We all know the story of Robin Hood, who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. It's one of our most outstanding myths. We know about many of the people attached with the story. we know where it fits in the greater scope of British history. What we don't know is exactly who Robin Hood was. He may have been a real person. The times wanted such an outlaw.
Richard the Lionhearted was King. As king he could go to war or not, raise taxes or not, run his country or not. He choose to go to war, which is a very expensive activity. He raised taxes to such a level, many nobles turned the people who lived on and worked the land off the land. That way the taxes the nobles had to pay were lessened. Those homeless people still had to pay taxes and many of them were arrested and put in prison. Since Richard was off making war on non-Christians in the Holy Land, he wasn't running the country. He left his brother, John, in charge, with all the responsibility but not nearly enough power.
A country with voids in power and people homeless through no fault of their own created the environment ripe for all sorts of trouble. A myth like Robin Hood fit right in. All the characters we are familiar with the stories are present. There is Robin of Locksley, Frier Tuck, John Little (called Little John in the way we nickname large men), Will Scarlet, Maid Marion, the Sheriff of Nottingham.
The book itself is written from the viewpoints of several characters. Each chapter is labeled with that character's name and location, so you don't get lost. The action moves swiftly, with just enough backstory so that things make sense. I almost forgot I was reading fiction, an historical novel based on a combination of myth and real events. It is a big book, nearly 500 pages, but very readable. Long live the myth of Robin Hood.
I won the copy of this book I read for this review from Goodreads.