IN A DARK WOOD by Michael Cadnum


Age Range: 11 - 13
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 Cadnum departs from his absorbingly realistic contemporary novels for a retelling of aspects of the Robin Hood legend from an unusual perspective, that of Robin's nemesis, Lord Geoffreythe Sheriffpresented as a likable, if complex, character. Estranged from his wife, the Lady Eleanor, Geoffrey is passionate, but unfaithful; he is vain enough to consider himself a just ruler, yet so greedy that he over-taxes his peasants. The overall picture is a bit wishy-washy and pathetic, and while readers will feel sympathy for Geoffrey, he's an odd choice for so much attention. Still, this is his tale, and so Robin Hood appears only in a couple of chapters, when Geoffrey is tricked and held captive by the merry men as a way of humiliating the king and his servant. While Geoffrey at first wallows in self-pity, he eventually rises above such pettiness, ultimately freeing Robin's fellow, Will Scathlock. With his marriage mended, and a glint of true leadership sparking within him, Geoffrey is improved for his tussle with the man he called his enemy; unfortunately, the character's journey is a prolonged, tepid, and belabored tale. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-531-30071-4
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Orchard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1998


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