Monday, 2 March 2015

Greenwode J Tullos Hennig

  • Author: J. Tullos Hennig 
  • Editions: Paperback, E-book, Audiobook 
  • Published: Dreamspinner Press (originally published 2013)
  • Genre: M/M Historical Romance 

"The Hooded One. The one to breathe the dark and light and dusk between.... "

When an old druid foresees this harbinger of chaos, he also glimpses its outcome. A young peasant from Loxley and his sister will be the greenwode’s last bastion of the Old Religion, but a young and devout nobleman could well be their destruction: Gamelyn Boundys, whom Rob and Marion have both befriended.

In a risky bid for happiness, Rob dares his god to reinterpret the ancient rites, allow Rob to take Gamelyn as lover instead of rival. But in the eyes of Gamelyn’s Church, sodomy is an abomination... and the old pagan magics are an evil that must be vanquished.

This new and enchanting take on the Robyn Hood legend had me captivated from start to finish. Rob is the son of Adam Loxely the forester of the Wode and firmly believes in the Pagon Gods. He is being groomed to take his father place as the Horned Lord the King of the forest. Gamelyn is the third son of a nobleman and enclosed in the christian church. When the two meet they swerve on to a path filled with confusion, love, danger and betrayal. These characters challenge the Gods path for them,  and try to define their own fate, but is it really possible to go against a God?

This story takes the well loved legend of Robin Hood and gives us a rich, descriptive tale of his beginning and his doomed love affair with Gamelyn. Both Rob and Gamelyn are worlds apart, but they will fight fiercely to be together in a world that frowns on homosexuality. 
The conflict of this novel is much more spiritual than you would first believe. The pagans of the forest just want to be left alone, while the church demands the demise of the heathens and is ever trying to convert everyone to the White Christ. Set in 1190's when the church ruled higher than any king, one Pagan and One Christian are drawn together against all odds, finding a love that is forbidden by the ever dominating church. Robyn Hood fights against the Gods, and his family and goes  against what is expected of him to be with Gamelyn, the man he loves. 

Gamelyn is stuck in a world that would d never allow him to love Robyn; a nobel man and a peasant, or two men, in the church's eye it is forbidden. And this shows in Gamelyn's anguish as he tries to resolve his belief in God, with what he sees around him. 

I have read this series three times now, and love it because this tale takes the legend and gives it a twist. I love the way it shows the clear distinction between peasant and noblemen, pagan and Christian. Both sides are portrayed brilliantly by Hennig, as she draws us into the conflict of a time that is cruel. 
This book takes the Robyn Hood legend and gives it a whole new standing by looking to the beginning of his tale. 

I would recommend this to anyone who loves myths and folk law, historical romance, fighting for love against all odds, betrayal and devastating endings that leave you with a glimmer of hope. 


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