Knight of Sherwood – Review

Knight of Sherwood by N.B. Dixon
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Title: Knight of Sherwood

Series: Outlaw’s Legacy, Book 2

Author: N.B. Dixon

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: September 14, 2017

Romance Genre(s): Historical, LGBT

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Robin returns to England after four years fighting in the holy land. On arriving at Locksley, he discovers that Guy of Gisborne, his most hated enemy, has been made Sheriff of Nottingham. Forced to flee into Sherwood, Robin sets himself up as champion of the poor.

But Robin has a secret. His feelings for his friend Will Scathelock have deepened, but to acknowledge the truth would mean facing up to his past. Meanwhile Lady Marian Fitzwalter, heiress to the vast Huntingdon estate is determined to claim Robin for her own.

Amount of sex 0.5 / 5
How explicit 0.5 / 5
Story 5 / 5
Overall: 5 / 5

My absolute favorite movie as a kid was Disney’s Robin Hood (you know the one with the Foxes and Prince John’s side kick was a snake – because he was evil). Before there were videos (yes, I am old and yes I saw this movie in the theater), there were records with the story, the songs, and the book. I played that record over and over again and because I had a turntable that had a repeat (and I was lazy), to my mother’s chagrin, I only played one side. So when I was offered the two Robin Hood based books, Heir of Locksley and Knight of Sherwood, I was pretty excited.

N.B. Dixon does a masterful job of weaving the details of the story of Robin Hood we all know with details of the time, thus giving the book a very historical feel. Additionally, the characters are a little different and multi-dimentional. Robin Hood is not pining after the Lady Marian in this version; instead, she has a mind of her own, situations beyond her control due to her gender and her circumstances, and her own agenda. This is not to say she is bad or evil – no, those are very clearly defined in the traditional characters of Prince John and Sheriff of Nottingham. It is the characters who in traditional Robin Hood tales are the good guys that are new. These characters are very complex, and through Dixon’s skillful writing, the reader understands their motives, while they may not agree with their decisions.

As far as a Behind Closed Doors Book Review book – it is very light on the spicy action (only a half-star), but the themes are mature. Will (the traditional Will Scarlet) is in love with Robin. And true to the times, this is not an easy nor accepted relationship among the villagers or nobles in England in the 12th century. The idea of loyalty, religion, king and country are also a major theme as this second novel begins while Robin and Will are on the Crusades in what is now Israel.

I read both Heir of Locksley and Knight of Sherwood in succession and I know there will be a third. Could you read Knight of Sherwood without having read the Heir of Locksley, yes, but it wouldn’t be as deep and wonderful of an experience as the first book really informs the characters. I am looking forward to the third book in the series!

The assassin made his way through the British army camp as if he belonged there. The once-pristine white cloth of his Crusaders surcoat was a dirty greyish brown, courtesy of the desert. The red cross emblazoned on the chest identified him as one of them—a Christian doing God’s sacred work in ridding the Holy Land of the infidel. It was all so easy. They were complacent, these English.

He had over fifty successful kills to his credit. He relished the hunt, the closing in on his unsuspecting prey. The harder the challenge, the more he liked it. Man or woman, young or old, Christian or Saracen, it made no difference to him.

His employer had promised him a considerable sum for the despatching of his enemy, a nobleman by the name of Robin of Locksley. With such a fee, he might be able to retire. He had begun wondering if it was time to settle down. Of course, the thrill of the chase would call to him again. However, he could be more selective about the commissions he undertook.

Though night had fallen, the camp was still bustling. A few sentries challenged him, but he produced his token: a piece of parchment bearing the royal seal. He was a humble messenger on an errand. They were fools. It wouldn’t occur to them that he could be other than what he seemed.

At length, he came to a large tent, the flaps of which had been pulled back in an effort to let in the sultry night air, revealing several soldiers engaged in an energetic game of dice. The assassin paused in the tent entrance, his head bent, the picture of a humble servant; it took several minutes before anyone noticed him.

“Who are you after?” a bearded soldier demanded during a brief lull in the game.

The assassin bowed. “I have an urgent message for Robin of Locksley. I was told to deliver it into his own hands.” Reaching inside his tunic, he withdrew several rolls of parchment. Sorting through them, he produced one bearing the Locksley seal and held it up for examination, but the soldier barely glanced at it. Few in King Richard’s army could read, and this soldier’s mind was more on the game than the conversation.

“His tent’s over that way.” The soldier gestured. “Wolf’s head insignia. Can’t miss it.”

The assassin nodded his thanks and hurried away in the direction the soldier had indicated.

In the distance, a jackal cried, the melancholy sound a testimony to the sorrow that had seeped into the ravaged land. This region was torn apart by war. There had been tremendous losses on both sides. At least Locksley’s death would be merciful; the assassin did not believe in prolonging the suffering of his victims. Why give them time to get off a cry and perhaps summon help? He struck as swift and silent as a snake. Often his victims never even knew what happened.

The assassin spotted the tent he was looking for. It was set apart from the others, with no elaborate decoration, no guards seated outside. He’d been told Robin of Locksley was a nobleman. If so, he either wished to hide the fact or he had fallen on hard times. The assassin found himself wondering again why he had been sent to kill him. He pushed the thought away. It was not his concern. Another few hours, and he would be on a ship, bound for France, and away from this scorpion-infested land. The first thing he would do on his arrival would be to take a bath and wash every ounce of sand from his body. It got into his clothes and hair and coated his skin so that it itched constantly. If there was one thing the assassin hated, it was not being clean.

Drawing a dagger from his belt, he slit the tent flap. Once the opening was wide enough, he slipped inside.

 

 

Read the first book Heir of Locksley!

About N.B. Dixon

Author Bio

N.B. Dixon is an author of historical fiction. Her love for the Robin Hood legend began in a neglected corner of the school library and has continued ever since. She is a self-confessed bookworm and also a musician.

She began work on the Outlaw’s Legacy Series in 2013, and was accepted by Beaten Track Publishing in 2016. Outlaw’s Legacy is a historical series based around the Robin Hood legend. The author describes it as Exciting Historical Adventure with GLBT romance.

Connect with N.B.

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To celebrate the release of Knight of Sherwood, the second novel in the Outlaw’s Legacy series, N.B. Dixon is giving away an e-copy to 3 lucky winners. For your chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The contest closes at midnight EST on September 29, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide.

Good luck!

Enter here.

 

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Rating Report
Amount of sex
0.5 / 5
How explicit
0.5 / 5
Story
5 / 5
Overall: 5 / 5