrible life changing event, Robyn expels herself into the forest to live as a forester as she tries to grapple with what’s happened and devise a plan for the future.

Comparable to the classic tale, yet unique in its own way, this retelling had me right where I wanted to be. The writing is awesome. Amazing imagery, beautiful descriptions, a cast of strong, complex characters— I just love the way Anna Burke wrote this story. It’s incredibly unique and unpredictable. The pacing is perfect.

As far as characters, all were well fleshed out. Robyn isn’t perfect, but of course she was my favorite; I fell in love with her cleverness and bravery. There’s depth to all the characters.

The one thing I would’ve loved is more romance between the characters which is totally a personal preference. I expected more, and I felt like I was waiting for it throughout most of the book because two important characters aren’t together for much of the story. This scenario is always a challenge for me; however, this also makes the story interesting. Some might say the historical accuracy of this story is off, but it surely didn’t bother me, nor was it something I focused attention on.

This was my first LGBTQ+ read, and it won’t be my last. If you like fantasy—especially retellings—definitely give this book a try.


You can also see this review and others @www.readrantrockandroll.com
Profile Image for Jude in the Stars.
828 reviews449 followers
January 14, 2020
Okay. This book broke me. It tore my heart out then proceeded very slowly to put it back. Very very slowly.

Nottingham is the second lesbian Robin Hood retelling I’ve read in less than six months. While Niamh Murphy’s Outlaw: A Lesbian Retelling of Robyn Hood had a definite YA feel, Anna Burke’s Nottingham is all grownup.

An endless feud between the Sheriff of Nottingham and Robyn’s family sends her hiding in the Sherwood Forest, when all she was trying to do was care for her family. The woods are not safe for anyone, let alone a young woman, so she pretends to be a boy. When she stumbles onto John, an outlaw with his own secrets, he decides to stay with her instead of bringing her to the vicious Siward, who fancies himself the King of Sherwood. A hunting accident then leads the Sheriff’s daughter Marian to them.

And that’s all I’m going to write about the story, because it’s a retelling, and you already know the story, really. What’s important here is not so much what happens as how the author tells it. And she tells it brilliantly.

I don’t know what the best part is. The writing is excellent. I heard the sounds, I smelled the scents (not all were good), I felt the angst. Man, did I feel the angst… There are amazing descriptions of the woods, the camps, the food, that last one making me hungry every time even though I don’t like game – but I’d eat roasted goose any day. And some scenes I could so easily visualize I’m hoping someone turns this book into a movie. It’s not so much how detailed they are (long descriptions bore me and yes, I’m looking at you Honoré de Balzac) as Anna Burke choosing the exact right words.

The characters are wonderful, they’re layered and complex and consistent. I love that there’s more than meets the eye to almost every single one, including the villains, most notably Marian’s father. I love the way Robyn and Marian – but also Willa and Midge – grow into themselves. I love Marian’s strength, Robyn’s moral sense, John’s kindness, Tuck as the most irreverent Reverend Mother. I love that everyone is queer, in one way or another.

It’s a story of love and death, greed and pride, of power in the wrong hands and doing the wrong thing for the right reason. It’s wonderful and fantastic, intense and heartbreaking. If I could make up my mind on how to name my more-than-5* category, Nottingham would fit right in. But since I haven’t yet, five stars will have to do.

I received a copy from the publisher and I am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Gaby LezReviewBooks.
718 reviews334 followers
January 21, 2020
‘Nottingham: The True Story of Robyn Hood’ is a lesbian retelling book of English folklore legendary character Robin Hood, one of the most well-known stories of the Middle Ages. This is the third published book by Ms. Burke though the author says that this is the first novel she ever wrote. For some reason, she waited some time to publish it but I’m glad that she finally did. Ms. Burke is part of a new generation of young lesfic talented authors which gives me hope for the future of the genre. I’ve read both her debut ‘Compass Rose’ and her second novel ‘Thorn‘ and both were in my favourites of each year.

Robyn Hood is an archer living near Nottingham, England during the times of King Richard the Lionheart. After being caught hunting illegally to provide for her starving family, she is forced to escape to the woods and live as an outlaw. There she meets a group of other fugitives who are all victims of the malice of the patriarchal system, especially the nobility. When the Sheriff of Nottingham levies the largest tax in the history of England, Robyn and her band of outlaws are forced to take matters into their hands and rob the rich to give to the poor. She has to be clever enough to avoid the Sheriff’s persecution, but even more careful of the mutual attraction for his daughter, Marian.

This is another winner by Ms. Burke. Normally pirates stories, dark fantasy or middle ages tales don’t appeal to me but I’m always happy to read her novels even though they are normally out of my comfort zone. The author manages to create dark, dangerous and hopeless places and slowly carve a crevice of light, peace, and hope in them. The characters’ journeys are full of adventure, hardship, and redemption making the stories interesting and enjoyable. Robyn is such a flawed but redeemable character, a prisoner of her own time and her personal story that your heart will go with her in her suffering and will fill with joy in her moments of happiness.

The rest of the cast is very well written in its diversity and depth and shows the injustice of the patriarchal system of the Middle Ages in which women from all society levels were treated like expendable property of the powerful. Surely Middle Age experts will have criticisms to make in terms of authenticity and use of language but I get that that the author took liberties in the name of making the story readable and enjoyable for a bigger audience. I personally enjoyed it very much and will wait patiently for what Ms. Burke creates next.

I normally don’t make comments about covers but let me say that this is another outstanding design by Ann McMann which truly honours the beauty of the story.

Overall, an excellent (re)tale of courage, loyalty, and redemption. 5 stars.

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

See all my reviews at www.lezreviewbooks.com
Profile Image for lov2laf.
714 reviews1,044 followers
September 25, 2020
If I’m going to invest time in reading a story about Robin Hood I have two questions: Is it immersive? And, does it have something new to offer?

When it comes to “Nottingham”, I can easily say “Yes” to both of those questions.

Anna Burke successfully met some challenging tasks of bringing a medieval time to life while also producing a strong ensemble cast of characters. True, she borrowed characters that already existed in previous versions of the Robin Hood story but they easily could’ve been two dimensional cut-outs with no other purpose than to fill space. Instead, Burke added depth to each and every character, giving them all standing and contribution in their own right. They felt like real people and were intriguing to get to know. And the spin she gave them made them all the more interesting.

One thing I do want to note is that there is a romance element in the story between Robin Hood (or, in this case Robyn Hood) and Maid Marian but this isn’t so much a romance as a friendship-mance or a “choosing your family” kind of story. The scenes between Robin and Marian are fun, well placed, and move the story along but the two spend the majority of the book apart and they meet a total of about four times in the entire story. We actually get a lot of their connection from how they reflect on each other and how the other characters weave into them to bring their romance to the fore even though they’re not on the page together, if that makes sense.

Also, for the time and setting, Burke did such a good job pulling us back, that you could smell the leaves, hear the sounds, see the wardrobes of the people while also holding the hopes and fears of that time. Really well done.

Funnily enough, I recently watched Tony Robinson’s documentary “Was There A Real Robin Hood? | Robin Hood: Fact Or Fiction”, which I recommend if anyone is interested, and Burke’s version matched the tone and accuracy quite a bit which elevated the story for me.

This was a near perfect story. The only part I thought was weird was a speech given by Robyn towards the end of the book because it didn’t seem to fit the setting and departed from the style of the read a bit. But, that is so super minor and may just be me.

The read has a lot to offer with action, adventure, fun, extreme loss, drama, romance, and all the warm fuzzies that come with finding home. Recommend.

4.4 stars
Profile Image for Betty.
580 reviews68 followers
February 23, 2020
After reading Nottingham: The True Story of Robyn Hood by Anna Burke, there are a few things I can say without hesitation. This is an absolutely brilliantly written story, I now have a new addition to my favorite books list, and Anna Burke has joined my list of favorite authors.

Nottingham, as the title suggests, is a retelling of the story of Robin Hood with a decidedly LGBTQ+ slant. Even with this retelling, Ms. Burke does manage to keep the basic premise of the story comparable to the original. This makes it easy to recognize who the main and even the secondary characters are. The characters, themselves are very well-developed. It is easy to connect with all of them (except the bad guys of course), and I became quite immersed in their stories.

This novel will take you on a roller-coaster of emotions beginning with heartbreak. The beginning of this novel truly broke my heart, but as I continued to read I experienced so many more emotions, such as fear, anger, longing, joy, happiness; the whole range of emotions, all in one book. It takes an exceptional writer to create that range of feelings for her readers, and Ms. Burke has done that exceptionally well.

I recommend this novel to everyone, whether you are a Robin Hood fan or not. You will love this book. I know I did.

I received this book from Bywater Books for an honest review.

Rainbow Reflections: http://rainbowreflections.home.com/
Profile Image for Carrie.
396 reviews
March 3, 2020
Female Robyn Hood.

There is no question that Anna Burke can write. She can set a scene simply by changing her writing style to match the era of her stories. And it is because of her writing that I was able to get through this.

Look. Burke wrote the best book that I read last year, 'Compass Rose.' Definitely stop what you are doing and read that one if you haven't. Since reading that, I have gone into the last two Burke books I've read with extremely high expectations. I'm fully aware that is probably why I have been mostly let down by them. Both 'Thorn' and 'Nottingham' are retellings of well known stories that she has given a lesbian twist. The intrigue of a sapphic 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Robyn Hood' was off the charts. It's too bad that the stories didn't deliver like I had hoped.

Can I put my finger on why this fell short for me? Perhaps it is that it takes awhile for Robyn and Marian to cross paths. Maybe it is the fact that they are separated for most of the book. I don't know. I just wasn't super invested in side characters and relationships that were so much more prevalent than the romance I wanted to read.

Also, I'm not that into period pieces, medieval things, etc. I tend to like things in the modern era. So you really need to probably just ignore my review all together, OK? Clearly everybody else loved 'Thorn' and 'Nottingham.' And Burke can write her socks off so no complaints there.

I'd recommend this to people who like to read about well known stories, poverty, the woods, bad sheriffs, arranged marriages, ugly church ladies, cross dressing, stealing from the rich to give to your families, and pet birds.
Profile Image for Della B.
516 reviews71 followers
November 16, 2021
Nottingham is an adventure filled, action packed saga with a splash of romance which will delight any reader. It turns the original story of Robin Hood on its head with the WLW cast of loveable characters. 
Robyn Fletcher’s world unravels when the Sheriff of Nottingham sets his sights to marry her sister-in-law. Robyn must assume the guise of a young man and becomes an outlaw in order to protect and feed her family. 
Anna Burke had me by her first sentence. It took me to England in the late 1100’s with only thirty two words. This elevated quality of writing stayed consistent throughout the novel. Burke’s attention to the details of this time period combined with her imagination drives the story forward. The characters are slowly introduced into Robyn’s outlaw band as we learn each backstory and their reason for joining.
Nottingham reminded me of all the adventure books I read as a child. I lived in Robyn’s world for two days and enjoyed every second of it. This is my version of the perfect stay-cation.

I must add that the cover artwork is exquisite. Ann McMan of Treehouse Studio deserves her own 5⭐️ rating.

I received a free advance review copy from Bywater Books and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Profile Image for Guerunche.
451 reviews40 followers
October 24, 2021
A wonderfully reimagined classic with nearly all-female characters, many lesbians to boot! Not just a fantasy come true, this was moving, exciting, heart wrenching and romantic. And while it was fun to see how some of the characters were adapted, it's a serious re-telling. An impressive read!
Profile Image for hubsie.
494 reviews68 followers
March 6, 2020
Did anyone else have an obsession with Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1991? It was a constant at every sleepover birthday party I attended for a good year. All of us crazy about Bryan Adam's theme song, and many crushing on Christian Slater (not me). One thing for sure, NO ONE was crushing on Kevin Costner's terrible, god-awful English accent. Just.....google it if you are one of the few who is not familiar with this travesty.

This was a fun twist on a classic story, with females and trans males taking over the main roles held by men. Robyn (Hood) swears to protect her family after the shitty stand-in king dude insists on taxing everyone to death, literally. Robyn makes poor decision after poor decision throughout the story, messing up, misreading situations, and making silly mistakes. She is all good intentions but she is so flawed, not always in the best way. I wanted to shake her, and honestly wasn't too crazy about her character. She falls for Marian, the daughter of the slime ball sheriff of Nottingham, though doesn't realize she's his daughter, and boy oh boy does Robyn haaaate the sheriff. Robyn does some bad things, becomes an outlaw, and hides in Sherwood forest, befriending Little John, eventually Will Scarlet and others from the original band of "merry (wo)men." Neat! 

This was an interesting read, and well written for sure, and I was all in for the first 50%....then my attention waned. The details got to be a bit much and so much focus was on the side characters stories rather than Marian and Robyn. They spend a good 80% of the book apart, for you romance lovers who are itching for more screen time of them. That being said, when I finally got to the end, I did appreciate why the author chose to add all the extras, as we do get a sense of a tight community being built and the lengths people went to in order to help the greater good (I'm lookin' at you, Mother Tuck). And to be honest, I quite liked the characters of Willa and Alanna, headstrong Midge, even Emmeline, but sure had a soft spot for Marian. She was strong yet vulnerable, put in an impossible situation with a horrible father, yet had such strong will and determination to find her happiness.

Overall a solid 4/5, it was fun being swept away in the forest and reliving old you tube clips. :)
Profile Image for Angel.
318 reviews21 followers
December 28, 2019
Oh my gosh!!! I’ve been anxiously awaiting this story that’s filled to the brim with awesomeness!!! I couldn’t get enough of these unique and endearing characters because I’ve spent my Christmas Day in good company with Robyn, Marian and the other badass women in this novel. I’ve had the pleasure of living vicariously through Robyn as she did her best to keep her family and her group of merry women safe and I had the time of my life just laughing at the way Robyn and her fellow outlaws did everything in their power to outsmart the sheriff. This author has done a wonderful job of representing the entire LGBT community in this novel and that means so much to me. I’ll always be on the look out for more books from this superb author because she always transports me to exciting worlds with unforgettable characters!
Profile Image for AnnMaree Of Oz.
1,439 reviews26 followers
August 10, 2020
"there is a place here for all of us to exist as we are, instead of how others wish us to be."

I loved this epic lesbian retelling of the classic Robin Hood. I always loved the story growing up, and have read two other wlw retellings, but this one is by far the best.

I adored the host of characters and their connection to eachother, and their creation of family. Tom and his sweet little sister, Lisbet. Midge and Little John. Will and Alanna. Tuck and Yvette. Robyn and Marian. Beswoon my heart!

My only complaint is I wanted even more. How I would love a sequel, and heck even just short stories of each of the couples. How I would love to be a fly on the wall for all of these pairings!

If you were a lover of the classic story or even just like women banding together to kick ass and stand up for themselves and others, you'll love this!
Profile Image for emily.
566 reviews63 followers
May 21, 2022

i love queer people. We are so great. This has always been one of my fav folktales/fairytales and to have it queered this was was just…. SO GOOD. This was so so good. I loved Robyn. I loved Marian. I loved Midge. I loved Little John. I fucking loved everyone except the sheriff—that man can choke. But boy, was he a fantastic villain! Every beat of this was just.. so good. This is going to be a reread eventually, I can tell.
314 reviews67 followers
June 13, 2020
eARC received from Edelweiss, thank you to Edelweiss and Bywater Books (opinions are my own).

A gorgeous LGBT retelling of a classic we all know and love by an outstanding writer; steamy , women-centric and beautifully imagined.

Nottingham: The True Story of Robyn Hood by Anna Burke
Publish Date: January 21st 2020
Cover Rating: 7/10
Adult – Retelling – LGBTQ – Historical Fiction

What is this book about?
A deadly hunting accident sends Robyn into the woods, running from the law. All Robyn wants to do is keep her family safe, but when the Sheriff raises the taxes, Robyn must take matters into her own hands. Relying on a band of merry women and the Sheriffs intriguing daughter- Marian. Robyn must find a way to pull off the biggest and most daring robbery in Sherwood history. With everything at stake, what would she risk for the safety of her loved ones?

At some point (MY AGE IS SHOWING LOL) I was obsessed with Kevin Coster movies including Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, super nostalgic for this movie right now.

I wanna lay this book down in a bed of roses. Oh yeah. I said it.


My thoughts:
I loved the female-centric cast and the lesbian twist, the writing is amazing (SERIOUSLY) and I am really interested in reading other novels by this author. That world was brought to life in absolute detail and I could not flaw the dialogue, characters or atmosphere – it was stunningly done.
BUT, something did not really connect with me and sort of lost me about 50 pages in. I think for the most of start of the novel the atmosphere and side characters, took up a lot of information (which was enjoyable) and then when our two main characters connected: it felt so distant. Also every human on the planet is familiar with this story so maybe the author should have taken more liberties with the story itself. There is so much room to really go mad with this and I felt the storyline was kept very safe and ultimately I did find myself wondering off attention-wise.

Who would love this book:
Anyone that loves retellings and seriously, this story is so fantastically told. Its historical fiction with a strong female presence throughout AND a lesbian twist. Give it a go!

Rating: 3.3
Profile Image for Silvia .
635 reviews1,387 followers
August 2, 2020
*sapphic noises*

This was very good and it only took me a long time to finish it because of university, I kind of wish I had waited to read it when I could have enjoyed binging it in a shorter time but I also know that when a book takes me such a long actual reading time it's because I don't skim-read (too many) paragraphs and that's usually a sign I'm loving it.

I did find the writing very detailed and that means that sometimes it was easy to just focus on the dialogue instead but in general I think if you're someone who's interested in the legend of Robin Hood you will find this book very satisfying because it focuses on how the Merry Men (although here they're mostly not men) came to be.

The cast is basically all queer (as it should be!) and I simply loved it, and loved the inclusion of Little John as a trans man, but since a big part of the plot is about Robyn and a few of the other outlaws having to disguise as men, I didn't always find the language used to always be very trans-inclusive. Even if this problem never applied when it came to Little John himself, trans-inclusive language shouldn't be something reserved for trans characters; if you include and acknowledge trans people you should also be careful not to focus too much on what body parts make or don't make any particular gender. That's the only complaint I have really.

Overall I would recommend this as it's always good to see f/f retellings of myths and legends and even if I loved Robin Hood as a kid (well, the cartoon version), this sapphic and queer version is the only one I will be acknowledging from now on!
Profile Image for Jamie.
169 reviews48 followers
March 20, 2021
This was so great! I've loved Robin Hood as a character nearly as long as I can remember, dressing up as him for multiple halloweens, learning how to shoot a bow as a child because he did, and having all the books I could find. Then again I loved the character later in life when I came into my own politically and I loved the concepts he represented.

So after I read Anna Burke's two contemporary romance novels Spindrift, and Night Tide and I absolutely loved both, and I saw she wrote a queer retelling of Robyn Hood, I was super excited. I kinda wanted to wait for an audiobook version, as this is the type of story I felt would lend itself really well to audio formant, but I got impatient and bought the physical version.

And I loved it! I got sucked right in to the story. I LOVED this retelling. The new interpretations of old characters all worked so well for me. Especially Will Scarlett. Her interpretation and reason for joining Robyn was so powerful and she was so endearing to me. Also I felt Burke did a wonderful job of describing Little John's identity in terms that are understandable for middle age commoners. I found that very moving.

And of course there is Robyn and Marian. We all know the traditional story of Robin Hood- being a noble of sorts that has his powers stripped so he vows justice and becomes a chaotic good outlaw. But I really appreciate this retelling of HOW it all happened, with Robyn being lowborn, fleeing for her life, then becoming the altruistic hero we know, all while falling in love with Marian and building a queer collective of sorts. Perhaps it's because I'm very familiar with old versions, that I found this new telling so moving and interesting.

I also really like Marian! I like how she wasn't afraid to take matters into her own hands despite her self doubt of her abilities. I also liked her confusion over her love of Robyn, and watching that progress. She is still a noble who grew up in privilege (and this book isn't slow to call out privilege- as any good Robyn Hood telling should be) but I like this strong Marian who isn't afraid to take risks for the people she loves.

If I have anything to criticize, perhaps it slows down a touch about 60% through the book, but it speeds back up once the action picks up later on.

I really loved this. This story has always been special to me, and now I think this is my favorite interpretation of Robyn Hood. Burke is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors, and I'm ready for whatever she comes out with next! 4.75/5
Profile Image for Tara.
774 reviews309 followers
August 3, 2020
Have you ever said to yourself “I want to read a Robin Hood story, but full of lesbians and other queer people?” Well, good news! Because that’s exactly what Nottingham is! I couldn’t have come up with a more joyfully queer interpretation of it if I’d tried. That said, it’s specifically the queer rep that’s joyful and not much else, because this is a gritty adventure story where the only foxes in it are ones that get hunted.

Full review: https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/r...
Profile Image for Amanda.
344 reviews9 followers
January 30, 2020
It seems like when you get a book you don't want to put down, life gets insanely busy. I didn't get to binge this one as I wanted, and it drove me nuts. I thought about getting to read it and looked forward to a break so I could get a few pages in. This is my second book by Burke (other was Thorn) and I enjoyed them both, but this one I loved.

A retelling of the old tale, only so much better. The romance is good but not heavy, and the characters are amazing and well developed. I loved them all and want to know what became of them. Burke does an excellent job with the setting which made it easy to visualize it all. This book has so much to offer. I think anyone would enjoy this one, pick it up you will not be disappointed.
465 reviews2 followers
January 9, 2022
Really good story. Very well written. Too dark for me (at least at this moment in my reading life).
Giving it 5-stars because that's what it deserves. However, warning to my future self, it was very dar, so I didn't enjoy it all that much.
Profile Image for Carolyn McBride.
Author 5 books95 followers
April 2, 2020
I loved this book! (I have no idea why it has taken me so long to write a review of it)
The characters were brilliantly re-worked and yet distinctive. While I could see who their canon counterparts were, Anna Burke's equivalents were people in their own right. The story was gripping, moving and kept me reading long past when the light should have been turned off.
This is a book to buy your lesbian friends, or at the very least, tell them about. This is a book to buy all the folks newly emerged from the closet, and those still trying to figure out their sexuality. Why? So that they can see themselves represented. So they can see that our fables and legends do not all have to be homogenous white-guy-frail-women vanilla reading.

Anna Burke's Nottingham is well-crafted, well-edited, has a stunning cover that needs to be a poster on my wall, and should be on your list to read once a year. Every year.
Profile Image for Kristen.
32 reviews15 followers
May 9, 2021
I'm a simple girl, I saw a queer Robyn Hood retelling, and I knew this was for me. It didn't disappoint.

Anna Burke is a brilliant storyteller. I admire the way she builds her worlds, and the ease with which I find myself immersed within them.
But most notably, she just gets human emotions and she successfully translates their complexity into words, actions, and into her characters. I've enjoyed every single person in this book and it was a great fun to read.
Profile Image for Alex.
328 reviews19 followers
July 9, 2020
When I was a little girl (3-4 years old) I was obsessed with Robin Hood (not the fox version, I never liked that) and Rambo. Apparently I wanted to be a fugitive 🤷🏻‍♀️or just be in the woods fighting, I don’t know. I remember watching the Kevin Costner movie on tv and wanting to live in the woods, have a bow and shoot arrow at bad people. Then, on my early teenage years (14) my brother got us a computer game about him (Robin, not Kevin) and it’s fair to say my mom had to break that CD because we wouldn’t do anything but play. At this point I had never read any book about him, I just had this ideas of what Sherwood, Robin, Marian and the rest were brave and fair, funny and sarcastic, and just awesome.

I was perhaps 16 o 17 when I found a Robin Hood book on my grandparents house, I can’t remember the title nor the autor but I was so disappointed when I finished it. I had just ended The Black Arrow by R.L. Stevenson and that book was everything I wanted and more, so I had great expectations for Robin Hood and that book didn’t come close.

Fast forward to last year when I read Thorn (loved it) and twitter informed me the author was writing a retelling of Robin Hood and making it queer. I had to read it, even if I didn’t like it, because Robin Hood as lesbian? Well, that was super hot, if nothing else.

I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! I couldn’t put it down! Michael dying broke my heart, Robyn desperation trying to keep her family alive and everything she had to do and sacrifice, all the things her family had to sacrifice, and the sheriff was not caricature bad, it was a truly ugly person, and that helped with the feelings as a reader. Now, Will being a tall, read head, hot tempered, hot lesbian was also a plus. I enjoyed this so much I’m going remember this one as the oficial story. Yes, it is fanciful that a group of queer, weapon trained, disgruntled people could find each other and form a band of merry peolple, and being lucky enough to have friends in all the places needed, but that’s what books are for, so life can be “easy” and with happy endings.
Profile Image for Vicky.
9 reviews2 followers
April 29, 2020
What a great book. It’s a retelling of the famous Robin Hood. You wouldn’t know it’s the first novel Anna Burke wrote.

She writes so well that I felt like I was part of the journey.
The story has a good pace and the beginning will definitely break your heart. There is diversity and depth in the characters, the places are very well described. There is sadness, joy, pain, resilience, friendship, lust, love and many other feelings.
Well let’s just say everything worked for me.

I really really enjoyed reading this book.

Friend's advice : Don’t wait before reading it. Put it at the top of your shelf.


Super bon livre. C’est l’histoire de Robin des Bois version féminine. C’est le premier livre de Anna Burke et on ne pourrait même pas le deviner.

Elle écrit tellement que j’ai eu l’impression de prendre part à l’aventure. L’histoire a un bon rythme et le début va certainement vous briser le coeur. Les personnages sont diversifiés et bien développé. ‘Es endroits sont super bien décrit. Il y a de la tristesse, joie, résilience, amitié, désire, amour et beaucoup d’autres sentiments et émotions. Disons que le livre a été une recette gagnante pour moi.

Conseil d’amie : N’attendez pas avant de le lire et placez le en haut de votre liste.
Profile Image for Colleen Corgel.
525 reviews16 followers
April 14, 2020
This is excellent! This is probably Burke's best book yet! Like all Burke's books, this is a slightly darker version of the tale - not gritty, necessarily, but darker and more grounded. This Robyn is not part of the nobility, but a peasant who is feeling the wrath of the crush of the ruling class. It is a sad beginning, and makes Robyn much more relatable. Her vendetta of revenge against the Sheriff of Nottingham then switching to something more altruistic just moves so smoothly.

There's so much stuff that I could praise, but I am going to let this one talk for itself. This is a book that most people will find a lot to enjoy.
Profile Image for Anastacia.
92 reviews15 followers
July 7, 2020
It’s a book that starts in tears, and ending with smiles! This book starts with quite a lot of heartbreaking and for me, the story a bit slow. To be honest, I just started to get interested in this book after reading 30 percent of it and got excited after reading half of it. All the characters in this book have their own strengths. Even it’s slow in starting but end up having the most remarkable ending! Worth reading it! The fairy tale of lesfic version.
Profile Image for •°• gabs •°•.
248 reviews198 followers
February 12, 2020
"I . . ." she began, uncertain, and then the words flowed out of her. "I vow to love you, come winter or spring, beneath these trees or beneath this earth, until our souls meet again in the next world."

the found family!! the writing!! the romance!! the humour!! WHEW!!!
Profile Image for C.L. Clark.
Author 21 books1,024 followers
September 6, 2021
Love a queer retelling!

A sweet romance, great relationships with side characters, with enough going on to keep the pages turning. Really enjoyed it.
205 reviews
March 2, 2021
An all around nice retelling of the Robin (or Robyn I should say) Hood story. I would honestly love to see more of the merry men and women’s adventures in the future, but it’s a lovely standalone novel.

I appreciate how, with Burke, there’s always a cost to violence and murder - it’s never gratuitous. I think this is so valuable in a world that tends to glorify violence without considering the consequences.

And I love how they made a community of people outside of an unjust society that strives to make their world a better place in the only way they can. I finished the book almost wanting to sign up for a spot in their little camp!

I’ve already read Compass Rose, which was great as well. Can’t wait to read more of Burke’s work!

I’m putting in a request for more fairy tales/legends with female protagonists and f/f romances please!
Profile Image for XR.
1,708 reviews77 followers
March 3, 2020
Fcuking beautiful!

This is the best retelling of Robyn Hood I've read thus far. Anna Burke just gets better and better in every book she writes.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 186 reviews

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