I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the first in a saga based on the legend of Robin Hood, transposed to exactly 100 years prior to the birth of King John. I suppose if the legend of King Arthur can migrate half a millennium from the supposed age of chivalry to the generation after the flight of Rome from the shores of Albion, surely setting Hood into the frenzied genocidal displacement of the old Anglo-Danish hegemony during the Norman conquest and subjugation of these islands is not such a stretch of the imagination. In both cases the cap fits, or the hood in the later case. I'm sure King John would declare "About bloody time!" or something similar. I loved the twin threads of storyline with the youthful hero in one and as a relatedly old man in the other. Although the device gives away the fact that he survives the earlier trials and tribulations in order to experience the later adventures, doesn't detract from the enjoyment at all (we knew he would survive folks didn't we?), but the close mirroring of events demonstrates that history keeps repeating itself despite his best efforts to the contrary. To paraphrase The Who, welcome in the new king, same as the old king. I also enjoyed the disguised reappearance of the traditional Hood supporting cast, mixed in with historic figures from that time. There are tantalising hints that maintain interest, such as is the wedded Mar, who has a somewhat ambiguous relationship with two men in her life, the same younger Maid of legend who is only obliquely referred to in the primary timeline? I thoroughly recommend this book, loved it throughout and look forward to getting stuck into the remaining volumes.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)