Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday's Features - The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley

I’ve always loved the story of Robin Hood, despite it’s moral ambiguity. Actually, I have to admit I’ve always liked the bad boys, so when you present me with a bad boy who is still trying to do good, well, I’m happy to say the least.

Since I love the Robin Hood story I was really excited when I realized that Robin McKinley had written a book based on the legend. She's one of my favorite authors anyway, and she didn't disappoint me with this book! It was obvious that she loves the story as much as I do, and when you read her little note at the back of the book, you see that she really did her research as well..

Now let me warn you, while the story does include all of the important elements and does a wonderful job fleshing out the legend, don't go into this comparing it to your favorite Robin Hood tale. I started to, and was quickly reminded that doing so is always dicey. This is not necessarily the Robin Hood story that I am most familiar with, but it is a really, really good story.

I love people, and one thing that Robin McKinley does an excellent job with in this book is making the characters from the old tale into people that you can understand and relate too. There is one character that I don't recognize from the tales I know (his name is Much, what kind of name is that?) but all of the rest of the players are there, even some I only dimly remember!

Robin Hood himself isn't necessarily the hero you'd expect at the beginning of the book, but it was a lot of fun to watch him grow into his legend, and see how he changed over time. One thing McKinley highlights in this book is just how legends actually start, there's usually a grain of truth in them, but it's often blown all out of proportion. Which, of course, outlaws like those who lived in Sherwood Forest, have a lot of fun exploiting!

I give this book 5 out of 5 cups of coffee (cuz stars are boring). I liked the story, it provided great character growth and development, and despite not matching up my most beloved version of the tale, it was close enough that enjoyed it immensely. Not to mention that Maid Marian is a kick-ass woman in this story - which I always love! I never liked her in the Disney movie because she was too weak...

~ Ruthie ~

Ps. I'd also highly recommend any of her other books - I've read most of them!

1 comment:

  1. I know Much! He's the Miller's son! When I was taking Medieval Civilization and England to 1600AD we studied a bit of the Robin Hood and Kind Arthur legends and Much is one of the first characters to show up in history. Him and Tuck I think. Then Marian and Will Scarlet actually showed up many years later or something like that.

    Anyway, I just LOVE Robin Hood and will have to add this to my Amazon list!