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Nottingham

Length: 25 hrs and 25 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Both a gripping historical epic and fascinating deconstruction of the Robin Hood legend, Nathan Makaryk’s Nottingham mixes history and myth into a complex study of power - one that twists and turns far beyond the traditional tale of Sherwood Forest’s iconic thief.

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 leaves turn gold in the Sherwood Forest, the lives of six people - Arable, a servant girl with a secret; Robin and William, soldiers running from their pasts; Marion, a noblewoman working for change; Guy of Gisbourne, Nottingham’s beleaguered guard captain; and Elena Gamwell, a brash, ambitious thief - become intertwined.

And a strange story begins to spread....

©2019 Nathan Makaryk (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Syd Young
  • PARIS, TX, United States
  • 08-12-19

A Longbow, and Worth It

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 and wreak havoc on others instead of good. It’s a story with a moral, shouting out to us: you may be right from your POV with the line you’ve drawn in the sand, but can’t you see where this is all headed?

Well done! And yes, you’ve got me as intrigued for the next offering as I was for this one.

Is this the next Game of Thrones? Both yes and no. In feel, it is more like Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom Series, or to be more precise, Linnea Hartsuyker’s The Golden Wolf Saga. There is no magic whatsoever, no dragons. But the power fight—for sure. Also the writing is dense, the build takes a while, but it’s worth it in the end.

Favorite Character: Prince John was delightful. I’d love more of his voice!

Note: I both listened and read. The audio is superb. The text in the hard cover is a bit dense but I needed it sometimes to help ground me.

*Somewhat of a Spoiler Critique: ⤵️*



Next time don’t let a main character disappear for the length of a typical book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic historical adventure from a debut author

Nottingham is a beautiful blend of what I love about Bernard Cornwell, Terry Pratchett, and George R. R. Martin. This is far from the simple black and white, good guys vs bad guys Robin Hood stories. The characters are far deeper, while still largely agreeing with what we know of the Robin Hood canon. However, the story and many of the characters are quite original, so even the Robin Hood fans won't be bored with this book.

I'm not especially fond of Robin Hood in general, but neither do I dislike it. I've consumed a lot of mainstream Robin Hood media, extending as far back as (spoilers for a 200 year old book?) Ivanhoe.

The two narrators are absolutely perfect and the voice acting really adds to the story. For example, the constant reminder of Richard's Frechness is an excellent point that is made clearly through the audiobook version.

I still wouldn't call myself a Robin Hood fan, but I am definitely a new Nathan Makaryk fan. Get this book and get ready for more from this debut author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic retelling of an old favorite!

This started out a little slow for me, but I was soon engrossed in the story. At times I struggled because the characters weren't exactly like they were in movies or other books. More than once I sat frozen in anticipation, awe, and even horror at what was happening. The narration was phenomenal. When I would start the book and hear the voices it was like hearing an old friend. I highly recommend this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A New Perspective

Nathan Makaryk tells a compelling story in an entirely new way. His format of a shifting storyteller keeps the reader on their toes, and his novel take on a beloved legend keeps you coming back for more... more intrigue, more betrayal, more heartbreak! Definitely looking forward to his next installment.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A bit convoluted but worth the time

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 are not cardboard cut-outs at all; even Sir Guy of Gisbourne is a multi-dimensional creation. The relationship between Robin and the Sheriff is delightful, though it is occasionally clear as mud how they wound up on opposite sides. I liked that it was a complete story and need not be the launch of a series: it said what it wanted to say.

Overall, I recommend the audiobook (which I listened to) as it is well read by two narrators (male and female).

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

An overly long novel of Robin Hood

This book was written well, but would have been much better if it were 2/3 as long. There are a number of side stories, some unnecessary. Perhaps it was felt that an overly wordy novel would be a more complete treatment of the legend of Robin Hood, but it should have been shorter. If the author plans a sequel, hopefully it will be a more manageable length.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I hope there's a sequel

Great book. I hope there is a sequel!

I have read ton of books in this genre and this one is one of my favorites.

I loved the new take on old characters I grew up with and the new characters that added a twist to a familiar story with a GoT feel. Well worth the read. In the trend of the day... this would make for a good TV series.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good listen.

A very interesting take on the Robin Hood legend. And the narration is very well done!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Some interesting twists but not a keeper

I purchased this book hoping that the characters might be more multi-dimensional. I almost quit at the halfway point. Female voices were too “breathy” and insipid. The book didn’t get good until the last hour. This is not a keeper.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful