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The Adventures of Robin Hood, by Roger Lancelyn Green: Review

Once a lord, now an infamous outlaw, Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest seeks justice for the poor by robbing the rich and cruel. Along with his Merry Men, fair Maid Marian, and those who have found his help in need, he seals his place in legend as the great yeoman who foils his enemies and shoots true, time and time again.

Robin Hood is an antique figure in English literature, so it's unsurprising that different authors' retellings overlap. Like the Howard Pyle version of The Adventures of Robin Hood (reviewed here), this book recounts Robin's daring escapades in Sherwood, many of which are more or less the same. But despite the similarities, this book felt very different, which is why I thought it deserved its own review.

While the former version I reviewed was light, playful, and not overly grave, this version definitely has a sharper edge. Robin Hood gets himself in some tight situations, and Roger Green doesn't shy away from the fact that, well, people die. At one point, Robin kills 15 people in vengeance for the death of a friend—just a little glimpse of the less idyllic lens through which this version is told.

Content Notes: The story still rings of Robin Hood—action and peril are balanced, as always, with antics, humour, and valiant escapes, not to mention missions to help those in need, questionable though the means may be. Robin and Maid Marian wait until an official marriage to be together, themes of friendship, loyalty, and helping the poor are emphasized, and there is no language or explicit content . . . just a brush with a witch in one chapter. If blood isn't your thing, you may be distressed by the ending, but hang in there—it's worth it. (Still recovering).

This version struck a deep cord with me, and left even more of an emotional impression than the last. I would highly recommend it. "Robin Hood for ever!"

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