Into the Book


Telling the tale of Robin Hood and his men, Sherwood had gotten my expectations high before I even began to read it. A fairly long book by Parke Godwin, I dove into it very eagerly. Though the plot was great, by the end of the book I was very disappointed in it and don’t recommend it.

The book is about Robin Hood, who is a small landowner in England in the times of the Norman invasion. This isn’t the conventional time used for Robin Hood’s tales, but the author weaves the story skillfully and still makes it enjoyable. The Sheriff of Nottingham is a Norman knight who assists King William with the invasion of England and is given the sheriff-hood as a reward. The book takes you through conflicting tales and plots.

While both men fall in love with Marian, a country girl who is fleeing the Normans, they have little in common and are mortal enemies. After a series of incidents Robin Hood tries to keep a firm hand on his people and retain the traditional ways of life, but eventually just gives up trying to remain within the law. After refusing to perform an unjust deed, Robin flees into Sherwood Forest with five of his accomplices.

The rest of the book takes you through a war in which some of the Normans rebel against King William and his vassals. Unexpectedly, Robin Hood finds himself fighting with his former enemy the Sheriff against an Englishman, who is of his own blood but betrayed Robin Hood’s father.

Like I said above, the plot of Sherwood is amazing, and it’s intricately woven and well thought out. I was surprised at certain twists in the plot yet the author made it easy to follow. The book definitely held my interest, and it wasn’t hard to read at all. Parke Godwin definitely does write well.

But why didn’t I like the book? There was too much in it, too many things that the author could have left out that he didn’t. Scenes of intimacy between Robin Hood and Marian were spelled out in detail and the characters frequently treat sex as something to be bandied and hold a light view of it. They also curse very frequently in this book, at least ten or twelve swear words in each chapter. I can’t emphasize enough that these parts made the book a drag to read. I almost didn’t finish the book when I was only about four chapters through.

So, even though the book is well written, I recommend that you don’t read it, because of the problems it has, mainly the unnecessary things the author put in. It’s too bad, too, because Robin Hood’s legend is a really neat story and the author can write well, yet he couldn’t mix those two things into a good book. Though it has good plots, I definitely don’t recommend this book to anyone.

Published on 24 June, 2010. Last updated on

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