The Outlaws of Sherwood
Author: Robin McKinley
Source: My Local Library
Summery from GoodReads…
In the days of King Richard the Lionheart, a young forester named Robin set out one morning for the Nottingham Fair. But he never arrived. By the end of the day a man lay dead in the King's Forest, and Robin was an outlaw with a price on his head.
If you good sirs and ladies will allow me to state the obvious... Robin Hood is pretty freakin’ amazing (not to mention dreamy)! After watching the BBC’s Robin Hood I became a bit obsessive and started looking for a lot of RH books. The first of which I read was Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen and now The Outlaws of Sherwood (and many other books have made it onto my TBR list for the summer.) I must say I was nervous to read it after having been disappointed with another of McKinley’s books and my sister not being able to finish it but after a friend of mine wrote a great review for it I knew I had to read it. (Ok, now I’m rambling… moving on.) If you can get past the difficult language of the book you’ll find a story with great characters and a good storyline.
As a new twist to the legend, this Robin Hood is actually the worst archer in his gang which I found hilarious. It seems that even Marian is a better shot then him. Though he had accepted his life as an outlaw he really wasn’t comfortable being a leader or a symbol. His friends had to push him into it and his friends are the ones who kept him strong. This is a story about loyalty and friendship which I just soak up.
Robin Hood’s merry men also have some merry women in it! These women are serious about the life of an outlaw and since they are women they have to work harder to gain any sort of equality. They learn how to use a bow, they take their own turns at watch, and they can keep up with the boys in tough situations. Next to Robin, Marian is the most important character in the book. She understands what Robin Hood is better than Robin himself and it’s great to see such a strong female character in the medieval time period.
Though it took them a while to get it started I really enjoyed the way the gang was run. The way they dealt with the people who came to them for help and the little groups they paired into. The ending of the book almost had me screaming at it cause I never expected it but I guess it had to end that way. It was a slightly sad but satisfactory(partially) ending.
I had a hard time reading this book because of the high(fantasy) style of writing and odd dialect. While it did add an authentic feel to it it was very difficult to get through but don’t let that turn you off of a great story.
My only other small complaint was that it seemed to take them forever to get the gang going and start the whole “rob the rich” thing that Robin Hood was famous for. But once it did get going the pace was good and it kept my attention. I’m hoping to pick up this book at the next library book sale.
Q) What is your favorite Robin Hood book/movie? And who is your favorite RH character?
A) So many great Robin Hood’s to choose from but I’d have to say BBC’s Robin Hood series and Scarlet are my fav’s so far. And in pretty much every version Marian is pretty awesome so I’d say she’s a fav. How about you?
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