These men aren’t so merry and they certainly don’t wear tights!

When young Alan Dale is caught stealing by the sheriff in Nottingham market square, he has no choice but to flee to the safety of Sherwood.

But what sanctuary awaits him under the thick shadow of the oaks?

After all, their master is the most dangerous and feared man in the country – and he doesn’t like to be disappointed.

Brutal, dark and immensely addictive, dear Robin of Locksley has never looked so good and so deviously bad…

Outlaw is the first novel in a series of seven detailing the adventures of the infamous hero and his merry band across Christendom.

Written by Angus Donald, the newest edition – The King’s Assassin – will be published in June later this year.

Born in China in 1965, Donald has studied and worked across the globe including, for the past twenty years, as journalist in Hong Kong, India, Afghanistan and London.

As well as the Outlaw Chronicles, Donald has also written further short stories into the life and background of Robin Hood.

However you may find a number of these, such as The Rise of Robin Hood and The Betrayal of Father Tuck, are only available as Ebooks.

Outlaw is completely unapologetic in its savage and raw depiction of the famous Nottingham legend.

And whilst this representation of Robin certainly won’t be to everyone’s tastes, that’s not to say that it isn’t also very readable.

To be perfectly honest, I rather enjoyed the original plot line and take on the characters both familiar and new.

Everything is perfectly as it needs to be – the heroes are unlikely underdogs with spirit and attitude (a lot of attitude) and the baddies are nasty, sneering villains who get what’s coming to them.

In Alan, who is retelling the story from the perspective of his older and wiser self, the reader may also find a very sound and likeable narrative.

Donald has certainly done his fair share of research into the historical background and his explanations at the end of the novel into his use of artistic license are very interesting to read.

The author also expands into the detail of the historical climate on his website and blog.

Containing plenty of action and gore, the novel is well paced with periods of respite and interesting dialect to balance out the blood.

So if you’re not turned off by graphic imagery and strong language, then I would definitely say to give it a good chance.

I’m not suggesting to you by any means that it’s Shakespeare – but why should it have to be?

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a couple of good sword fights, some drunken revelry and a romance with a fair damsel in distress.

Published in June 2009 by Sphere, Outlaw retails at £8.99.


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