Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help Self-Published/Indie authors. These authors have to do it all, from cover design to editing to marketing. If I can help even a little bit with marketing, I’m happy to do it. This week’s feature is the audiobook of a wonderful Robin Hood retelling, The Scarlet Forest.
The Scarlet Forest takes us back to medieval times and into the lives of Robin Hood and Marian. This version of the Robin Hood legend is true to the dialect and very well researched, bringing history and legend together in a wonderful way. This collection includes oft-told stories and new ones as well. We are sometimes treated to “a tale within a tale,” as Marian (Anne) or one of the other characters tell stories of their own.
The characters come alive from the first page, as we are introduced to Robin and watch him assemble his band of merry men. It is set in the 13th century and is entwined with the history of that time. I loved the way the concept of “merry men” is explained by the men themselves, that it is much more enjoyable to roam free in the forest than to labor endlessly for meager wages.
The adventures are full of suspense and often a moral lesson, for Robin doesn’t just give money to the poor, he seeks justice as well in some of the tales. I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator, Joel Benedict, does a great job despite difficult dialect. Tales like this were originally conveyed orally, so I thought the audiobook was the perfect vehicle for this story. I was spellbound throughout. This is a captivating adventure in Sherwood Forest and beyond with Robin Hood and those who loved him. Want to go on an epic journey in medieval times and also learn some history along the way? Pick up The Scarlet Forest.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A. E. Chandler holds a Master of Arts with Merit from the University of Nottingham, where she wrote her dissertation on the social history behind Robin Hood. While earning a BA in Ancient and Medieval Studies at the University of Calgary, she also took courses in publishing and creative writing.
Chandler has had short stories, poetry, and articles published, in addition to a book of collected non-fiction entitled Into the World, the Questionable Quizzes series, and the bestselling novel The Scarlet Forest: A Tale of Robin Hood. To get exclusive bonus content, including the original 2nd chapter of The Scarlet Forest, visit Chandler’s author website.
Living in England, and traveling in Europe, Asia, and Africa have also contributed to her stories and characters – she has been chased by a camel rider through the Sahara Desert, skated down a volcano in Sicily, and gotten unintentionally locked inside of a medieval prison in France. Currently, she lives in Calgary, where she is a visiting expert with the Glenbow Museum’s military collection, and writes historical fiction as well as contemporary fiction concerning history.
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Below is an adventure-packed trilogy that retells the story of Robin Hood in an unusual way. Book descriptions, links to buy, and a Q&A with the two authors are below. My review of all three books will come later on a future Self-Published Saturday feature. The fantastic book descriptions and the Q&A below have me really excited to read this series!
The Robin Hood Trilogy
“A Wonderful Retelling Seamlessly Merging History and Legend”
Robin Hood’s Dawn (The Robin Hood Trilogy Book 1)
England, 1154-1194 A kingdom under assault. A conspiracy born of anarchy. A hero standing against tyranny.
Falsely convicted of a shocking crime, Robin Fitzooth, the Earl of Huntingdon, finds refuge in Sherwood Forest and becomes Robin Hood. Leading a band of men against the injustices of a malevolent sheriff and his henchmen, Robin begins to unravel a web of treachery threatening the English royal family.
As shadowy forces gather to destroy the future of a nation, Robin faces deceit, betrayal, and the ravages of war as he defends his king, his country, his people, and the woman he loves from a conspiracy so diabolical, so unexpected, that the course of history hangs in the balance.
From the mists of an ancient woodland, to lavish royal courts teeming with intrigue, to the exotic shores of the Holy Land—Robin Hood leads the fight in a battle between good and evil, justice and tyranny, the future and the past.
Part one of an exciting three-part retelling of the Robin Hood legend!
Robin Hood’s Widow (The Robin Hood Trilogy Book 2)
Robin’s duty to his king sends him on an odyssey that will unfold from the streets of Paris to the banks of the Danube. From incredible triumphs on the battlefields of the Crusade, to harrowing sea voyages, to a desperate dash across the frozen landscape of Central Europe, Robin Hood must ensure that King Richard safely returns to England.
Meanwhile, the outlaws of Sherwood Forest rise again under a new leader—and she is unwavering in her pursuit of justice against the tyranny of Sheriff de Argentan. Marian endures the heartbreak of widowhood only to find strength and purpose as she leads a small band of devoted men in her quest for vengeance while she protects Robin’s legacy.
Sir Guy of Gisborne, tormented by his conscience and enslaved by the sheriff, faces the wraith-like fury of the woman he once loved. How do you find forgiveness when you have committed an unforgivable crime? He must attempt a daunting journey of redemption, while finding inspiration from an unexpected source.
And through it all, Robin, Marian, and Guy are entangled in a web of treachery spun by the King of France and his sinister advisor, Montlhéry, as the plot to dismantle the Angevin Empire and take the throne of England from the Plantagenets boldly continues.
Part two of an exciting three-part retelling of the Robin Hood legend!
Robin Hood’s Return (The Robin Hood Trilogy Book 3)
The Legend of Robin Hood is born when he is outlawed after returning from the Holy Land.
Finally reunited, Robin and Marian, along with their band of men, must face both an army led by the mysterious Sheriff of Nottingham and the wrath of a ruthless Queen Eleanor. Confronting betrayal and forging new alliances, they fight against the sheriff’s tyranny, determined to uncover his secrets.
With King Richard in captivity, Queen Eleanor must collect an unprecedented king’s ransom, while an increasingly reckless Prince John pursues the throne at any cost. As opposing forces battle for control of the English throne, the King of France and his sinister advisor, Montlhéry, conspire to end the Plantagenet dynasty forever.
Dark secrets and unexpected revelations could destroy the future of England. The course of history hangs in the balance. Robin and Marian must prove their innocence while saving both King Richard andPrince John. But can they prevail in the ultimate battle between the future and the past?
A thrilling, fast-paced finale to a unique retelling of the Robin Hood Legend!
Author Q&A with Olivia Longueville and J.C. Plummer
Q: How does your trilogy compare to the traditional Robin Hood ballads?
We hope all Robin Hood fans will enjoy this retelling. One of our goals was to create a story that was unique, yet respectful towards the original legends. We also wanted to merge history and legend in a compelling, believable way.
Additionally, we felt that Marian was a character who deserved more attention. All too often she is in the background with little to do. With this in mind, we have created a Lady Marian who takes center stage in Robin Hood’s Widow and Robin Hood’s Return, defeating her opponents with brains instead of brawn.
Q: What do you consider the heart and soul of your trilogy? Can you give us an overview that goes beyond the blurbs?
The first book, Robin Hood’s Dawn, re-imagines the origins of Robin Hood. Readers are introduced to a young man who has been shaped by two very different parents: a distant, selfish father and a compassionate mother devoted to helping the poor. The themes featured in this book include taking a stand for what is right, recognizing the intrinsic value of every human being, and how the sins of a father can affect the next generation.
In the second book, Robin Hood’s Widow, Marian, Guy of Gisborne, and the Sheriff of Nottingham believe that Robin is dead. But Robin is alive, and he is with King Richard in the Holy Land.
Robin Hood’s Widow explores themes of grief and redemption, while featuring Marian’s adventures as leader of the outlaws. Her story is told in parallel with Robin’s quest to return home as he fulfills his obligations to King Richard. Despite the difficult subject matter, Robin Hood’s Widow is an inspirational tale of triumphing over adversity.
The conclusion of the trilogy, Robin Hood’s Return, reunites Robin and Marian. Unfortunately, their joy is overshadowed by the prospect of a vengeful Prince John taking the throne. While Robin labors tirelessly to support King Richard and raise his ransom, the sheriff orchestrates a diabolical plot that causes Robin to be outlawed again. With Marian at his side, he must defeat the sheriff while ensuring the return of the king.
The sheriff’s secrets and the full extent of the conspiracy to end the Plantagenet dynasty are revealed in Robin Hood’s Return. Robin and Marian must prove their innocence while saving both King Richard and Prince John. In addition to the recurring theme of the sins of the father, the story explores themes of trust and forgiveness as Robin and Marian rebuild their relationship after several years apart.
Q: Do you have a target audience for the trilogy?
Readers with a passion for history will appreciate the historical details woven into the story. Fans of Sharon Kay Penman, Alison Weir, and Elizabeth Chadwick will enjoy this medieval trilogy.
How did you become interested in writing the trilogy and working together as co-authors?
The story of Robin Hood’s Widow is very special to me, and I wrote the original version after I experienced a devastating personal loss. Readers might be surprised to learn that Robin Hood’s Widow was written before Robin Hood’s Dawn!
I love to tell stories with multi-dimensional characters. I am multi-lingual, and I enjoy writing stories in different languages. My first published novel was an English-language alternate history featuring Anne Boleyn.
I’ve worked as a freelance editor for several authors, including Olivia. We connected over our love of history and Robin Hood. I was editing the original version of Robin Hood’s Widow when we were inspired to write a full trilogy with Robin Hood’s Widow as the centerpiece.
Robin Hood’s Dawn became the origin story, and now Robin Hood’s Return brings the story to completion with a fast-paced, thrilling finale.
LINKS TO BUY OR DOWNLOAD ON KINDLE UNLIMITED
More good news: Kindle Unlimited subscribers can download all three books for free! The ebooks are also priced very low if you would like to purchase them outright. They are $2.99 each on Amazon US and £2.42 and below on Amazon UK.