Great for Fans of George R.R. Martin

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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” and their quest to steal from the rich and give to the poor. The Sheriff of Nottingham, Roger de Lacy, is not as bad as he seems; he’s doing his best in a bad situation. Robin of Locksley is deeply skeptical of leading the group of outlaws in Sherwood.

To add an extra layer of complexity, Nathan Makaryk included extra characters like Elena Gamwell, Will Scarlet’s girlfriend and fellow outlaw; William de Wendenal, Robin’s ambitious friend and fellow crusader; Arable de Burel, a victim of circumstance and William’s childhood sweetheart; and Guy of Gisbourne, the captain of the Nottingham Guard.

There are familiar elements in Nottingham as well: King Richard is off crusading, the country is being taxed into poverty, and Prince John is just as dastardly as ever.

Makaryk has crafted a nuanced telling of Robin Hood that explores themes relevant to today: themes such as the divergence of the law and moral rightfulness, power, and justice. Topping it all off is the carefully crafted narrative. Nottingham is told in third person; each chapter has a different narrator with a unique voice and perspective. The author deftly conveys through the plethora of narrators just how complex the political environment in Nottingham was as well as the complexity of the moral and ethical dilemmas of the day.

If you, like me, are anxiously awaiting the next Game of Thrones book, you will be delighted by Nottingham. It’s long, complex, and compelling. I can’t wait for more from Nathan Makaryk!