The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley: Review

Posted June 8, 2010 by Emily in book review, Uncategorized / 11 Comments

The Outlaws of Sherwood
By: Robin McKinley
Received from the Library

Synopsis (From Goodreads):  A dazzling retelling of Robin Hood that incorporates traditional tales and familiar characters with exciting new adventures.

My Review:  Last summer at the Utah Book Blogger get-together organized by Maw Books I was talking to Angie about those authors that everyone seems to love that you just don’t “get.” I mentioned that Robin McKinley was one of those. I tried to get through The Blue Sword and just couldn’t do it. I read Beauty and liked it, but I didn’t LOVE it. Angie said I needed to try The Outlaws of Sherwood. So, I filed that away. Then, I starting reading other books based on Angie’s recommendations, and I loved them. I soon realized that Angie and I are kindred spirits and I checked out The Outlaws of Sherwood from the library.

There aren’t words for how much I loved this story. I think I finally understand what people mean when they say that Robin McKinley can tell a wonderful story. This story flowed and was silky smooth like rich cream. I cared about every character and easily followed the story line. It was a fresh take on the Robin Hood story.

I think my favorite part about this book was Marian. I am a real sucker for a strong female character and this story was full of them! Marian definitely held her own in this story, but still added a nice shade of romance to the story. Because, really, what is a Robin Hood story without a little bit of Robin Hood and Maid Marian?

This book is all about the characters, and not just Robin. I was delighted to delve more into the characters of Will Scarlett, Much the Miller, Little John, Allen-a-dale, and Friar Tuck. Robin was a wonderful hero, but it really was his friends that made the whole thing work. I mean, one person robbing rich people probably isn’t going to be very successful. But, take a whole group of people united in a cause, and you can certainly turn some heads.  That’s what this book was about.

WARNING: Do not read this book and then watch the new Robin Hood movie thinking they are anything close to the same. They aren’t. I thought they were and spent the first half hour of the movie very confused. They were both very good. Just different.

My Rating:

Profanity: None
Drugs and Alcohol: Mild
Sexuality: None
Violence: Mild



11 Responses to “The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley: Review”

  1. Hmmm…I must be like you. I've only read one McKinney and didn't fall in love. Guess I'd better check out this book then! It does sound good. I love Robin Hood stories!

  2. I'd only read Beauty and didn't love it either, so I didn't try anything else at the time. I've now almost finished The Hero and the Crown (on Angie's strong recommendation), and I've liked it. I think I may have to read this one next, especially since I've been in a Robin Hood mood since seeing the movie. Thanks for the review!

  3. I'm so happy to see a review of this! I own it to read, but it always ends up being pushed aside for something else. I've read quite a few other McKinleys, and liked them quite a bit so I'm excited to get to this one!

  4. Oh, Em. You have made me so happy. :)

    I'm tickled you loved it. And you're so right about the strong women. Man, I love the women in this book. They kill it! And the reversal of skills between Robin & Marian was just genius.

    But I love all the characters. All the band you mention. They are friends.

    Holly, yes. Yes, you must. That is all.

  5. Aww too bad you didn't like The Blue Sword. :( And that you thought Beauty was just okay. I love those two. I haven't read The Outlaws of Sherwood since i haven't found a copy here but I'm really interested. I'm glad you found a Robin McKinley book to love. :)

  6. I have always wanted to read one of her books, but I haven't. I've heard good things. Maybe I'll start with this one. The Robin Hood movies is how Robin Hood becomes Robin Hood. A lot of people don't know that before seeing, and I've heard that lots of people were really confused.

  7. I like Beauty but didn't love it either, and I will most definitely have to give this one a try. I did absolutely love Spindle's End. I thought it was one of the best Sleeping Beauty stories I have ever read and this princess is definitely a strong female character.

  8. I used to play Maid Marian at my local Ren Faire; each summer before rehearsals started, I'd reread this book in the hopes that I could channel a wee bit of the awesome contained in those pages. Easily one of my favorite McKinley novels.

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