THE OUTLAWS OF SHERWOOD by Robin McKinley
Kirkus Star

THE OUTLAWS OF SHERWOOD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the tradition of T.H. White's reincarnation of King Arthur, a novel that brings Robin Hood and his men--and women--delightfully to life. Compressing elapsed time into a year and a half--from Robin's escape to the forest to the band's pardon by King Richard--McKinley includes many familiar characters and incidents (e.g., Robin's first meeting with Little John, the defeat of Guy of Gisbourne) while reshaping others (Marian, in disguise, is the one who outshoots competitors at the Nottingham Fair). McKinley's band is truly merry, casually undertaking deeds of derring-do while engaging in witty repartee that recalls the Three Musketeers. After considerable research, the author has--like her predecessors--created a Robin Hood who reflects "what the teller and the audience needed him to be at the time of the telling" (McKinley's quote from J.C. Holt). Thus, her characters are idealistic Saxon guerrillas fighting invading Norman oppressors in the cause of justice; include several highly competent women playing crucial roles; and have a charmingly ironic 20th-century self-awareness--yet they also embody the perennial dream of escaping the flawed everyday world for a simple life and noble deeds in the company of well-loved companions. Enriched with entrancing details of life in the forest, graced with a neat pair of satisfying love stories, and culminating in a couple of rousing battles and a dramatic close when the king dispenses justice, McKinley's Robin should be delighting readers for years to come.
Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1988
ISBN: 0441013252
Page count: 360pp
Publisher: Greenwillow
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1988




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