At the end of the 12th century, King Richard I, on his way home from the Crusades, is captured and held for ransom by the Duke of Austria. In England under John Lackland, Eleanor of Aquitaine is held captive so she won’t ransom the elder brother and dethrone the younger. And in Shirewode, a band of outlaws under merry/gay Robyn Hode, avatar of the Horned God, and his sister/healer, Marian, seek to maintain the pagan ways they were born to. Templar knights with their own magic and heresies provide nemeses and hidden connections.
Hennig’s prose is full of revelations, a rich, dialectical brew spiked with archaisms that seem so right. Sometimes, more in this third book in the series than in the last I read, this style proves too much, obscuring the story and emotions rather than elucidating them. Several scenes, particularly at the beginning of the tale when I was trying to get my footing, seemed to serve little purpose. Throughout the book, tension that could have been held was dropped. I lost sight of details I thought would be important. They weren’t used with strong enough plot force. Read, of course, to continue the story and if interested in taking on this different twist to the old tale. It may prove too difficult otherwise.