I requested to read Heir of Locksley because gay Robin Hood? Fuck yes! Give me that old time social justice advocate gays, baby!
(And if you’re wondering I was totally one of those kids that loved the animation Robin Hood and thought he was hot as hell.)
But instead I got the straight childhood prequel. There’s barely a hint of homosexual romance and tension until the end. THEN IT ENDS.
Me During Reading:
- “Okay, battling kiddos, will you two hook up?”
- “Nope, okay then. Age gap, maybe?!”
- “Nope. Ugh, fine. Let’s go, grow up, hurry.”
- “Ohhhhh yes, good feeling about this one!”
- “Damn, son.”
- “the DRAMA!”
- “Oh, so Robin’s bisexual or demi?! SWEET!”
- “Oh, no.”
- “Oh no!”
- “Oh, no.”
- “Oh no!”
- “Ohhh, no!”
- “Okay here we go!! FINALLY!”
- “WTF THE QUEER BAITING HOW DARE YOU?!?!”
Look, it was a great read but I’m a bit upset over the misrepresentation. The blurb makes it sound much more than it is, and like an integral part of this story. It isn’t. Yet.
The next book takes place years after this one when the fucking asshole is sheriff and it’s King John and all that jazz. You know, the ‘meat’ of Robin Hood’s story. And does mention Robin’s gay feelings finally presenting. So yay!
The Outlaw’s Legacy #2 could be gay as shit and make it all okay. Let’s hope. I have a good feeling, but that might be hype getting in the way, because this was a really good read except for this issue.
Time will tell. Now enough with the feels, and onto the information and full review!
Heir of Locksley
by N.B. Dixon
GENRE: GLBT Historical Fiction
Robin of Locksley is a rebel, more comfortable roaming Sherwood Forest with his longbow and courting the village girls than learning how to run a manor.
An innocent flirtation with a peasant girl soon lands Robin in trouble, and worse, he finds himself inexplicably attracted to Will Scathelock, his best friend since childhood. Robin must decide whether to follow the rules of society or his own conscience.
Meanwhile, his neighbour, Guy of Gisborne, is anxious to get his hands on the Locksley estate and he will do anything to make it happen—even murder.
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|The Good||The Bad & The Other|
|the drama||Not gay enough|
|the writing||women are pawns or evil|
|didn't see the twists coming|
|Hooked me quickly|
Heir of Locksley sucked me in quickly and kept me going with Robin’s escapades. He’s a golden boy but rejects much of his fellow privileged people’s ideals and morals. Sounds trite, but he does follow through with his actions, especially later in the book.
While he tries to circumvent the path his father has chosen, the court drama won’t let him go. I will admit I found a lot of enjoyment watching them fall, spiral around each other with devious plans, and clash. The drama was very well done. Not enough people to lose track of, but keeps you dancing on your toes between them all.
However, the blurb is misleading. It says Will is his best friend from childhood, but they were older when they met. Like Robin was old enough to be married off.
Guy was his first best friend from mere babies. Everything wraps around Robin vs. Guy, yet it only gets a throwaway sentence that spoils their falling out.
Why? I think it’s to play up the gay angle when there’s barely any substance. There are moments, and tension but not until the end while Robin’s in denial.
Now, if you’re willing and okay with spoilers, NB Dixon has outlined each novel on their blog. It does confirm that the gay factor will be more prominent for Robin.
But there’s another problem that’s even harder to pinpoint and prove. Heir of Locksley has the grimy feeling of misogyny and possible bi-phobia from it.
While Robin does get involved with Lucy, there’s this underlying feeling of it not being right, like it’s something to do, everyone does it, instead of his attraction to both sexes being valid. Which is strikingly odd given how quick and powerful Robin’s attraction to her was. It fuels most of the dramma in the middle of the book.
Could I be wrong in my interpretation? Absolutely. However, the patriarchy rules all and there are many intersectional issues that spring from homophobia and misogyny. Which means I think these issues should be examined more carefully and the message author’s want to send stated outright.
Look, every high born woman is evil. There’s no doubt or question about it.
Then, there are three peasant women that are good: the nurse that raised Robin; Lucy, and Lucy’s mother. The nurse is barely there as Robin is growing up as kids are wont to do. Lucy is a major player in that Robin becomes utterly entwined with her, her family, and the consequences. And they are terrible consequences.
Robin cares about the classism issue but I don’t see any protests of how women are treated at this time. These minor factors along with Robin’s unenthusiastic feelings at times, like after sex, leads to nothing good coming from women, or being with them. It leaves an odd feeling after reading, like something doesn’t match up or sit right.
Again, I could be wrong. Again, the next book could change this all. But for now? With this standing on its own, stars have to be docked because I can’t wholeheartedly recommend Heir of Locksley just yet.
Enjoyable read, beware the after taste.
I was disappointed in the lack of promised gayness and have a queasy feeling about the portrayals of women, but it was well written, plotted, and executed historical drama.
Just don’t be expecting Robin Hood to be fucking men in the woods and robbing rich folks just yet.
If you really like Robin Hood tellings, historical fiction, or court drama and plottings, I think you’ll be quite happy.
If you’re looking for a gay book, you have to commit to the series. It does give an opening for your own fanfiction ideas after finishing and hope on the horizon.
|Great but those pesky intersections and expectations...|
About the Author:
N.b. Dixon is an author of historical fiction. Her love for the Robin Hood legend began in a neglected corner of the school library and has continued ever since. She is a self-confessed bookworm and also a musician.
She began work on the Outlaws Legacy Series in 2013, and was accepted by Beaten Track Publishing in 2016. Outlaws Legacy is a historical series based around the Robin Hood legend. The author describes it as Exciting Historical Adventure with GLBT romance. Book 1, Heir of Locksley, will be released in paperback and ebook on December 1 2016.
N.B. Dixon will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway