ROBIN AND THE KING by Parke Godwin


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 Sequel to Sherwood (1991), the versatile Godwin's revisionist historical that recasts Robin Hood as Thane Edward of Denby, a Saxon resister to the invading Normans led by William the Conqueror. This time out, Robin gets all stirred up about peasants' rights and unwisely authors a document recommending limits to the divine rights of kings. Unsurprisingly, he earns the enmity of William's Chancellor, the capable, vicious upstart Ranulf of Bayeux, and annoys William himself. Banished from England and taken in chains to Normandy, Robin saves William's life along the way, and soon become friends with the likable but intemperate Rossel, the future William II. After various feats, Robin is pardoned by a dying William and returns to England--but he has reckoned without the unremitting hostility of Ranulf. Having fallen out with Rossel (peasants' lib again), Robin is accused of witchcraft by Ranulf, found guilty, excommunicated, and condemned to death--and only some last-minute heroics preserve his holding for his son and heir, Edward. Godwin enthusiastically pounds away at the 11th century, but the upshot is a grim, dull, fitful drama, from which any semblance to the legendary Robin Hood and his merrie deeds has long since departed.

Pub Date: June 23rd, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-05274-6
Page count: 324pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1993


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