March 14, 2019

Robin Hood by Nicky Raven - Illustrated by Anne Yvonne Gilbert

The legend of Robin Hood gets a fresh retelling in this action packed adventure. Having missed the first printing of this book, I was so pleased to find out it is available again through Racehorse for Young Readers this year. The foreword is by Otto Bathurst, director of Robin Hood, released late 2018. Timing for this edition is a little off however, it is not a movie tie-in. Fast paced with short background information on the characters and setting, this edition rises into action fairly quickly and does not slow down the momentum until the very end.

Robin of Locksley is a war veteran whose land has been seized, is the leader of a band of outlaws. While Robin is the main character, he does not overshadow the secondary characters like Friar Tuck, Little John and Will Scarlet; they also get good character development. There are only two strong female characters: Maid Marian, smart and very lady-like and Alyn, a member of the outlaws who is a good fighter and ace archer. The Sheriff of Nottingham performs his duties justly while the new villain here is his lackey, Guy of Gisburn.

The cover illustration has a Kevin Costner look-alike from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 1991. Nicky Raven's story will have a more lasting impression than that movie. Anne Yvonne Gilbert uses coloured pencil and ink for her illustrations and an earthy colour scheme to match the settings of Sherwood forest and the medieval ruggedness of the era. Her characters look real and less "Hollywood". This is a small book with many beautiful illustrations. Recommended for readers looking for a new interpretation of this legendary hero, ages 12+.

Amazon | Bookdepository
Racehorse for Young Readers 2019
Hardcover 104p
6" x 9"
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