Review: Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley


The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley

Published Year: 2014
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Subtitle: Great (4 stars)

The Robin Hood legend comes thrillingly alive in Robin McKinley’s re-imagining of the classic adventure.

Young Robin Longbow, sub-apprentice forester in the King’s Forest of Nottingham, must contend with the dislike of the Chief Forester, who bullies Robin in memory of his popular father. But Robin does not want to leave Nottingham or lose the title to his father’s small tenancy, because he is in love with a young lady named Marian—and keeps remembering that his mother too was gentry and married a common forester.

Robin has been granted a rare holiday to go to the Nottingham Fair, where he will spend the day with his friends Much and Marian. But he is ambushed by a group of the Chief Forester’s cronies, who challenge him to an archery contest...and he accidentally kills one of them in self-defense.

Remember last week when I reviewed A Daring Sacrifice and wanted more bow-and-arrow action? Well, I got it! Thank you RM! This was your classic Robin Hood fic with all of your favorite characters. You've got Maid Marian, Friar Tuck, Little John, Will Scarlet. The whole gang. It was fantastic. I was very excited.

Robin was a little moony at the beginning, and RM definitely took her time building up the story and the adventure. The gang didn't poof into existence. In hindsight, this gave it a more authentic feel, and I liked getting to meet the characters one by one. As I was reading, I was like WHERE ARE THEY?! I WANT TO MEET THEM! So, I was a little impatient, sue me.

Marian was great. If you read this as a true account of Robin Hood, then you can totally see why there are so many female versions of Robin Hood out there. She was definitely a lot of the power behind the curtain. Not to say that Robin Hood wasn't awesome by himself. He was great, but she made him so much better, you know? Read it, you'll see what I mean.

I loved the second couple that emerged in this story. I don't want to say who they are. But really I loved them almost more than Robin and Marian because I didn't expect it. Robin and Marian you know is coming because they're a classic -- it's like Lizzy and Darcy in a p&p retelling. The second couple was just so great because it was out of right field for me!

Overall, this was exactly what I was in the mood for and I was so excited to find it! I highly recommend if you're looking for a Robin Hood retelling heavy on the build-up and adventure, with a dash of romance.

4 out of 5 stars.