Nottingham

Nottingham

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...

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Title:Nottingham
Author:Nathan Makaryk
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Edition Language:English

Nottingham Reviews

  • K.A. Doore

    It's taken me a while to write this review because this book was just so. good. All I could think of was "wow, this is exactly how excited I got when I read Game of Thrones way back when." But you know, everybody comps everything to GoT, right? So I tried to think of another clever way to put it.

    How do I describe a book that has such clever turns of phrase that constantly had me reading whole passages aloud just to delight in the pure Englishness of it all? How do I describe the multitude of vi

    It's taken me a while to write this review because this book was just so. good. All I could think of was "wow, this is exactly how excited I got when I read Game of Thrones way back when." But you know, everybody comps everything to GoT, right? So I tried to think of another clever way to put it.

    How do I describe a book that has such clever turns of phrase that constantly had me reading whole passages aloud just to delight in the pure Englishness of it all? How do I describe the multitude of viewpoints, each distinct, each nuanced, each convincing you that they alone are Correct - until you get to the next chapter? How do I describe the twisty-turny plot, at times obvious, at times completely unexpected? How do I describe the familiar yet fresh takes on Little John, on Marion, on the Sheriff, on Robin? How do I even begin to describe that ending?

    Yes, okay, fine. Nottingham's like reading Game of Thrones for the first time, back in the '90s, before jaded and grimdark were the Next Cool Things. Except it's a leap beyond that, a whole hundred-league step that will hopefully drag the genre kicking and screaming along with it, because it's dark, yes, but it's also full of hope and light and resilience. There's no rape. There's no gratuitous violence. I mean there's violence, yes, of course, but you never get the feeling that Makaryk is rubbing it in your face Walking Dead style.

    But there are the goddamned consequences.

  • Sarah

    UPDATE:

    When I first read The Mists of Avalon (awfulness of MZB aside), it was a transformative experience because it was the story I thought needed to be told. That's exactly what Nottingham is to the Robin Hood legacy. And the way that Nathan Makaryk writes is clever, cutting, and just plain gorgeous.

    There are some elements you never saw coming (no spoilers here), but everything is exactly as it should be.

    This is one of those special books. It's not one you borrow, it's one you keep on your

    UPDATE:

    When I first read The Mists of Avalon (awfulness of MZB aside), it was a transformative experience because it was the story I thought needed to be told. That's exactly what Nottingham is to the Robin Hood legacy. And the way that Nathan Makaryk writes is clever, cutting, and just plain gorgeous.

    There are some elements you never saw coming (no spoilers here), but everything is exactly as it should be.

    This is one of those special books. It's not one you borrow, it's one you keep on your shelf forever.

    _________________________________

    I am currently in possession of an ARC of this book, and I'm moving at a glacial pace for a very good reason. I don't want to miss a word! So, while I'm reading some other fantastic ARCs on my Kindle, this one sits on my nightstand so that I can wrap myself up in it at night.

    The thing is, I'm normally all about plot and story. But this book brings together everything I love about books: a great story, clever prose, and a humor that I can only define as refreshingly surprising. I keep finding myself going "wait, what?! Yep, that's what I thought that said!" So instead of reading furiously to find out what happens next, I'm along for the gruesome, gorgeous, and frequently hilarious ride. I've even stopped picturing the characters as foxes!

    So, I'm tossing this review up just shy of the halfway mark because everyone needs this book on their shelves. I'll update this review if I ever bring myself to finish.

  • Katherine Riley

    Do you know the story of Robin Hood? Of course you do. But what exactly do you know? He’s a man in a hood, a charming thief who steals from the wealthy and gives to the poor. There’s a maiden who helps him, some merry men. An evil sheriff who tries to stop them.

    Possibly you don’t remember much more.

    But even if you do, even if can you remember the movie(s) in photographic detail, Nottingham will still prove you know nothing. Nottingham’s story goes so deep and wide that all of those images becom

    Do you know the story of Robin Hood? Of course you do. But what exactly do you know? He’s a man in a hood, a charming thief who steals from the wealthy and gives to the poor. There’s a maiden who helps him, some merry men. An evil sheriff who tries to stop them.

    Possibly you don’t remember much more.

    But even if you do, even if can you remember the movie(s) in photographic detail, Nottingham will still prove you know nothing. Nottingham’s story goes so deep and wide that all of those images become like buoys, floating for a moment on the surface of your mind before you go under again. Nottingham investigates not only what these most basic and lingering elements of the story actually represent, but how they can exist at all. And driving it all, make no mistake, is a heady and exciting ride.

  • Andrea Rothman

    Dark and funny and absorbing in both language and story. Makaryk has created a whole new world on the page that explores the legend of Robin Hood and asks, what if this had happened instead? I delighted in how events and characters are refashioned in this novel, it feels fresh and thoroughly modern and also faithful in its own right to the times and the historical context. The ending is unexpected and great!

  • Christina Marie Reads

    I honestly don't even know where to begin! My mind was absolutely blown away throughout the entirety of this book...You *think* you know all about King Richard, Robin of Locksley aka Robin Hood, his "merry" men, Lady Marion, the High Sheriff of Nottingham, and Captain Guy Gisbourne - but you don't, not at all.

    Nathan Makaryk retells the legend of Robin Hood in a way that you've never dreamed of, heard of, read of, or watched. He puts you in the mind and in the shoes of every character, and makes

    I honestly don't even know where to begin! My mind was absolutely blown away throughout the entirety of this book...You *think* you know all about King Richard, Robin of Locksley aka Robin Hood, his "merry" men, Lady Marion, the High Sheriff of Nottingham, and Captain Guy Gisbourne - but you don't, not at all.

    Nathan Makaryk retells the legend of Robin Hood in a way that you've never dreamed of, heard of, read of, or watched. He puts you in the mind and in the shoes of every character, and makes it almost impossible for you to choose a side because they're all right in their own way.

    The world and character building was absolutely amazing - you felt every single decision by every character and how it affected Nottingham and the lives of the people around them. You experienced everyone and everything falling apart at the seams only to come back together in a completely unexpected way. I wouldn't be surprised in the least to see this book hit tv and/or movie theatres in the near future!

  • Angela

    In the ending Author's Note Makaryk says that he wanted to tear the story of Robin Hood to pieces, he lists a variety of reasons why, and you'll just have to buy the book to find out, but he resoundingly succeeded. I had no idea what to expect going in to this story, but I slowly began to recognize some characters, obviously Robin, Marion, Little John, Will Scarlett, etc, everything was just a little *off.* For one, there's little bits of historical accuracy sprinkled throughout, i.e. Robin is o

    In the ending Author's Note Makaryk says that he wanted to tear the story of Robin Hood to pieces, he lists a variety of reasons why, and you'll just have to buy the book to find out, but he resoundingly succeeded. I had no idea what to expect going in to this story, but I slowly began to recognize some characters, obviously Robin, Marion, Little John, Will Scarlett, etc, everything was just a little *off.* For one, there's little bits of historical accuracy sprinkled throughout, i.e. Robin is off fighting in the Crusades for Richard the Lionheart before he comes home with William de Wendenal (appears to have actually been a historical figure). They come home to figure out why the supply lines - weapons and such) have stopped only to find Nottingham in chaos because the taxes being levied have caused havoc among the impoverished.

    William and Robin split with Robin going into Sherwood Forest and William going into Nottingham to meet with the Sherriff, the two of them working from both ends to try to make peace in the land, get the supply lines back up and then go back to the war. The author's attempt was to try to be more real to life, instead of good vs. evil, he wanted to show good vs. good vs. good, because aren't we all the heroes of our own stories? He did an absolutely masterful job. There are sword fights, romances, tragic deaths, rage, powerlessness, betrayal, idiocy, grasping ambition, and everything you could ask for in a 500 page book that you genuinely wish would not end. AND THE WAY IT ENDS. OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.

    I have NEVER been so happy to have an author say another book would be coming. It's going on my TBR pile and it probably hasn't even been started yet. This book was amazing. I loved it.

    If you're expecting Kevin Costner's Robin Hood this ain't it. It's BETTER.

  • Kim McGee

    This story feels closer to the truth than other retellings of the legend of Robin Hood. It is told through the eyes of noblemen and women, common folk and all those others in between. The good people of Nottinghamshire are fed up with being taxed while their king is off fighting the Holy Wars in the Middle East. They have no real law, no hopes for better conditions and little faith in those who have been left to sort things out. What starts out as a way to help the common folk spirals out of con

    This story feels closer to the truth than other retellings of the legend of Robin Hood. It is told through the eyes of noblemen and women, common folk and all those others in between. The good people of Nottinghamshire are fed up with being taxed while their king is off fighting the Holy Wars in the Middle East. They have no real law, no hopes for better conditions and little faith in those who have been left to sort things out. What starts out as a way to help the common folk spirals out of control and it will pit faithful subjects of the king against those who want the crown and those who just want change. The author has tried to put a human face on the superhero image told in legends of the man who would be known as Robin Hood as well as the others who have a stake in the game. Political intrigue, adventure, and superb writing, this historical debut is perfect for any lover of British history, realistic portrayals of myth or a great story of turning the tables on those in authority. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  • Bridgette

    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”

    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!

  • Susan Johnson

    A wonderful retelling of the Robin Hood story that really captivates. It tells the story of Robin Hood in a fresh and modern way that really seems closer to the truth than other stories. I like the story of the three women featured in this. A very interesting story that kept me interested fro beginning to end.

    Thanks to Net Galley for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review.

  • Emily

    Can someone please advise if this book leans more towards

    or

    ? Inquiring minds need to know

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