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Literature / Sherwood Forest

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"Home. Where was home, now? Nowhere he recognized.

"But perhaps that wasn't the problem. Perhaps he'd been gone so long, and fighting so hard that the Crusade had melted him down and forged him into something new- a valuable tool for God's war, but entirely unusable for anything else."

Sherwood Forest is a series of novelettes and novellas by Laura McVey based on the Robin Hood myths. It tells the story of Robin of Locksley, who returns home to Nottingham with his friend John and a prisoner of war, Shaima, in tow, only to discover that the Sheriff he appointed to keep the peace while he was gone has burned his house down, seized control, and imprisoned Robin's wife in the castle. The series is electronically published and was released in monthly installments beginning in June 2014.

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Titles in this series:

  1. "Homecoming"
  2. "Foreigner"
  3. "Robbing the Rich"
  4. "Fools and Liars"
  5. "Sins of the Father"
  6. "Blood Libel"
  7. "Pestilence"
  8. "Allies"
  9. "Evil Works"
  10. "The Absent King"

Cast of characters:

  • Robin Hood, a disillusioned Crusader who's driven to hiding in Sherwood Forest while he tries to figure out how to defeat the Sheriff. As of the first story in the series, "Homecoming", he's suffering from a Heroic BSoD.
  • John (Little John, though no one calls him that) is Robin's longtime best friend who accompanied him on the Crusade. His main function is to talk Robin down and mediate fights between the outlaws.
  • Will Scarlett, Robin's foster son who still holds more than a little resentment towards Robin for running off and leaving Nottingham vulnerable to the Sheriff's schemes.
  • Shaima, a prisoner of war who Robin brought back with him to keep the other soldiers from having her executed. She's not terribly happy with him.
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  • Marian, Robin's wife, who is a prisoner in Nottingham Castle. She uses her position to try to manipulate and undermine the Sheriff from within.
  • The Sheriff of Nottingham, who took over Nottingham while Robin was away, raised taxes, lets his guards run amuck attacking the villagers, and is Robin's primary antagonist.
  • Much Miller, an irreverent peasant who comes up with the idea of "robbing the rich to feed the poor."
  • Guy of Gisbourne, the Sheriff's right-hand man, who spends most of his free time terrorizing the villagers.


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Sherwood Forest contains examples of:

  • Accidental Kidnapping: Robin didn't intend to kidnap Shaima; she'd snuck into the Crusaders' camp intending to avenge her dead brother and got caught. The other soldiers wanted to execute her, but Robin managed to persuade them that he could neutralize the threat by taking her prisoner. Shaima, of course, doesn't exactly see this as a noble deed; she just knows she's been dragged halfway around the world, away from everything she knows and loves, and is now living in the woods.
  • Advice Backfire: Thomas tells Allan that he'll need better financial prospects before he'll consider allowing him and Bess to get married. So Allan goes out and gets a job. Working for the Sheriff. Who Thomas is trying to raise a rebellion against. Needless to say, it doesn't help.
  • Disappeared Dad: Will is Robin and Marian's foster son; his biological father is absent until he comes to town in "Sins of the Father". Will's overjoyed until he realizes that he's working for the Sheriff and wants Will to join him.
  • Honor Before Reason: Sure Will, you go ahead and charge into battle against a bunch of armed guards. What could go wrong?
  • Kangaroo Court: The Sheriff holds court at the castle once a month, but if you have a complaint to make against him or his guards, or he's accused you of something, you're pretty well screwed. In "Homecoming," a girl comes to the court claiming that Gisbourne tried to rape her. The Sheriff tells her that Gisbourne will pay for the dress he ripped.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Marian seems pretty helpless, until she starts orchestrating prison breakouts under the Sheriff's nose.

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