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Greenwode: The Wode #1    by J Tullos Hennig order for
by J Tullos Hennig
Order:  USA  Can
DSP, 2014 (2014)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Greenwode is the first in J Tullos Hennig's trilogy, The Wode, which reimagines the Robin Hood myth. Taking the characters we already know, Greenwode attempts to explain their beginnings and adds elements to the story that are definitely not canon.

Rob and his sister Marian are the children of a forester and wise woman, but there is much more to their parents than they suspect. When they come of age, they learn that they are the latest generation of a family which serves The Horned One, which is why their family has been long respected by the other peasants. Rob also learns how important his childhood friend Gamelyn (the youngest son of a lord, whom Rob rescued when they were both boys) truly is. Rob is told by The Horned One that Gamelyn is supposed to be his rival, but if they truly work at it, they may also become lovers. Despite great obstacles, they try to remain together, but fate has a way of crushing even the best intentions.

Hennig's take on Robin Hood is very interesting, but seems too distant from the original to be called a retelling. Character and place names are there, but nothing else about Greenwode feels like Robin Hood. That is not to say Greenwode is not a good story in and of itself. It is full of romance, mysticism, religious intrigue, action, and violence. The passages in between do tend to get slow, but there is always a sense that Hennig is building to something greater.

As we have only met a few of the Robin Hood characters in Greenwode, I am curious to see how J Tullos Hennig weaves in the rest in the other two books of The Wode trilogy. The stage is already set for Rob to become the darker, vengeful individual he is in some versions, and I am interested to see where Hennig takes him and the rest of the characters.

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