Original Title: Invictus
Year Published: 2013
Published by: N/A
Number of Pages: 298
First Sentence: “Loxley.“
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Robin Hood gave up being a hero when he left Sherwood Forest, thirteen years ago. The old stories are already distorted and half forgotten. King John has made certain of that.
Struggling to keep his family and the remains of his pride in a world increasingly indifferent to his name, the one thing Robin doesn’t anticipate is a dangerous ghost from his past. The reappearance of his old enemy Guy de Gisborne represents not just mortal danger but the chance of heroism again, but at what cost?
When their renewed hostilities stir up the King’s suspicions, Robin finds himself on the run across Europe in the unwelcome company of the one man he does not understand and can never trust. Will Robin redeem the tarnished title of King of Sherwood, or will Gisborne’s slowly unravelling obsession lose him home, family and his reputation forever?
I will be honest and say that since I saw the BBC series about Robin Hood (Richard Armitage, yum) I kind of thought that Guy and Robin should hook up. The girl was just a distraction from their feelings for each other. So when I found this book I almost literally threw myself over it. Finally an actual published book about these two getting together!
This is set several years after the events in the legend. They are both getting on in age (I would say they are in their mid-thirties, which isn’t really old) and are trying to live in world that honestly doesn’t want them anymore. Robin lives as a farmer and isn’t considered a hero anymore. In fact, he struggles just to get by. Therefore, our beloved sarcastic sassy Hood is much more serious, obviously carrying the world on his shoulders.
Guy, on the other hand, is doing rather well. He comes back being a wealthy man, although not with the name Guy of Gisborne. He has successfully rid himself of his past and has successfully restored himself to an esteemed position in society.
Of course, everything gets turned upside down when these two meet each other again. They are thrust on a journey that neither expected nor wanted. The relationship both develops slowly yet quite quickly (confusing, I know). Mostly because Robin takes time to come to terms with his feelings for Gisborne. They also have to work hard to actually trust each other, something that their shared past tries its best to hinder. In true Hood and Gisborne manner, they fight each other more than being cutesy with each other (not that they ever really are).
I will say that the relationship between the two cannot fully be classified as healthy. Sure, all is consensual although Robin at times feel confused with his sexuality, but it is not a healthy relationship. These are two men who have hated each other for a long time and have been so abused by the world that a super romantic relationship between them would have felt wrong. But if you have problems or if unhealthy relationships are a trigger for you, then please be careful, because this book could be triggering for you.
Do I recommend it?
Yes, if you like I kind of always saw the possibility of Robin and Gisborne being together.